January 15, 2014 by CassieCravings
We took our kitten to be neutered but soon received a call from the nurse that it would not be possible since Simon was a lady.
I groaned. It wasn’t in the disappointment of my cat being a girl, but because I had to explain this to my 3 year-old.
Eli had just taken notice of the difference between boys and girls. His curiosity ignited questions several times a day: “‘Tan boysth make milks for ‘da babiesth?”, “Do girls sthand up to go potty?”, “Will I’s be a mama ors a daddy?” had all come up in conversation as of late. His reaction to the responses was a raised eyebrow and “Huh. Weiwrd.”
With all of might, I tried to conjure up possible questions he might ask, but my creativity was no match for my boy.
I picked him up for preschool, and we started our typical drive home. He chattered about treasures found on the playground, discoveries made at circle time and about the endless perils of sharing.
When he took a breath, I interjected.
“You know we took Simon to the doctor this morning?”
“Yesth. Let go get him now.”
“We will tomorrow. Simon is doing great and is resting nicely. Here’s the thing though. There was a misunderstanding. Simon is actually a girl.”
I glanced back in the rear-view mirror to see my boy with a furrowed brow. He sucked in his breath thoughtfully. I patiently and curiously awaited his reaction.
“I want to take Win’tin up to ‘da doctowr, so he cans be a giwrl.”
I stifled a giggle thinking of what 12 year-old, grumpy Winston the cat would have to say about such a thing.
“The doctor didn’t turn Simon into a girl,” I said carefully. “She’s always been a girl. We just didn’t know.”
“Well! I want Win’tin to be a giwrl too!” His arms crossed indignantly. His feet kicked in frustration so that his shoe lace loosened and flailed to emphasize the injustice of it all.
I thought for a moment. I didn’t have anything wise or really even helpful to say. So, instead I asked a question. “Can I take you to the doctor and turn you into a girl?”
“That ri’diclousth! I’s a boy.”
“Be’tause I is. I always a boy.”
“Simon was always a girl. We just didn’t know.”
The back seat grew quiet. All of the wiggling and chatter stopped, but soon he smiled slowly in understanding, “I’s bet Simon t’inks we were stho sthilly to calls her a boy.”
Simon the lady cat was picked up the next morning from the vet An “e” was added in different colored ink to her papers. We thought of calling her Simone or even Simona but decided Simon she would stay. She doesn’t seem to mind and is quite content being Simon the lady cat.