If you are a man, just turn away now, skip to another lovely blog and come back tomorrow when this one has moved down, trust me, you will be grateful for this advice.
Today it was time for our little Goat friend, Littlefoot, to part with his family jewels. Carla insisted he must have the chop before he could move to his new home, as his new room mate Rollo is also a buck and two bucks makes for much mayhem.
Willow was already castrated when he came to us, but Jo, his previous owner, gave me a full run down of the shocking proceedings, which involved no anaesthetic and a very evil looking clamp, she cried, I almost cried when she told me, and we don't even have balls!
Needless to say, having heard the gruesome details, I was NOT looking forward to subjecting poor Littlefoot to the dreaded chop.
It's funny how animals sense the impending doom. Every single time I have had a tom cat neutered they have gone missing on the morning of the op. Littlefoot seemed too, to have somehow telepathically picked up on the mornings promise of pain and misery, he ran back and forth across the lawn in a frenzy, huge balls swinging behind him, as though enjoying his last moments of life with full tackle.
The vet arrived bright and early, armed with a steel case. Despite the bright blue skies, today was bitterly cold, the grass was crunchy underfoot with a thick layer of sparkling white frost. The vet mumbled something about the conditions not being good, and just as I was about to scarper, lest I be witness, or worse still, a partner in this crime to this ghastly deed, the Vet asked me to grab Littlefoot by the horns and hold him still, my escape plan had been foiled before I had even turned my back.
To my absolute relief, Monsieur Vet pulled NOT a frightening clamp from his case, but a massive syringe, evidently pumped with a suitable anaesthetic. I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
A scuffle then ensued as Littlefoot decided he did not want to be held by the horns whilst this stranger hovered with a huge needle pointed at his neck. The vet made no attempt at helping me restrain him with the other hand, and kept waving the needle around, causing me to panic that I was going to be on the receiving end of a lethal dose of Animal meds, that would render me paralysed for god knows how long, then the paranoia took hold. What is this man wasn't even the vet? What if he was some evil criminal who was going to paralyse me then rape me and plunder my home? Where is the bloody clamp he is supposed to have? OMG OMG OMG!
Just as I was about to let out a piercing scream and run for my life, the mystery "is he a vet or not" plunged the syringe into Littlefoot's neck.
I would like to tell you that all paranoid delusions left me there, I mean, I CLEARLY saw the syringe go into Littlefoot's neck.... But Littlefoot wasn't looking sleepy, and my hand was feeling distinctly numb, HE MUST HAVE STABBED ME FIRST WHEN I WASN'T LOOKING! No, I really am just a foOoOOOl.
It was a good few minutes before Littlefoot crashed out. Voila, time for me to make my move back to the house, after all, the goat was out cold, there was no need for an extra pair of hands, au contraire....
It's funny, because when I was a child I wanted to be a vet, today I thank my lucky stars that I had the most horrendous, smelly, maggot eating fool as a Science teacher at school, god forbid I had actually enjoyed Science and been subjected to THIS as a career.
What followed, is really just quite unpleasant. My role as Veterinary Nurse involved me holding Littlefoot's legs akimbo and passing various tools, which were asked for in French. Of course I had no idea what the words for Scalpel, some kind of scissors etc were in French, and the Vet shook his head with obvious disdain and loudly proclaimed my ignorance to be VERY inconvenient as he man handled my goats balls with one hand and clumsily grabbed tools from his tray with the other. All the while, I tried to admire the sky, the tree's, anything but the bloody sight before me, whilst repeating quite abruptly every time my attention was required "Je n'aime pas!" I DON'T LIKE IT!
Willow, who was quite intrigued by all the action, pressed his face into Littlefoot's crotch at the most in-opportune moments.
The whole thing was quite barbaric, though thankfully, I'm sure, nothing as barbaric as what poor Willow must have endured.
There was a moment when Littlefoot seemed to stop breathing, he was quickly lifted to the goat house and rubbed vigorously by the vet before being buried up to his neck in a ton of hay, to keep him warm.
After paying the Vet, and waving him off, I popped back to the operating spot and found two large perfectly formed testicles placed on the stone table. How kind of the vet to leave those for me. What did he suppose I might do with them? Do the French make Pate out of those too?
I didn't want to put them in the bin, since the hounds will happily ransack it should there be any form of meat inside, so I tossed them over the fence, into the ditch, and quite forgot about them.
Later that afternoon, I saw our elderly (age 90) Neighbour strolling by, two balls in hand, he asked "Did Simon lose something?".
I suspect you will forgive me for not providing photos today.
Littlefoot is ok, if a little sore, and the balls, well, who knows, pate anyone?