My Transgender Cat, Rodeo

Rodeo is my boy cat that needs to become a girl.   His body is literally rejecting his male form.   This is not a joke.  The full story is below, but basically, he suffers from Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).   The cure?  A sex change.   My poor little transgender cat needs a simple procedure that costs around $700 at PetAID, or $7000 at a regular Emergency Vet.    So we’re starting up a little fund to keep my very special Transgender cat feeling like he’s just a normal girl and away from the bright light.  If we raise enough, Rodeo can get his surgery, and the rest will go to this amazing facility in Denver, PetAID, and similar procedures for future kitties.   They’ve been patient and loving through this whole ordeal and most importantly, affordable.  Insurance won’t cover it.

Please view the donation site here:

My Transgender Cat

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When I first got Rodeo he fit into the palm of my hand.  Being a person that can’t resist reaching out to passing dogs or kissing stranger’s puppies, I never put him down.   He came with me everywhere that he was allowed (and wasn’t allowed). Now, he does tricks… plays fetch, turns on faucets, lets me carry him in plastic bags and empty refrigerator boxes of soda,  and  boost him so that he can catch bugs that are out of his reach.  I’ll hold his butt above my head so that he can smack moths.   I am a real life ‘Elmira’, and Rodeo adapted.

He has been my sidekick all over the country since 2004.  He’s the only pet I’ve ever had as my own, and the only roommate that I’ve been able to keep.   He’s seen me through all of my broken hearts, even if he caused it by humping my boyfriend’s arms.    He’s gotten me evicted, and ruined friendships.   He’s now witnessed almost a year of sobriety, which can be extremely lonely and difficult, and he’s there, standing on my head when I’m feeling bummed.  He’s weird.  I love him.

Lately, I’ve been traveling a lot, and sometimes have to leave him for 4 or 5 days in a row.   I’ve had friends checking in or having him at their house, I’ve set up Skype so that I can say “hi” to him when I’m out of town for work.    But, apparently, separation anxiety can cause stress in cats.

Two weeks ago, after a 3 day trip to LA, I came home to a very sick cat.  In tears, I rushed him to the Emergency Vet where they told me that he was “blocked”.   Rodeo was suffering from a Urinary Tract Obstruction, or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease(FLUTD).   Apparently it’s common in male cats to develop crystals in their urinary tract because of the shape of the urethra.  It’s in the shape of an “S”, and can cause build up of crystals that eventually lead to blockage, and then complete renal failure.      This can be prevented by feeding male cats different food… one would think that I have heard of this before.

Distended Bladder

A bladder in a cat after it’s been blocked by a urinary obstruction.

Luckily, he was there early after spotting symptoms.  Very unluckily, it happened on a Sunday.   The procedure that would unblock my cat was going to be $3000 at the Emergency Vet.  I was going to have to put him down.     They instead gave me a second option, where the Vet drained the urine from his bladder, and then I took him to PetAID, a low cost vet the next day.   It was the worst night of Rodeo’s life… except for the first night he spent with Pearl, the American Bulldog.

When they unblocked him at PetAID, they had him for 3 days.  They fit the cats with a catheter and then pump him full of fluid to push out all of the crystals.   Even after he was released, I had to follow him to the litter box for weeks to make sure that everything was coming out okay… just like my mom used to do to me.  He seemed fine with a change of food and a new water fountain.  The key is special prescription food and lots of hydration to keeping him on track.

On Easter Sunday, I woke up again to a very sick Rodeo, again.   I took him to the Emergency Vet, where they did what they could for about the same price as the full procedure from PetAID and advised me that Rodeo is probably going to need to become a girl.  I’ve spent another week following him to the litter box, have put him strictly on wet food, and desperately need some sleep and for the poor little guy to feel better.

The fix?  They basically just redirect the urinary tract.  Female cats have a shorter urethra than males and are far less prone to blockages.   He’s still alive for now, but the wonderful doctors at PetAID feel that he’s going to block again at that time, will need to have a procedure done called “Perineal Urethrostomy”, which put simply, will make Rodeo a girl.

Solved. Fixed.  Rodeo is happy and healthy, and in need of a new name.

I will dress him in pink crystal studded collars, glitter and Glee and love him even more.

Poor guy. He needs your help…

Every little bit helps.  I love you.  Goodnight.

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One thought on “My Transgender Cat, Rodeo

  1. Pingback: The Pet Matchmaker » RODEO, MY “TRANSGENDER” CAT & ME, A TPM Original Blog

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