Saturday, 20 June 2015

Best Laid Plans of Mice & Transitions

It seemed a reasonable idea.  Bit-ler (Butler-in-Transition) would do the handover of our old house as male, start in our new house as female.  There’d be a slight bleed through of maleness in the new house, but once two women were living there full time, the unnamed man would exit stage left.

Gargoyle Possum
We hadn’t factored in Gargoyle Possum.

A geriatric stray cat we naively rescued, blind in one eye, hair like a worn horse blanket.  He met our kindness with claws and teeth, a copious bladder flow & rampant sexual acts despite being neutered.  His propensity for vomiting on the table got him a trip to the vet who diagnosed a brain tumour.  Prognosis, eighteen months.  We were heartlessly relieved.
Like many stories of this sort, everyone adjusted, including the Gargoyle.  Once he stopped using us for blood-sport, he showed himself playful & incredibly intelligent, uniquely Possumy.  Cat piss & table vomit grew routine.  His eighteen months came & went.  He continued his nightly hump of the duvet. 

Garegoyle's favourite sleeping spot.
A few days before the move, he started that quiet withdrawal of a dying animal.  Though we’d taken him into our tribe as well as our house, we’d known from the beginning where he was headed.  Our reaction wasn’t coordinated or planned, but in the middle of digging up plants and packing boxes & taking down beds, we each sat with him, keeping the distance he requested, giving the witness he deserved.

I was 50 minutes away at the old house when it happened.  Bit-ler was inside the new house, at the mercy of agents documenting the number of nails in the walls.  El Punko & his equally old cat, the Toothless Wonder, were outside with the Gargoyle on the new front lawn, movers grunting past as if life never ended.    

Gargoyle opening his fan mail.
Gargoyle’s final grand mal seizure was a savage farewell to El Punko, but Gargoyle never minced around.  And though he was gone, his lungs kept breathing, his heart kept beating. 

We needed a vet.  

No phone reception.  No internet.  Bit-ler went to a neighbour for help.  

Gargoyle left us via lethal injection.  His legacy, outing the Bit-ler. 

The helpful neighbours have made several overtures to us, always when the Bit-ler is somewhere else.  And they always refer to the Bit-ler as male.  El Punko & I struggle to stay gender neutral.  Bit-ler laughs at our stories.
Life doesn't bend to best laid plans.  We’re left flying by the seat of our pants, no idea how our arrival as the local trans-family will be received.  At the moment, not caring.  It cost the Bit-ler too much to get here.  A few begrudgers won’t stop us.  And the thing about this transition business is, it surprises you, where your allies turn up.

Gargoyle Possum at play.
Thank you, Gargoyle Possum, for living long enough to teach us that.  Best of luck to you in your new humping grounds.


  1. I'm not religious, but this does call to mind the saying that humans plan and god laughs.

  2. I suspect we're the resident comic relief for whomever's in charge.