Letter from the editor, June 2012 Issue
Our family cat, Russell, was neutered this week, which is nothing but a sanitized way of saying he was castrated. It would be better if we all just called it what it is.
Dropping him off at the humane society was as torturous for me as it was for him. That sad look in his 6-month-old eyes as I wished him well was almost enough to make me tear up. I almost changed my mind at the last minute, but then I remembered how he couldn’t get enough of my daughters’ stuffed animals. My steely determination returned. Five hours later, the vet handed me Russell in his carrier, and the cat wouldn’t even
make eye contact with me, let alone talk to me. It would be days before he would.
Until then, he sat by the window that faces our lake and stared at the water. It was as if time had stopped, and he was hanging in the balance between who he had been and who he would be in the future. I decided it was time for a pep talk.
“Russell,” I said, “I know what it’s like to feel completely deflated. As a matter of fact, at the moment I’m suffering from medial epicondylitis in my arm, and my back is killing me. I haven’t been able to ski as much, and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time staring at the lake as well. So I know your pain and I’m with you. But there comes a time when a man has to dig deep and find his confidence, and even though your gender has been somewhat obscured by this recent surgery, that moment has arrived when you must step up and be a man. You must overcome the obstacles that threaten you and focus on what’s next.”
He turned and looked at me, yawned and replied, “So what you’re saying is that you think you can compare your little sports injuries to me getting my little marbles cut off? That’s absurd. If you don’t ski tomorrow, I’ll never purr for you again.”
– Todd Ristorcelli