Wednesday, January 12, 2005

oscar's castration

Oscar has had his proud sacs of manhood removed by the infamous monosyllabic vet and is now an inanimate and incontinent sausage on our laps.
My first encounter with Nicolas was by phone when I tried to book an appointment at six months for them to be neutered. His answer was “Sept mois”. When I presented, as a way of practicing my French, the case of a friend’s kitten who got pregnant at four months by her brother, he simply put the phone down on me. I have since heard that he is the best vet in the area, and that he cures all the wild horses on the Ventoux, but that he rarely speaks.
On arrival this morning there was a gaggle of pet owners at the door; plump peasant ladies with their beloved Mi-mis and Dou-dous , a downy beautician and two cow piss yellow hunters. The conversation amongst us was aglow with respect for the man inside, and ranged from vaccinations against cat aids to contempt for the local Leclerc supermarket’s new car park design. When it came to be Oscar’s turn I entered the shrine and was overwhelmed with the smell of lavender, clove and citronella oils which are his main medicines. The vet himself seemed to be an animal in a man’s skin – quite a hunk if you like a bit o’ rough. He was gruff towards me, but swift and almost tender towards Oscar as he put him to sleep and snipped out his little sperm making factories. He said two words to me: “Castrer” and “Vingt Quatre euros”.
Nicolas is just about to leave for his annual holiday, which, I imagine will see him in the wild corners of the mountains living off thyme and snow and growing a long icicle encrusted beard….


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