No Pip squeaks during another trip to the vet’s

Pre-op spruce-up for little Pip

Pre-op spruce-up for little Pip

Pip – who arrived at our finca as a tiny kitten (almost certainly abandoned) – has this week joined the growing list of felines we’ve had neutered since we have lived in rural Mallorca. At around six months of age, she was beginning to show signs of coming into oestrous. With a large, rather aggressive tom often wandering through our finca, on the prowl for the kind of action she would soon have been willing to offer him, it was time for yet another visit to our excellent local vet’s in Manacor.

The cute little poppet had previously been there shortly after her arrival, where she had been photographed, fussed, examined, and presented with her own passport (after being vaccinated). Unlike Minstral (our Birman, who lives indoors) and the rest of our adopted glaring – all ferals – she doesn’t seem to mind travelling in the car and didn’t utter a single squeak from inside her carrying case.

Pip was sterilized on Tuesday morning, and the patient is now supposedly taking it easy for a few days. She had a short supervised outing in this morning’s warm sunshine, on the terrace, bouncing about like a little lamb. Apart from the shaved patch on her flank and the dressing over the incision wound, you’d never know she’d had an operation.

Her sterilization wasn’t the only thing the vet dealt with. Apparently our pretty kitty also had acne on her chin, which has now been treated. Who knew that cats could get the condition most often associated with the trials of teenage life? We certainly didn’t. It seems there’s always something new to learn when you have cats in your life . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mallorcan moggy mystery

Something weird has happened. And I don’t like it when something strange cannot be logically explained.

When we took on the role of ‘adopted parents’ to some Mallorcan feral cats, we decided that we would have them all neutered when they reached the appropriate time. On Tuesday it was the turn of Peanut, the tiny ginger kitten that arrived – seemingly from nowhere – at the end of October 2013.

The Boss delivered her to the vet’s in the morning for the operation. The veterinary nurse pointed out the nick in Peanut’s ear – it looks as though she’d either been in a fight or had the defect at birth. The Boss explained it had been there when she arrived. The nurse called in one of the vets to look at it, and then a second. The trio of animal experts informed The Boss that a nick in the ear like this is usually an indication that a feral cat has been neutered.

Peanut was no more than two months when she arrived at our finca – and probably more like a month – so surely sterilization was unlikely? A battle scar or birth defect seemed more likely. The vets took her to the operating theatre.

Patient discharged . . .

When we collected her a few hours later, we had some very surprising news: Peanut had already been sterilized – as our vet discovered when he opened up our little bundle of fun. He sewed up the wound and sent her home.

Of course, we’re delighted that Peanut isn’t facing a few days of discomfort, medication and convalescence in our annexe bedroom – but we cannot understand how a tiny kitten of probably less than two months of age came to be neutered.

Have you ever come across anything like this before? We certainly haven’t.

Homeward-bound Peanut, sporting a cute leopard-print plaster on her leg.

Homeward-bound Peanut, sporting a cute leopard-print plaster on her leg.

 

Animal hospital again . . .

Beamer, Bear, and Dusty dine at the finca.

Beamer, Bear, and Dusty dine at the finca.

Our feral cat sterilization fund took a hit today, and here at our finca in Mallorca, we are back in animal hospital mode. After months of trying to arrange for Nibbles – one of our family of adopted feral cats – to be neutered, we finally succeeded. The patient – like his mother and siblings before him – is comfortable and enjoying a peaceful rare night indoors, recuperating in our annexe third bedroom.

All the stars were in alignment: we had no other commitments for the day, our veterinary practice was able to undertake the operation at short notice, and – most importantly – Nibbles deigned to arrive at a time that fitted within the practice surgery hours.

Littering the finca

Our adopted feral cat family (did we adopt them, or did they adopt us?) began with a dainty little black kitten we named Jetta. Shortly after becoming a regular visit to our finca (twice a day for food), I noticed that she was putting on weight. It wasn’t long before we realised that, at only around seven months old, poor little Jetta was pregnant. In March 2011, she had a litter of four kittens; three – we named them Beamer, Dusty, and Bear – are still with us, and all are now much larger than their mum.

We decided that, once Jetta had recovered from her pregnancy and had reached a stage when she was no longer nursing the kittens, we would have her sterilized. But we couldn’t act fast enough: she quickly became pregnant again and at the end of July 2011, she produced another five kittens.

Just three of the second litter remain: Nibbles, Chico, and, the only female, Sweetie. She and Chico are twice-a-day visitors, but Nibbles is what our Mallorcan neighbours call a “va y viene” cat – he goes, and then he comes back again. Recently, he’s been showing signs of testosterone overload: getting antsy with his siblings, fighting, and mistaking poor little Shorty – the little ginger kitten that has ingratiated himself into this feline family – for a willing female. I think you get my drift  . . .

Snip, snip

Someone once gave me an alarming statistic relating to the number of cats that an unneutered female can produce in her lifetime. I can’t remember the figure, but I do remember being horrified.

As much as I love cats, there are already too many ferals around – and their lives can be precarious in the countryside. They’re at risk from hunters, traffic, being poisoned,starvation (but not at our house) and being injured in encounters with other animals over territorial rights. So we took the decision to neuter those feral cats that drift into our lives. Today, it was Nibbles’ turn. Shorty will be relieved . . . until it’s his turn to go under the knife.