Darwin Animal Doctors


Luna, the cat that was not such a regular cat…

Life in a veterinary clinic is always interesting, with different cases coming across your surgery table every day. Some stories, however, are just that bit more interesting than the rest. This is one of those such stories.

On one Thursday morning in the Darwin Animal Doctors clinic on the Galapagos Islands, Luna, a male cat was brought in for a routine sterilization surgery. The usual process was followed; the cat was put in a holding box, the owners signed a consent form for the surgery and the cat was brought in to wait his turn. During the pre-sedation examination, the vets discovered that the male cat did not have testicles. Some cats in the Galapagos (and other locations) are neutered without tattooing or  documentation so it was possible that Luna may already have been sterilized. It was, however, also possible that Luna was a cryptorchid. (Cryptorchidism refers to the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum.) So, the question became; was Luna a cryptorchid or just previously neutered? As Luna had started to become quite aggressive, the vets developed a plan; to have Luna return to be examined under sedation to determine if he was a cryptorchid or neutered.


So, on Monday morning, Luna returned for the investigation… But the results were stranger than the vets had thought… Upon sedation, it was discovered that Luna not only lacked testicles, but also did not have male genitalia. Luna was also not a female. S/he had a deformed type of genitalia and was likely a form of hermaphrodite; i.e. s/he was neither male nor female. Even stranger, Luna had very masculine features; a big head, long feet, and was quite a large cat! Unfortunately, without ultrasound, the only way to examine Luna further would be through surgery. As Luna was not threat to carry or father kittens, the vets decided to spare Luna the surgery. Thankfully, Luna’s mother thought it quite hilarious that her macho cat was a little more interesting than expected…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *