Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Felis Silvestris Catus

So last week we got a cat.

We couldn't just get any cat though. Jules and I had been searching for weeks on Petfinder and whatnot for orange, already declawed cats.

"Declawed". Yes, a word rife with controversy and consternation. I had no clue.

When we went to the National Adoption Weekend being hosted at the local Petsmart and mentioned that we were looking for an already declawed cat, I immediately had several pamphlets and accusatory looks thrown my way. Apparently cat lovers do not take kindly to the declawing process.

Naturally Julie tried to hold her ground with the ladies at the Petsmart who were explaining to us how cruel the whole thing was, and equally naturally I made it my job to make the situation even more of a mess.

Jules: We're looking for an already declawed cat so we don't have to declaw a kitten.

Me: Babe, look at this pamphlet. Did you know that they cut the whole bone off? This looks terrible!

Helpful Cat Lady: Yes, it's so cruel what they do to the poor kitties.

Jules: We don't have a choice, it is in the lease. We have to get one declawed because of the hardwood floors.

Me: (gesturing to the pamphlet) And look at this!! It's not even legal in a lot of European countries! It's considered animal cruelty in England!

Helpful Cat Lady: Yes, we're working hard to see if we can't make it illegal here too.

Jules: This is the landlord's decision, not ours.

Me: Look at this list of countries it is illegal in: England, Israel, Australia...

Jules: (getting angry) We're not declawing one, we're getting one already declawed...

Me: ... Turkey, New Zealand... did you know capon is illegal in England too? Aren't we serving that at the wedding?

Helpful Cat Lady: (narrows eyes)

Me: Japan and Brazil too, and they'll let you get away with a lot of stuff there. It must be really bad.

I was about to mention to the lady that Julie had wanted to declaw the cat because it makes them more tender when you cook them, but I thought that might be going too far and clearly I was already getting in hot water.

Anyway we eventually were able to get a nice older cat named Pumpkin through an adoption agency called Forgotten Cats and the ladies were very nice.

Here you can see her plotting whether to poop inside the litter box or right next to it.

Like I said, we couldn't just get any cat. We had to get one with a sordid past.

Apparently Pumpkin first lived with an owner who became an alcoholic and got rid of her. Then she lived with a family whose kids tortured and tormented her, including keeping her from getting to the litter box on purpose. For the last sixth months she had been with Forgotten Cats in a foster home in a large cage and had licked/chewed most of the hair on her back legs off due to stress. I think they had largely given up hope that she would find a permanent home because she is an older cat and folks typically adopt kittens.

Naturally with this sad story I immediately wanted the cat because yes, I am a sucker. When we were at Petsmart I wanted the old blind cat that probably had about three months to live and the gigantic diseased one that had kitty AIDS (I was prevented from doing so by the claws).

So anyway Pumpkin is old, overweight, missing fur on her back legs and has some dependency issues due to past treatment.

Needless to say, I love this cat.

5 comments:

chornbe said...

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chornbe said...

Seriously, tho'... cute cat. Cats are cool. I like cats more than I like most people. They're smarter, cleaner, have better personalities almost never take my money and give me the finger.

Good luck with her. I'd still like to come by and check out the new digs and the cat at some point soon.

Mia said...

I think we should set up a play-date w/ our Gertie...

She's got some issues too... w/out getting into details..she's only comfortable eating when someone is in the room and she's missing most of the hair on her back and ass... it's a match made in heaven!!

Is there a such thing as kitty therapy?

chornbe said...

Yeah, a brief visit to a Chinese restaurant or Michael Vick's apartment should scare them both straight.



No, no... don't thank me. I solve problems for a living.

heather (errantdreams) said...

Awwwwww.

Yeah, if your lease requires a declawed cat, best to get one that's already had it done than to do it. When I was a kid my mother decided to declaw one of our cats. Never again. He never really got over it. We trim our cats' claws every couple of weeks.

There's a great book called "Guide to a Well-Behaved Cat" that has tons of good, kind behavioral modification techniques for teaching a cat to use the litterbox, not claw things, and so on, if need be. It's one of those books every cat owner should read.

Very neat cat.