Today I packed up the cats and set out for the vet.
With Milo strapped to my back and Sunny slung over my shoulder, I made my way down the stairs to the street, down the street to the subway, down more stairs to the train and then back up to the next street.
Milo, having never been out of the apartment since I adopted him over a year ago, proceeded to emit a sound the likes of which I have never heard him (nor any other cat) make in his life. Something between a ‘waaaaaaah’ and a deep, guttural ‘yowwwwww.’
Sunny, on the other hand, was thrilled. I’ve been taking her for walks to get her used to being outside and being in a carrier (such a win!). So I unzipped the top flap of the bag and she peeked her head out to observe all that was going on around us.
After several more sweaty (for me), stressful (for Milo), and stirring (for Sunny) minutes, we got to the vet five-minutes late and were led, in a furry flurry, into an exam room.
Sunny was up first.
“Okay, let’s get her weighed,” the vet technician said. She smiled, hands folded in front of her, as I slid my little carrot-kitten onto the scale.
“Two pounds! That’s great. Not too big for her age, but good.”
I sighed. “Yay! Good job, little girl,” I said, stroking Sunny’s cheeks.
The vet tech gave Sunny her next vaccine, and the doctor came in shortly after to do the check-up.
“Oh, I lovvvve orange tabbies,” the vet said as she too Sunny’s face in her hand. She peered into Sunny’s mouth, checking her teeth. “I have one myself.”
“They’re so sweet,” chirped the technician, eyes squinting above a big smile.
“It’s quite unusual,” the vet continued, gazing into Sunny’s ears, “to see a female orange tabby–“
The vet technician cut in. “Oh yes. We rarely see those!”
I smiled as the vet began gently pressing on Sunny’s stomach.
“I’m really glad I found her,” I say, running my finger over the ‘M’ between her eyes.
“Oh, I’m sure,” the vet tech continued. “My sister had one once, and she–“
The vet interrupted, lifting up her face from behind Sunny’s tail. “Sunny’s definitely a boy!” she exclaimed.
“No…,” the vet tech gasped.
My eyes widened as I gazed at my little kitten and tried to grasp what I’d just been told.
A boy? But the lady I adopted her from said she was a girl! She had had TWO female orange tabbies in the litter! (Which now seems very suspicious…) Aw, I wanted a little girl around so bad… Should I even keep her?–Him? Ughh, of COURSE I’m going to keep him. What am I thinking?!?
I looked at her little blue collar with the tiny gems on it, nestled against her orange fur. She’d been my little miss for weeks now! And now it felt like someone had switched my little miss with another cat.
How could my little Sunny girl be a he?
“Yep, see there? That’s the penis!” the vet exclaimed with a look of triumph. “And I definitely feel testicles in there, though one seems a bit stuck…”
“That’s so weird…,” I murmured, eyes glazing over, stroking my little cat while the technician took down some notes and the vet explained something about costs of neutering… I nodded along, not really paying attention.
“Boy or girl,” I said softly, tracing one of Sunny’s stripes, “I love him just the same.”
They quickly finished up with Sunny, and he spent the rest of the appointment exploring the exam room. I turned my attention to Milo, pulling him slowly out of the carrier and trying to avoid his sopping tail, which had apparently soaked up a little accident he made on the trip over. They weighed him (me: “six pounds?!? ONLY six??), gave him his next rabies shot, and cleaned him up.
Before I knew it, I was packing up my boys and paying at the front desk. I looked out the window and noticed that rain had begun to fall. After paying, I zipped up my coat and trudged my kitties through the cold drizzle and back to the apartment. Sunny popped out of the carrier as soon as he could and began playing while Milo ran around frantically, howling and pausing here and there to kiss the floor.
And now we’ve all settled down again. Milo is burrowed into the wooden plant tray by the window, napping (I moved the plants for him, obviously), and Sunny is squished right between the computer and the edge of the desk.
It’s probably awful to feel disappointed that Sunny’s actually a boy. It doesn’t make me love him any less–he’s still the sweetest, cutest thing ever, and I’m still so grateful to get to be his guardian. It’s just… different.
But I guess we’re going to have to take different and run with it.
So, officially, here are my two little guys: