Microchips and Hermaphrodites

Last (whatever day it was) was crazy, but the craziest case happened at the end of the day.

An Eastern European man, new client, brought in a cat. The cat was big, orange, and presumably male.  It was covered in fleas (what else is new). My boss noticed that the man had written female on the information sheet. Naturally, he commented on this, since orange female cats are rare. But, the cat had the long anogenital* distance typical of males.

"What makes you think she is a female?"

"Vell, she acts like a female."

My boss scratches her tail base and she sticks her butt in the air.

"See? Just like that. That must be a female thing to do."

"Not necessarily. Some cats just like their butts scratched."

"Oh really?"

The owner had found the cat approximately 8 years ago, and had never had it spayed or neutered.

He came back and told me about the conversation, and said the cat had a prepuce but he couldn't exteriorize a penis. He said, "Maybe its a hermaphrodite!"

See, I'm not the only weirdo in town. Other people think crazy like that too.

The owner took flea control but declined all vaccines. As the receptionist was getting ready to check him out, my boss reminded her to scan the cat for a microchip.

"The guy said he doesn't have a chip, but okay."

She came back from the room and guess what? The cat was chipped. Of course.

We called the microchip company and got the name of the registered owner. It wasn't the current man.

While we were explaining that the cat had an owner somewhere, the phone rang. It was the cat's previous owner! The microchip company had called the number on file and gave the owner our phone number.

She called and said the cat had disappeared about 8 years ago, asked if we were going to euthanize him. My boss said no, the current owner loves it. (Loves it, but never took it to a vet or updated its vaccines. Hmm). The previous owner was glad to know someone was taking care of her cat and didn't want him returned. She agreed to call the microchip company to allow his owner information to be changed.

Also, before they hung up, the previous owner confirmed the cat was male and had been neutered.

We spent the rest of the week posing this question to everyone: What if you were the one who lost the cat? Would you want it back?

All identifying details have been changed, and any resemblance to actual persons or events is entirely coincidental. 

*Distance between the anus and genitalia.


  1. Yes! I would want my cat back, no matter how many years she was gone!


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