• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

27 October 2009

owner rights, animal rights and a toeless cat

I was just going to glaze over this topic, never mention it, and never look back, for fear of judgy-mcjudgersons. But then I changed my mind and decided to write it anyway because: whatever. In general I think my 'Tiberius Tuesday' posts will be pretty light, short and/or simple, and possibly photo-heavy. But this week, I figured I'd hit you with this one as a way to sorta... clear the air.

Last Tuesday, we had Tiberius declawed. Up until a few years ago, I was staunchly against declawing cats.I have read about the 'horror' of declawing, and I have used most of the declawing alternatives out there (with my previous cats). Sprays, sticky furniture tape, electric pulsing devices, sound-emitters, super-awesome sisal scratching posts, soft-paws. You name the product; I've probably given that company money in hopes that it would solve my clawing problems. Hell, I once wrote a letter against declawing that made my declaw-happy landlord cry (and caused them to allow me and my former cat to live in the complex without doing the compulsary de-claw). Did I mention that said cat then proceeded to tear up and shred the rug in every corner of that apartment? AWKwaaard.

What it came down to is this. We would not have adopted Rusty if we had not already made the decision to declaw him. We knew that his (or any cat's) life with us would be a constant struggle of us yelling at him, punishing him, and watching our nice things turn to crap because um, we can't watch and scold him 24/7. It's selfish, sure, but I'm not going to lower my quality of life for a 10 lb furbag. I'm not going to wrap the legs of my chairs in aluminum foil and spray urine-scented 'deterrent' spray on my couch. And I'm definitely not going to spend my time super-gluing colorful silicone toenail covers to an angry cat, only to clean up the barf 3 hours after he's managed to gnaw them off and eat them. Been there, done that. He's supposed to be a blessing, not a constant source of frustration and anger. Nope, we knew before we got him (or any cat) that the animal would be taking a certain trip to the vet.

And for Rusty, let's weigh the options. My friend found him outside. She took him in, got him his shots, and neutered him. You know what her next action was? She was going to return him to the 'great' outdoors. We live about 100 miles from the Canadian border, people, and it is late October. Rusty was destined to become one of the thousands of area 'farm cats' who have stubs for ears and a 4" long tail. Because frost-bite would take care of the rest before it even got nearly as cold as it often gets here. Also, my friend lives close to a major highway - and not just any highway: a truck bypass that is also the main route for a few hundred teenagers to get to their high school. You figure out the possible outcome there.

Or, he could come and live with us, the people who're going to spoil the hell out of him, give him the best food money can buy, get him comfy [faux] shearling beds to sleep in and place them by the fireplace, accidentally "drop" small pieces of meat or cheese on the floor while cooking, install ledges in front of the windows with the best views, and cuddle with him while we watch movies. If I was in his situation, I'd volunteer to have my fingers shortened in exchange for this life.

best seat in the house
*Ugh. It's been so gray lately. A little sunshine would allow me to take a much nicer (no flash) picture.

And how is he now? Completely fine.

Happier than ever now that he has free-reign of the house, and he's receiving a lot less scoldings and stern words (for random acts of scratching).

He's taken with it
*It's blurry, but its cute, so how could I not share it?

So are Pink Hubby and I cruel for declawing our cat? Maybe. But he's one of us now, and will be for his lifetime. I don't tear the lining out of the bottom of the boxspring just for the hell of it, and I've never seen Pink Hubby pass time by climbing up the shower curtain. So Rusty won't be doing those things either.