Operation Shorty

No longer like a toy that's lost its stuffing

No longer like a toy that’s lost its stuffing

If you’re a regular reader of Living in Rural Mallorca, you’ll know that we have quite a clan of cats who consider our finca to be their territory – and local restaurant. The latest addition to our cat family joined us in August 2012, making his first mark on our lives by biting The Boss (who subsequently required a hospital visit and a tetanus jab).  Little Shorty was ginger, only a few weeks old, dragging an injured back leg around with him, and so thin that he looked like a soft toy that had lost its stuffing. We had tried to catch the little thing to take it to the vet’s for treatment, but hadn’t expected him to be quite so feisty.

Long story short, Shorty is now a firm fixture in our feline family. He’s wormed his way into the affections (and food bowls) of the other cats – who are all from the same mother. He’s the one who sits closest to the front door when it’s feeding time, and is the last to ‘leave the table’, having cleaned all of the bowls of any crumbs. He is, as the Spanish say about something so cute, a bomboncito.

But Shorty has recently been exhibiting signs of impending manhood: spray-marking, getting a bit aggressive with some of his adopted ‘family’, and yowling for a bit of female action. This week, we decided it was time for him to be neutered. Catching him was easy: Shorty loves a little cuddle in the mornings, so afterwards we scooped him into the travelling cage and took him to our local vet’s.

It’s a snip

He’s the seventh feral cat we’ve had neutered, so we’re rather well known there. It’s a pity they don’t have a loyalty scheme, really. We have huge respect for the whole team there, and everything they’ve done for our adopted and our own cats.  When we moved to Mallorca, bringing our rescue Maine Coon and Birman cats with us, I was concerned that we wouldn’t find the level of expertise and care that we’d experienced at our local practice in the UK. I needn’t have worried: I doubt we’d find better veterinary – or pet owner – treatment anywhere. (When our Maine Coon was diagnosed with lymphoma and had his first session of chemotherapy, the veterinary nurse brought us coffees and a couple of chocolates to sustain us as we sat with him.)

After his post-op recuperation in our annexe bedroom, Shorty is now back to his normal cheeky little ginger self. We have no idea where he came from, but wherever he goes in the future (as much as we’d love him to stay, he’ll probably make his own way in the world one day), he should be safer now that’s he neutered.

Only Chico is left to have his ‘little op’ now. And the most nervous member of our little cat family will certainly be a challenge to catch; pass the falconer’s gauntlets please . . .

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5 thoughts on “Operation Shorty

  1. I am so glad you are taking good care of those kitties. Poor little kitty who had lost his stuffing! So was his leg broken? It’s good of you to be so kind and have it fixed. And that you are having them all neutered.
    Your little Shorty looks like my Tigger.
    He came from a ranch way up the road and would have had a short life if we had not rescued him. His destiny (then) was to be sent up to the “high country” to a vacant ranch to be a mouser in a barn. The family said that they “never feed their barn cats because then they won’t catch the mice.” Tigger certainly would have ended up eaten by a bobcat or coyote. Now he’s rather fat and sassy.
    And speaking of cat bites, Tigger bit me (my fault entirely) last week and I had to take a round of very strong antibiotics. One should absolutely not take chances with cat bites, said the Doctor. They carry a very nasty bacteria in their mouth and can send you to the hospital on IV drugs.
    Shorty looks pretty young still in the photo. Is he still little? And, have you been told that ginger cats are almost always males? I wonder if that’s true.

    • Actually Shorty’s leg wasn’t broken, thankfully, and he soon made a good recovery. I think he was just after
      the sympathy vote! Our vet thinks he’s now about nine months old. How time flies. Yes, I’ve also heard that
      ginger cats are almost always male – but not sure if that’s true or legend.
      Lucky Tigger – cats on farms here are also left to fend for themselves. Silly really, because it’s in the nature
      of cats to hunt for things like mice, whether they actually get around to eating them or not. We found the hindquarters
      of a mouse outside the front door yesterday. It was the first time we’ve had such a ‘gift’ for a very long time. I hope
      the bite has recovered . . . yes, one has to be very careful.

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