Balancing sans Balls

By Rachel Birdsell
TFW Contributing Writer

This September, we got a call from one of our neighbors begging us to, “Please come and rescue this kitten under our porch.” So, the boyfriend went across the street and did his boyfriendly duties, which also include ridding the house of unwanted pests, exorcising the refrigerator of moldy food, opening jars and cleaning out the litter boxes. Basically, if it’s anything icky or something that requires more strength than I have, it falls on his duty list.

When the BF brought the kitty home, much to the chagrin of our two obese cats (lovingly referred to as the Bitch Sisters), the kitten immediately decided he adored every living creature in the house. I’ve never seen such an exuberant cat before. He still thinks that when the Bitch Sisters growl and hiss at him, it means they want to play. He is either just entirely too optimistic or he’s simply not right in the head.

We posted notices around thinking he was just lost, but no one ever came to claim him. After a couple of weeks, he became ours. We dubbed him Ichabod Edgar the Terrible. He lives up to this name.

This morning, the BF performed the icky task of taking Ichabod to the vet to get neutered. I felt a pang of guilt when they walked out the door. More for making him endure the BF’s driving than for the neutering.

The BF brought Ichabod home this afternoon, and he’s wobbling around like he’s a little drunk (Ichabod, not the BF). The BF had his own theory as to why Ichabod was unsteady.

The BF: He’s off-balance because his balls are gone. They’re what he used to balance with.
Me: What? No. That’s not right. His balls are not used as a counterbalance. He’s off-balance because he’s heavily medicated.
The BF: No. It’s because a dude’s balls are used to help him balance.
Me: No they aren’t! Why do men feel the need to think that their balls are SO BIG that they actually help balance their entire body?
The BF: Well, a guy gets used to having them. If I lost mine, I’d be off-balance.
Me: You’re wrong, but we could test your theory.

This effectively ended that argument, with me being the clear winner.

The kitten is recovering nicely, even though it looks like the vet replaced his testicles with a slightly moldy prune. He keeps pretending like he’s only exposing his wounds so he can lick himself, but I know it’s really because he’s trying to make me feel even guiltier for what happened to him today. He knows something significant has happened, but I don’t think the full magnitude of this event has hit him, yet.

I’m not sure what changes his loss will bring about. I’m assuming he’ll be more docile. A little less energy would be nice. While I hope he doesn’t lose all of his playfulness, I hope his need to pounce on every available surface in the house at 3 in the morning will be somewhat abated. It would also be great if he never felt the need to pee on the wall or to dry hump the other cats. Or my leg. Or guests’ legs. Scratch that. That would depend on the guest, actually.

As I write this, he’s sitting on my lap purring, so either he’s forgiven me or the pain medicine hasn’t worn off yet. I’m going to assume by the way his left eye is twitching and his head is bobbing, that it’s probably the pain meds. In any case, I love the little guy even when he’s a terrible pain in the ass because he’s a cute pain, and he’s my pain. I hope one day you’ll be lucky enough to find your own little pain in the ass, too.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer, artist and semi-professional cat wrangler. Feel free to drop her a note at

Categories: Commentary