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The Emotionally Traumatized Cat

Any of you who know my son James will understand that Snell and I are very lucky to have only four cats in the livestock pen, AKA our house. Each and every one was a foundling and has his or her story. All of their stories deal with jerks-- humans.

Samson lurking around the corner

James found Figaro and Mystic at the door of the trash compactor at Cooper Elementary School, where he works. They are really flying monkeys disguised as cats. Gracie came to us from Eleni Jordon, retired Parkview chemistry teacher. Someone found her drinking out of nasty water puddles in an industrial parking lot (the cat, not the chemistry teacher.) Eleni is as dotty as we are about animals, but keeping Gracie would have put her over her already generous apartment pet allotment, so Gracie came to us.

Then there is the most beautiful cat with medium length black hair who found us. Hey, homeless animals always find us. This is one of the prettiest cats we have ever had. She has huge green eyes and looks like she is wearing a white bikini bottom. I named her Delilah after my great aunt. I think Delilah is a beautiful name. When Delilah would not go away, she finally made it into the laundry room. This is the first step to cat ownership of our house.

The next morning we took Delilah to the vet for a checkup and to make arrangements to have her spayed. She had such a big round tummy that I was afraid she was pregnant. We have used Gwinnett Animal Hospital for over 40 years, and Dr. Nancy Churchill was the lucky vet on call that morning. She went over Delilah with a fine-toothed comb. The poor thing had fleas and intestinal parasites, but thankfully no pregnancy. Delilah was scheduled for surgery the following Friday.

Both Delilah and I were a little unhappy to have to get up so early to go to the vet, but we made it. She cried all the way. I talked baby talk and sang to her. Maybe that was her problem. I know only one song all the way through, “In The Garden.” Could be she got tired of hearing it, or maybe she was commenting on my voice. I couldn’t carry a tune if you poured it into a bucket and handed it to me.

Delilah got checked in. I went home to await the call that she was okay and out of surgery. The call came only thirty minutes after I got home. Dr. Churchill’s first question to me was, “Are you really attached to the name ‘Delilah’? Uh-oh.

Dr. Churchill had shaved, prepped, and made the initial incision for Delilah’s hysterectomy. She told me that then she suddenly wondered why a cat as old as Delilah had not either been fixed or had kittens long ago. The poor technician got down and started parting fur and feeling around. She found two shriveled up little raisins of Delilah’s former manhood. Delilah was transgender.

At that moment, Delilah was christened Samson.

Samson has some emotional issues. We are pretty sure he was abused by a male (human) because he is terrified of any man. We think he has vision problems in one eye. He sometimes misses the litter box, presumably by accident. Sometimes I wonder if it is on purpose.

Samson is the only male in a household of female cats. I had previously misdiagnosed Figaro’s gender. She is the QUEEN and not the king of the household. And all shall obey her, especially our poor little boy-cat. (Okay, so I am not good at reading cat bottoms.)

I thought once about taking Samson to a cat whisperer to try to understand what might be causing his potty issues. Then I thought, “Wouldn’t you be a little emotionally unbalanced if you had been mistreated and thrown out by some guy, only to have some other people find you, name you, bring you into the house only to jerk you back out, slam you into a tiny little box, and drive you to a stinky place for a hysterectomy when you had already had a vasectomy?”

Yeah, we think Samson is justified. He has had enough sexual identity crises and trauma to make anybody rebel against late-life toilet training.