Does whatever a spider cat does

There comes a time in everybody's life when it is desirable to make your cat radioactive.

For many, it is a feeling that a remake of the 'spiderman' movies could be a real hit with one obvious improvement. For others, it stems from a dream to get even with the neighbour's newspaper-chewing dog. For one of my friends, the source was his cat developing an over-active thyroid.

Ramses --known as 'Sir Ramses' by the people who cared for him over Christmas and 'pussy' by his family's newest addition-- had developed hyperthyrodism; a condition caused by tumours (not necessary malignant) on the thyroid gland which leads to an overproduction of hormone. To emphasise his displeasure at this condition, Ramses underlined the inconvenience by having an allergic reaction to every medication designed to treat the problem and ended up in the veterinary hospital. The suggested solution was a dose of radioactive iodine which is absorbed by the thyroid and kills off the excess cells. It only needs to be performed once for a permanent cure. 

There is no mention in the veterinary guidelines of a treated cat morphing into a immensely powerful super villain but, hey, I was optimistic. Especially since said cat was not living in my house. (Though if he appeared at the door, my Tallis could totally take him -- it's what she's been preparing for all these years.)

The 'make your own glow in the dark cat' procedure took place at a hospital 90 minutes drive away. Sick people went in the front, cats were wheeled on a trolley through the back. The nurse who appeared to collect Ramses eyed my car with disapproval.

"When you collect your cat, you shouldn't bring the baby," she informed us, nodding at my smallest passenger who had come along to say goodbye to 'pussy'. "He'll still have quite a high radiation count and that is a very confined space."

Woman, size isn't everything! I covered my car's wing mirrors so it could not hear such comments.

Iodine has a half-life of eight days. Since Ramses ended up staying at the hospital two weeks, he was down to roughly a quarter of his original radiation level by the time we collected him in a baby-free car. Had he been human, there would have been no further guidelines concerning his health. As a cat, however, there was a list of rules that included storing his kitty litter for a further week. Apparently, the radiation levels were still high enough to trigger the alarms at the rubbish dump.

It was after dropping the cat off at the hospital that we all visited the large cats at Killman Zoo. It's good to be prepared.