It's only gone and happened again. I pop out for an evening in London and wham – the vet's snippers strike again. I meet Stacey for lunch at our beloved eaterie, Made By Bob in Cirencester. Lunch is friendly and happy – and then she hits me with the sucker punch.
"I'm going to pick up the kids from school. Can you pass by the vet's in Love Lane and pick up the cat?"
I ask why our cat, Dr Pepper, has had to visit the vet? "I got them to give him the snip. He's at the age." Stacey gave me a long, curious smile.
I drove to the vet's in consternation. This is the third male in our household to suffer from Stacey's obsession with removing testicles. Had I married a radical feminist in error? Did she harbour such a pathological hatred of the male genitalia that this was the only solution? And, most importantly, was I next?
In the vet's a female nurse brought Dr Pepper out to me. "Here he is. He's ever so friendly, purring away and rubbing up against me." The cat she was describing was most certainly not the pathologically unpleasant and selfish one we owned. I checked inside the cage and verified that it was indeed The Doctor.
"Are you saying he was friendly before the event or after?" I stared at the nurse in confusion. "Oh, after. It often happens that they become much more friendly after the operation." She smiled at me in the same way that Stacey had.
What the hell was going on? Had I stumbled on some global female plan to slowly neuter the lot of us to make us "more friendly"? I grabbed the cage off the nurse and was about to storm out in indignation but, first, I had to pay a large bill. The cunning bastards: they're doing it and we're paying.
I drove home. Every woman I passed seemed to have that weird smile on their faces. I got home before Stacey and rushed inside. Instinctively I locked the door behind me. The sad, hollow eyes of the two previous victims, my dogs Huxley and Oscar, greeted Dr P. Oscar approached him and gave him a rather sweet lick. Dr P, who would normally have given him a punch on the nose, did not resist but walked off rather unsteadily towards the kitchen. Not a word of complaint or anger.
I sat down and surveyed my harem of eunuchs. I turned on the television but couldn't concentrate. Then the sound of a car and women laughing – almost mocking.
The front door opened and my daughter Parker and Stacey came in. Behind them came my son Jackson. I grabbed him and we retreated up to my man room where we played video games and I gave him a warning about talking to me if Mum ever mentioned "going to the doctor's". He seemed confused.
Of course he was confused: he was being raised in a household of women and eunuchs. I left him in the man room and descended to the kitchen where Parker and Stacey were still laughing. Parker was cuddling Dr Pepper, who was limp in her arms. "Hi, Daddy. Look at Dr P. He's back from the vet and he's so friendly now."
Did she even know what had happened to the poor cat? Did she have any idea, or did Stacey just tell her that at a certain age males go off to the doctor who "makes them happy"? I wasn't going to start to explain the nuts and bolts of the procedure but I felt she should know. I started to say something but Stacey could see where I was going and stepped in.
"Why don't you go watch The Saddle Club?" Parker disappeared and we were alone – the snipper and I. She stared at me and I stared back.
"Dr Pepper's so friendly now," she smiled. I gulped. Help me.Reuse content