A Tom Cat Named Ginger (Or, Gender Confusion on the Ranch)

Back in August, Busy Toddler and Sports Girl bamboozled Handsome Hubby into adopting a kitten from their cousins. She was a sweet little orange kitten the cousins had already named Ginger.

Tom Cat Named Ginger

George (aka "Ginger") lounges while Busy Toddler starts the day watching cartoons.

Now, this kitty was born and bred as a “ranch” kitty, but that doesn’t mean anything at our house. It was well understood that this would become a house kitten, mostly because we do not have any outbuildings close by that would enable us to officially have “barn” cats. There’s also the issue of our male Welsh Corgi, Archie, who has already successfully chased off one cat, and then there’s the fact that my girls want their pets to be inside, so they can spend more time with the animals for their own personal comfort and convenience.

But I digress … back to the kitty.

A couple of weeks ago I took Ginger to the vet to be spayed. I opted not to pay extra to see if she might have any issues with the anesthesia, and I left my cell phone number with the receptionist in case of an emergency. A couple of hours later, I got what I thought was the dreaded emergency call from the vet clinic, but the lady sounded far too cheerful for there to have been any crisis.

“Ginger’s fine,” she said. “But Ginger’s a boy.”

That was one strange phone call. I didn’t laugh at the time, but I have gotten a good belly laugh out of the conversation since then and thinking about it even now makes me smile. Turns out both of Ginger’s male protrusions failed to protrude at all and were still up inside his abdomen. The worst part was that getting him neutered actually cost more than a normal spaying would have cost because the vet had to search and dig for the goods. Just my luck …

Before you think we’re all crazy, I should emphasize that even the vet tech that prepared poor Ginger for his eventual castration did not notice the gender mix-up until after the kitten was opened up on the operating table and things didn’t present as they should.

My oldest niece says she noticed Ginger was a boy before we picked him up. After examining dozens of litters of kittens, those lifelong teenage ranch girls don’t miss much. And she thought she told us – she probably did. We acquired this kitten right after the county fair, and who’s thinking straight after helping the girls finish dozens of craft, food and sewing exhibits, helping them prepare and show five sheep, and spending three relatively sleepless nights in a tent in the heat at the fairgrounds?!

Speaking of the fair, we had another funny gender issue come up there – this time with Sports Girl’s mini lop rabbit. She purchased the best overall mini lop doe from another 4-Her at our county fair last year specifically to breed with her buck. Well, we didn’t have any luck getting bunnies and for good reason. Turns out last year’s champion doe is actually a buck! Now, it can be tricky to tell the difference between male and female rabbits, especially when they are younger as this rabbit was last year, but still … more than one set of rabbit expert eyes looked at this critter and didn’t catch the mistake!

It’s really no big deal that Ginger is a boy. After all, he’s officially an “it” now. The hard part is convincing a 2-year-old that Ginger should now be called George. Heck, I’m having a hard enough time getting used to the idea myself. I find myself telling Busy Toddler something like, “Be nice. Ginger just had surgery and she has an owie on his tummy. Just scratch George’s head.”

Who wouldn’t be confused after that?