The idea of neutering your pets never found a comfortable place in my conscience for various reasons. I’d like to think I’ve thought it through for myself and come to a conclusion as to why it’s okay to do it. I’ve also seen that the majority of pet parents, animal organizations, and activists, all seem to be pro neutering, again, for different reasons. The pet parents don’t want to deal with multiple litters, hormonal aggression, heat, etc. The organizations are trying to curb stray breeding cause all the strays suffer and die and go through hell in the streets of India. As the parent of two indoor cats, I realized that we pretty much curtail all their freedom by keeping them indoors. This is of course apart from the fact that they have fun, play for hours, get timely meals, and doze most of the day. But they aren’t allowed out, we certainly don’t want Gundu and Kai mating, and we don’t want them to step out and die. So when we coop them up indoors in their limited little world, why make them suffer from their animal breeding instincts which they cannot exercise like they would have in the wild? I did struggle for a while with the debate on why we gave ourselves the right to obliterate their right to reproduce and be free, but I started reading about uncontrolled breeding and the explosion of stray populations.
The night leading to their neutering was tough. We had to make them skip their dinner and they certainly didn’t like it. They mewed loudly, rubbed themselves ferociously against our legs, and even tried nibbling our fingers. It was downright heartbreaking to shut them in a room for the night (because otherwise they would’ve trashed the kitchen looking for food), where they wailed and cried until rather late into the night. Here’s their last pictures sleeping on the sofa with their reproductive organs intact:
We fondly watched them as they slept on the sofa, then we tricked them with some toys and moved them into the computer room where we evilly locked them in for the night.
The morning came with a certain wariness. I for one didn’t want to open the door to be greeted by overnight starved kitten babies. Surprisingly enough, they didn’t seem too disgruntled but nonetheless rushed around the house looking for food. We had only the one basket we used to ferry them to my parents place and back and we were quite surprised to see that they fit in quite snug into the once roomy padded basket. Dumb of us I know, kittens grow really fast. They mewed, as they always do while being transported, all the way to the vets. Here they are after their blood work, pre-surgery:
They weren’t happy at all and Gundu moaned and mewed all guttural like while his blood was being taken. Painful to watch your child undergo that sort of torture especially they don’t even understand why this pain was being inflicted upon them. All they wanted was some wet food every day, poop and pee regularly cleaned, and sofas to destroy.
Gundu’s castration took about 10 minutes in total, excluding anesthetic administration. He came out, held by an attendant, tongue sticking out, looking completely knocked out with his eyes open. He came to in about 5 minutes though and was convulsing and shuddering as he did. Wasn’t a pretty sight I tell you, and it was even more horrific to see the tiny little incisions in his furry little scrotal sac which was now deflated and red and raw. I thought about all the meat I eat on a daily basis and told myself to toughen the f**k up.
Kai’s surgery went on for nearly an hour, and when she did finally appear, she was held carefully by the vet herself. Apparently she took a long time to come around. No worries. We managed to understand all the post surgery care guidelines, including medication, and left the clinic. Oh and I managed to buy a full size pet carrier for her since the both of them couldn’t fit in their padded basket anymore.
Watching them squirm and slither around made us very sad but we were glad their ordeal was over. Several jabs, surgery, being held down, strange and horrible smells of ethanol and chemicals, and losing your testicles, can’t have been pleasant for innocent 5 and a half month old kittens. Gundu started gaining complete consciousness a lot quicker than Kai, and understandably so since his castration procedure was a lot simpler and he needed considerably less anesthetic. Kai until this evening (it’s now 21:30 hrs, surgery completed at 13:00 hrs), is still groggy, isn’t eating or drinking anything, and is wobbling around hither tither, falling over, and trying her best to get rid of her e-collar. Gundu’s already lapped down three helpings of post-op gastro food, lapped up water like a tiger in the Serengeti on a hot summer day, and is pouncing on her from time to time. We quickly swoop in and move him away and give her some space in a separate room. We’ve been told by the doc that if she doesn’t have any food or water until 10 am the next morning, she needs to be taken in for fluids.
Well done you two, you’re champions and you’ve braved the human inflicted storm. I really hope you have less suffering now in your lives living with us indoors. More updates after tomorrow. Here’s some post op shots: