Helen, reading the pitch for the next book to a fascinated Aeneas, who has gender issues of his own.
When we first got the boys, we were told they were a brother and a sister. I never bothered to check. As good cat parents, we took them to the vet for their shots, where I asked about when we should have them neutered. “I don’t want any kittens on my hands.”
The vet looked at me as if she didn’t know quite what to think.
“They can’t have kittens,” she said.
“No? I thought them being siblings wouldn’t prevent that,” I added.
Finally it dawned on her: “They’re both boys – I guess that explains why this one’s named Aenea.”
Not only did it turn out Aenea was in fact Aeneas, but he was the more sexually mature of them, and could have started spraying at any moment. In a few short days, he went from female to male to eunuch (but he’ll always be a princess to me).
The founder of Rome never had such problems, I’m sure of it, though Dido sure came close to castrating him.