Imagine you brought your sweet little kitten home, gave her a girly name, bought her princess bowls and pink collars, made her a social media account — and then, weeks later, found out your little she was a he. How would you break the news to the thousands of people now following your kitten on Instagram? That’s certainly a question for the hashtag age, and one my friend Tyler had to consider when his beloved Mia turned out to be Mr. Mia.
"[The vet] called and said ‘Ms. Mia is a Mr.’ She was a little embarrassed, because she had seen Mia once before and did not catch it at that time," explains Tyler.
It’s really not uncommon at all for mistakes to be made when vets and pet parents are trying to establish the sex of a kitten, as the genital areas look pretty similar — but it still wasn’t the phone call Mia’s poppa was expecting.
"Honestly, she was just caught up in what a ridiculously adorable kitten he was — and he was so adorable. We cannot blame her and we weren’t mad or disappointed or anything."
While they took it well, both Tyler and his girlfriend Mel were dumbfounded by the news.
"We flipped him over a few times to recheck his parts — although I’m not sure what we were checking for since we clearly had no idea what we were looking at. After the initial shock wore off I was just like, ‘OK, you’re Poppa’s special boy now, not girl.’ I did what any poppa would — continued loving him wholeheartedly regardless of what he was."
Mia’s Instagram followers also continued to profess love for the photogenic four month old, a registered seal point Exotic Shorthair.
"I was afraid he would lose followers, or that people would not like him as much anymore, but it had the opposite effect," says Tyler. "Some of his followers even suggested we make the day we found out like a holiday for Mr. Mia. I thought that was amazing."
Mia’s pet parents never considered changing his name, not even for a second. They say the name suits him, and finding the right moniker for this handsome little kitty was no easy task.
"We had been trying every name and nothing seemed right. It had to be just perfect for my (we thought at the time) special girl. Bianca, Penelope, Cloud, Chloe … finally I said ‘Mia’ and it seemed so perfect. We asked him if that was his name and he let out the loudest, longest, cutest meow we had ever heard from him. At that point and it was settled. This was Mia."
A long-time admirer of Internet-famous exotics like the totally memeable Snoopy Baby, Tyler is still in awe of his little kitten, even though he’s not so little anymore.
"Sometimes it is still surreal to me that Mr. Mia is my special boy. I promise, it’s impossible not to smile when he’s in the room."
Have you ever made a mistake establishing the sex of your kitten? Would you change the name if you’d picked something especially girly or masculine? Tell us in the comments!
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About the author: Heather Marcoux is Ghost Cat’s mom. She is also a wife, writer and former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts GIFs of her cat on Google +.