Transexuality in cats

Ollie, our four month old male, is making a determined effort to nurse Brewsky, our five year old male. I don’t know how Brewsky can bear it since Ollie has teeth, but his only response is to descend into what looks very much like a coma while Ollie slurps and pumps for all he’s worth. As a strong and confident heterosexual male, my gender identity is naturally dependent upon the behavior of my neutered pets, so I find this sort of thing extremely disturbing.

Nurse Peggy speculated that if Ollie nurses long enough, Brewsky might actually produce milk. I asked her if she would taste it, and she said she would, so I found this equally disturbing because it can only mean that she considers cats more erotic than men, although I must confess that I too wonder how cat milk tastes, and whether male cat milk tastes different from female cat milk. I just know that I would have to sample it in the afternoon (I’m nauseous in the mornings), especially if it was male cat milk, and even then, I would worry that I might like it so much that I would end up with a houseful of lactating cats and a refrigerator full of cat-milk cheese.

Ollie is also starting to look a little cross-eyed, and, combined with his insistence on nursing Brewsky, this probably means that cross-eyed cats are transsexual. As many of you know, my father was transsexual (though not cross-eyed) so for Ollie to be this way too proves that the universe hates me.

One downside of cats is that you have to look at their assholes a lot because they’re forever turning their butts in your direction while hoisting their tails like fulsomely furry flagless flagpoles. Peggy and I have noted that Ollie has an outie asshole, and this too is hard to accept because it just looks wrong somehow, and probably means that he’s a transsexual. I thought about cutting the tendon in his tail so that I wouldn’t have to look at his ass, but Peggy said that, if he couldn’t raise his tail, he would probably poop on it.

I think Ollie looks like Ramses III, and Peggy’s friend, Ilse (who neither I nor Peggy had mentioned this to) also thinks he looks like a pharaoh. On top of his gender issues, the thought of having a dead pharaoh wandering about the house is about to push me over the edge because I never know but what Ollie might start looking more like Ramses and less like Ollie and end up with Ramses’ face and brain on Ollie’s body. Every morning, I look at him to see if he’s changed, but all I can tell for sure is that his legs are getting longer and his walk indecently wiggly, and this makes me worry that he’ll want pantyhose.

A Canadian university recently proved that domestic cats would eat their owners if they could get away with it, and this makes me wonder if it’s safe to sleep with Brewsky and Ollie since they could synchronize an attack in order to take out my eyes before I could wake-up.

Ollie and Brewsky are still having hellacious fights, although assaults would be more accurate. Tiny though he is, Ollie will sometimes attack Brewsky viciously, but all Brewsky does is to bathe him while he’s doing it. Yesterday, I watched Brewsky lick a paw, the nails of which were sunk into his nose, and I got to wondering if Brewsky is a sexual masochist. Still, if Ollie hurts him enough, Brewsky will meow (in pervert lingo, that’s what’s known as a “safe sign”), and this tells Ollie that he had better stop NOW if he doesn’t want to piss Brewsky off. Believe me, even I wouldn’t want to piss Brewsky off because he spends about an hour a day tossing cat litter all over the room for no reason that I can see other than to build muscles. The only thing that keeps Brewsky from hurting me as it is, is that I run away every time he walks in my direction, and he’s too lazy to jump onto my back and sink his teeth into my trachea, so he licks his butt instead. Even when Brewsky acts harmless, I can’t be sure but what he’s planning to kill me as a gift to his nymphet lover.

Brewsky also attacks Ollie, but Ollie’s response is decidedly un-sangfroid. In fact he screams like a little girl who’s being hacked to death by a motorcycle gang of hairy-chested priests, and this makes me wonder if he too is a sexual masochist. Peggy thinks we should stop these attacks, but I’m adamantly opposed to it, partly because I’m afraid of Brewsky, but also because I need to trust that Brewsky is being a good father to his adopted son. Of course, would a good father let his son nurse, bite his ears, and claw his nose? I don’t know whether to take my boys to a shrink or buy them Barbie Dolls. In the old days, the choice would have been clear, but now that everyone who’s not a white, heterosexual male is considered normal, the shrink might say that I’m the one who needs a shrink, and I’m too overwrought to listen to such foolishness.

My only other options are to either return Ollie to the adoption agency or pack-up and leave home. I waited so long that if I do the first, they won’t give me my money back, plus I’ve spent $200 treating the little shit’s diarrhea. Leaving home isn’t a great option either because I would have to buy a new place, and because people would laugh at me for letting myself be run out of my home by two cats that are considered emotionally healthy by the Cat Sexuality and Gender Identity Division of the American Psychological Association

I saw a news story about a black man who tried to have his pitbull put to death because he thought the dog was gay ( He said he wanted a bad-ass dog that would protect him family, but what he got was a fag-ass piece of shit who only cared about making love to attackers. The whole country laughed at him, and only now do I understand what the poor man must have suffered.

On a lighter note, here’s a video that was made when Smokie (our foster cat) was here. It’s the first personal video that I’ve ever posted. Be sure your sound is up so you won’t miss our talk and Ollie’s purring, and that you watch the whole thing so as not to miss the hissing at the end.

Nobody who is somebody looks down on anybody. -Margaret Deland

Margaret Deland, 1857-1945
Her mother died in childbirth, her father two days later. She aroused controversy through poems, short stories, and novels. Her book, John Ward, Preacher, was a best-seller about the philosophical clashes between a Calvinist minister and his Episcopalian wife. Deland married Harvard football coach Lorin Deland, and shared her home with dozens of unwed mothers.

The universe eludes me. It appears to be where I am not and I am where it is not. In 1989, a friend said he envied me my self-knowledge. I assumed that he referred to my grasp of values, self-history, and goals, but values change; memories change; and I no longer have goals.

Over the last few years, I have increasingly sought escape in English and American literature, focusing more or less on the period from 1875 to 1925, because it represented an era that I imagined happier and more natural. My escape proved a mirage when I realized that my favorite writers of the era not only struggled with “modern” issues but approached them with greater depth and insight than today’s writers. I had imagined that the endless ease with which authors can now edit would have improved literature, but the reverse is true. Perhaps this is because education was formerly focused on history, literature, language, and philosophy, fields that promote depth. I also suspect that our “electronic devices” have tended us toward shallowness by becoming the intellectual equivalent of fast food. Whatever the reason, modern writers are challenged to use good grammar.

After reading many of the works of Theodore Dreiser, Frank Norris, Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Samuel Butler, Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Jack London, Willa Cather, and others, I recently had the good fortune to discover, for $2.49, a first edition copy of John Ward, Preacher in a St. Vincent dePaul store. I hadn’t so much as heard of the author but her writings quickly became the shrine before which I worship, and her books the only books I ever kissed each night before going to sleep. In John Ward, Preacher, Deland examined the deeply-loving marriage between a nominal Episcopalian who doubted God’s existence and her fundamentalist husband who became obsessed by the fear that his wife was going to hell. I was raised a fundamentalist but became an atheist, and through the couples arguments I saw myself.

My next reading was her 65-page story Where Ignorance Is Bliss, 'Tis Folly To Be Wise. The story opens with a soon to be married couple—the man an Episcopal priest—enjoying a woodland outing on a sunny day. The story progressed to the man’s memory of having forged a check 23-years earlier, a crime that no one knew about—and that no one would ever know about unless he told them. He pondered whether morality required that he confess his sin to his fiancée, and for perhaps forty pages, he debated the decision from every conceivable angle before finally telling her two days before their wedding. She broke off their engagement—by letter—within hours. Months later, two friends who knew what he had done also examined the pros and cons of his decision. They concluded that the choice between telling and not telling had been a moral necessity, but they couldn’t agree on which was right. So it is that Deland’s writings commonly concern painful decisions that pit apparent self-interest against social, physical, and economic ruin. 

What we now have in place of depth, morality, and thoughtful religion, is political correctness on the one hand and religious reactionism on the other. Both are antithetical to freedom and intelligence, so it’s no wonder that our era is characterized by slanders and Tweet-length repartee. Surely, you can see why I have abandoned my era in favor of another. In truth, I don’t care too terribly much about Syrian refugees; I can do nothing about Global Warming; and I think of our Middle Eastern Wars as the disturbed obsession of callous politicians whose interests lie anywhere but their own country. Fourteen years of turning on the radio and, in the first sentence, hearing such terms as: suicide bombing, Taliban, Islamic State, school shooting, government shutdown, racial tension, Gaza Strip, government atrocities, sectarian conflict, Civil War, chemical weapons, roadside bomb, WMDs, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestinian conflict, fighting erupted, weather event, police shooting, unarmed black man, or other phrases that make me feel both angry and hopeless have worn me down until I no longer care. 

I remind myself that I am more old than young, and I ask myself whether this is what I want to listen to for the rest of my life because, truly, I see no reason to hope for better. Almost nothing that is on the news concerns things that I can remedy—which is probably why it’s on the news. Whatever happened to the welfare of America? Except for school shootings and an endless stream of killings by so-called racist cops, are any of our problems solved by this obsession with the Middle East, a region that we have only made worse after spending a trillion dollars and leaving millions of people maimed, killed, or displaced?

No, give me Victorian times. They call to me, not because they’re easy, but because they’re hard, yet I find a kinship there that I don’t find today. The last two friends who came to my house talked on their cell phones in my presence, and I thought, why are you here? If you had rather be with someone else, then go to them with my blessing, and call me when you get there so I can have the attention that you’re now giving to them. Why insult me by making me listen to a one-sided conversation? Am I really so unimportant to you? Such events have led me to write people out of my life until there are very few left.

I reject my era. I reject our personal devices; our warmongering in the name of peace; our “special nation status”; our endless threats of a government shutdown; our 18-month long presidential campaigns; the daily slanderings and lies of psychopathic politicians who pretend to be statesmen; but most of all, I despise our shallowness. I think that the only things we’ll be remembered for are violence, flag-waving, political correctness, and asininity, and so it is that I profoundly don’t care about us. As long as the economy doesn’t crash, my Social Security check arrives on time, and Medicare stays solvent for the remainder of my lifetime, I’ll content myself with the knowledge that this is the most I can expect from a sick, shallow, and silly nation that I am powerless to influence. Like the man in Simon and Garfunkels I am a Rock,I  have my books and poetry to protect me, only they don’t protect me any better than they did him, they instead take me deep within myself through the words of people with whom I can have no knowledge other than sentiments frozen on a page. It is to this end that I’m buying every first edition of Margaret Deland’s books I can find. Fortunately they’re cheap because the mass of Americans are only interested in the day’s celebrity. I frankly find Deland’s words, “Nobody who is somebody looks down on anybody,” an impossible row to hoe, but I’ll keep reading.

My three boys

Ollie, vanquisher of monsters
Peggy hated cats and, atheist though she is, would awaken screaming from dreams in which screeching Satanic felines were breaking into our house. When our schnauzer, Baxter, died in 2010, Peggy surprised me by suggesting that we go to an animal shelter the very next day to get a dog—after our first schnauzer died, Peggy grieved for years before she was ready for another dog. When we found no dogs we liked, we visited the cattery and Peggy fell in love with the first kitten we saw. We named him Brewsky, and he is now five. I never felt as close to him as I had to various dogs, but I enjoyed him enough that I thought it would be fun to get a second cat. Peggy argued against this for two reasons. The first was that it would mean less attention for Brewsky, and the second was that we both doubted that Brewsky would accept a second cat.

Smokie, licker of glass
In mid October, a friend died, and we temporarily cared for his two year old Persian, Smokie. I read that the best way to introduce a new cat to a resident cat is to keep them completely separate for a week, so that was what I attempted, but it made both cats miserable. After three days, I put Smokie in the laundry room behind a baby gate so that he and Brewsky could at least see one another. Brewsky’s response was to hiss (at least during those brief periods that he came out from under the couch) and Smokie’s to yowl. Given how bad things were going, I questioned the wisdom of keeping them apart to any extent, so I removed the baby gate, and within two days, they were taking naps together. I immediately turned up the pressure on Peggy to get a second cat.

She demurred but her resistance had been weakened by how well Brewsky accepted Smokie, so when we were walking around the mall two Sundays ago and came upon a new Petco store, we went inside, and lo and behold, they had rescue cats. We singled out three with whom we played for over two hours before settling on a gray kitten named Detroit Tony (so named because he and his littermates had been dumped on the side of the Detroit Lakes Highway). I would have taken him home then, but Peggy said she first wanted to visit the cattery where we got Brewsky, and it was too late to go that day. When we didn’t find a cat we liked the next day, we raced across town to Petco in the hope that Detroit Tony was still there. He was, but not by much because one application had just been rejected.

Brewsky, scrubber of tails
When we got Tony—who we renamed Ollie—home, we ignored the book recommendation about isolating him for a week, and instead plopped him down between Brewsky and Smokie and waited to see what would happen. The 2.8 pound Ollie immediately astonished us and our 16.5 pound Brewsky by walking right up to him and smelling his nose. Peggy and I held our breaths while Brewsky decided whether to open his heart or his fangs. There soon followed a regular smell fest with the two cats sniffing one another from bow to stern. When they were done, Ollie and Smokie went through a similar getting-to-know-you routine, after which the three of them played chase. By Tuesday, Brewsky was bathing Ollie like a mother and the two of them were sleeping together, often with Ollie cradled between Brewsky’s legs. (Ollie looks much bigger, and Brewsky much smaller, in the photos than in real life.)

I have become more bonded with Brewsky in the past few weeks—since first Smokie and then Ollie moved in—than in the past few years, the reason being that introducing other cats into the household has opened his heart to a depth I never knew he possessed. For instance, after he got tired of hiding under the sofa following Smokie’s arrival, he turned to me for reassurance, and his usual Stoic demeanor gave way to a touching vulnerability. I am only troubled by two things. One is that I can’t discipline Ollie without upsetting Brewsky, which means that I have to go to where Ollie is misbehaving and quietly redirect his behavior even if he’s on the other side of the room clawing the upholstery. The second thing is that Brewsky can’t discipline Ollie without upsetting me. He will occasionally pin Ollie between his legs and nip him repeatedly, causing Ollie to cry like he’s being murdered. Sometimes, I can connect Brewsky’s actions to something Ollie did, but other times, it just looks like a display of dominance. Whatever is going on, I don’t think it would be right to interfere.

Abused cats forced to sleep on minuscule bed

My only sad news is that Smokie moved to his new home in Portland on Saturday. I so wanted to keep him that I had fantasies about the two of us fleeing to Idaho. As it was I could but write a letter to his new family asking that they let me have him back if things don’t work out.

Smokie’s breed is an example of human beings taking a superb product of nature and genetically altering it in ways that are a detriment to its health and abilities. In the case of Persians, the goal was to create a long-haired cat that would look kittenish its whole life long. As a result, Persians can’t bathe adequately; they have weak jaws; they can’t survive in the wild; and they’re prone to a score of  afflictions. Yet, it’s also true that they’re among the most gentle, mellow, and affectionate, of cats, and I’ll never forget the gift of knowing Smokie. The fact that Smokie can’t fly is proof that angels lack wings.