Today, I shall be being indelicate. Click elsewhere if you are faint-hearted.
Cojones (s. cojón [koˈxon]) : here in England, it sounds so much better than the world ‘balls’. It is not quite the curse it is in Spanish; when you hear it here - usually after a few pints – it denotes great masculine courage. It derives, prosaically, from the word coleonem, a Roman word for testicles which in turn is derived from cōleus: aleather bag for liquids.
I never owned a cat as a child. My dog would not have countenanced it. My first cat was a girl, albeit a tortoiseshell who was held together with rage for 18 long years and then, as some of you will recall, I got a black cat.
Any photographer will tell you that black cats are just a black blob. It is notoriously difficult to photograph a black cat because it’s all one to them. Detail is swallowed up by the black and your only hope of getting definition is to get the gleam of daylight on that glossy black coat. Clive’s cojones were artlessly camouflaged.
So it has taken until now, when I am in my mid 40s, to be frankly astounded by the size of a cat’s cojones.
My pretty siamese-ginger longshanks of a kitten is growing fast. He has not yet grown into his ears, which are huge. And with the frank astonishment born of a convent school education, I must own he also has momentous cojones.
“Do all cats have those?” I asked ingenuously of my husband. He nodded sagely.
“But why didn’t we notice them with Clive Bond?”
“He was black.”
We both contemplate the tiny lithe streak of ginger trying the feather-down-duvet for nest-worthiness. He’s still little, but it won’t be long before he hears the call of the wild and begins to seek out practical uses for his cojones.
We have an appointment. Of course we do. The days of Monty’s cojones are numbered, if only because we wish to spare his sister. In a few weeks, he will trundle off to the vets for a pre-op appointment with Frankie, our friendly neighbourhood cojones-remover.
But for a short time at least, Monty will appear the most courageous and masculine cat for – well – positively miles around.
In the mean time, I have supplemented my sparse education on the subject with this: