That hoopla you're hearing is Alex running around outside, yelling "freedom!" in meow language. Yes indeed, he got his stitches out yesterday. Everything's healed up well, or so it appears. He yowled all the way to the vet's office, but then was patient and cooperative when they took out all those itchy stitches and scabs from the side of his head. I told them he'd gotten kind of stinky (he of the fastidious cleaning habits!) because every time I took off the cone to let him tidy up, he'd start to mess with his ear and I would have to put the cone back on.... He wasn't bad, or filthy, he just wasn't as pristine as he prefers. So then they took a q-tip to his ears and he got a very contented look on his face like "oh, yes - right there..." as they cleaned out his ears for him.
I did ask if there were any rules at this point. "Well, don't let him get in the water," they said - apparently it's the instruction they give to dog owners - and we all laughed at the image of me putting him in the car and running him down to the lake just to try to throw him in. Guess who will end up with stitches if I try to do that!
Then we came home, and I opened the car door, and he leapt out, coneless, and looked at me like, "you're going to allow this?" Yep. You are free, I said.
It didn't take long for his nemesis Venom to come up and try to see how he was doing. I knew Venom was there without even looking because Alex crouched and growled in that low gutteral growl that he has when he's warning off enemies. This is what he looked like in that moment. Can you see how his fur is up on his back as he crouches forward?
I figured I wouldn't see Alex for days, now that he had his freedom back. But he stopped by the house after half an hour for a little snack, went back out, and bounced back and forth between the house and the outside for the next couple of hours. Then last night, he decided to cuddle up with me last night, even without that darn cone on his head. He's such a sweet guy. And a happy one. And one with freedom again.