Sunday, July 29, 2007

I want to talk about declawing

I'm declawed. My brother and I were declawed at a pretty early age. I really can't remember what it was like to have claws. I'm sure they were handy, though (if you'll forgive the pun).

I'm grateful that I don't remember it. I don't mind if people touch my paws. I don't really have any residual pain from them. But they look awful! Do you know what they do when they declaw a cat? A lot of people think it's like removing a fingernail or something, but it's much more involved. It's really an amputation.

Gruesome details follow, scroll past if you're squeamish.

First they knocked my ass out. Damned good thing, too. Then they sliced open the pad of each digit and removed the first knuckle on each one. See, our nails are actually attached to the last bone in our paws. In order to remove the claws, you have to remove the whole bone! Gruesome, no? Thank Bast for short memories.

Then they sew us back up, wrap our paws, and let us sleep off the drugs. Here's where I'm really grateful for the short memory, because the recovery is really, really painful. For weeks it hurt just to put my paws down. Litterbox? Oh, forget it! We had to pee in shredded newspaper. I still refuse to bury my deposits. Is it because I remember how much it hurt back then? Who knows.

We learned to walk again, but it hasn't been the same. I don't walk the way I used to. Cats walk on their claws. Didn't know that, did you? I can't stretch the way I used to, either. You know, that full-body stretch? Man, I miss those (I think).

Anyway, I'm ok, for now. There's a chance I could develop arthritis and back problems. There's always a chance my litterbox habits could be more deeply affected (Jess and Marlene have promised that nothing will happen to me if I pee outside the box).

If you have cats and are thinking about having their toes removed, I beg you to consider otherwise. They'll regret it a lot more than you.

ps: There's another procedure called a tendonectomy. It's even worse. I shudder to think about it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Red Door My Feline Fanny!

Today my family thought it would be fun to take me to the spa. I can tell you, I was more than ready for a massage after all of the working out I had been doing. A nice, gentle rub down, maybe work out the kinks in my quads and delts. Perhaps a light meal and a Tuna Smoothie in the cafĂ©. Jess and Marlene’s idea of “spa” seems to be more torture than “happy ending”.

It all started with us not even leaving the house (while I am not fond of traveling in the box, I rather thought we would be going to the masseuse). So I figured they must have hired someone that does house calls - how simply lovely that I would not have to go anywhere!

But then Jess picked me up and brought me into the bathroom. Then she put me into the gigantic white box with glass doors and got in with me. I had no idea what she was up to.

Imagine my horror when she turned on the shower and aimed the horrible wet stuff at me! I’ve checked the tags, people: Cats are Dry Clean Only! I tried to get as far away from it as I could, but I was trapped in the space.

Before I knew it she was using the long, windy tube to douse me with the foul stuff, then she poured baby shampoo (I kid you not) and really rubbed it in (one should always ask permission before one starts rubbing a guy all over like that!). She even scrubbed my, ahem, you know.

It seemed to go on forever. I can tell you I had a lot to say about this shabby treatment - she is no Sven!

Finally I was released from this torture chamber and allowed to run away. My brother tried to help me get the foul stuff off me (very kind of him as I cannot reach everywhere) but it took hours before I felt myself once more. Luckily this shame was only shared by family!

In the end, I do admit it was nice to feel so clean (though I will never admit that to my people). I just hope I don’t have to do it again any time soon!