Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Old and dangerous declaw propaganda

On this site which has been up since 1999, the owner speaks about her departed cats thus: “They were spayed and neutered, and declawed. They were indoor only cats, and quite content” Further down the home page there is a link to another page written by the site owner and she calls it her politically incorrect opinion. And How! It is so ridiculously biased that although it’s obviously been abandoned the fact that it’s still lurking there, like a World War II hand grenade in the back of the potting shed waiting to impart it’s contents to the innocent, it makes me shudder. Here are her words of wisdom.
I Believe Cats should be declawed - Front Claws That is
There is no earthly reason that a cat must have its front claws. They will fight - if it's ever necessary - with the claws on their hind feet and teeth. If you do the right thing, and keep your cat indoors, it will be unlikely to ever need those claws.

What is this obsession with fighting? Why don’t people like this realise that claws aren’t just a fistful of weapons but are essential tools for plugging in and anchoring themselves for a good stretch of the muscles in the legs, chest and back, for grooming and scratching that maddening itch, for hooking toys and practicing and honing, as cats do for life, their grabbing of prey skills, for balance when doing that most basic and necessary thing, walking from A to B, and for jumping and anchoring with. The sight of a declawed cat slipping off the furniture having jumped and found no grip amuses some people but to me it is simply sad. Another reason to destroy the myth that indoor cats don’t need their claws is of course the real risk of the home being broken into, door or window smashed or left open and cat either fleeing in terror or being abused by the intruder. Either scenario is horrible, a declawed frightened cat outdoors is so very vulnerable, and an indoor cat cornered by some drug or drink crazed trespasser with no claws to lash out with is likely to lose it’s life after God knows what first. So that opening sentence “There is no earthly reason that a cat must have its front claws” not only ignores the needs of the cat but the ultimate safety of the cat in admittedly rare but quite possible future situations.

While most enlightened people today would agree that spaying and neutering are required for their pets, and would also agree that it's safer and healthier for a cat to live indoors than to roam around outside, we haven't got people evolved enough yet to give up the notion that a cat must have its claws in order to be happy.

This starts off OK, (though we “enlightened people” know that spaying and neutering are in fact the same thing, neutering being an umbrella term for spaying and castration) she says that spaying and neutering are required for pets (required sounds a bit big brother like) and that these enlightened people also agree that it’s safer and healthier for a cat to live indoors than to roam around outside.
Well the jury is out on that one and it largely depends which side of the pond you live on. For example in England most people, my family included, think that cats have the right to roam and to live a full life indoors and out. Sometimes it is necessary to confine a cat to the home for one of many reasons but then it is the duty of the owner (for want of a better word) to provide similar stimulation to that which the cat would find outdoors. It’s easy to knock up a cat run, cats aren’t house-proud but they do appreciate fresh air, sunshine and green grass. Don’t we all. In the USA it’s more normal to keep cats indoors all of their lives. I suppose what they never have they never miss and I know that there are natural predators in the USA that wipe out cats, so, as I said the jury is out, I know which way I’d vote but that’s not the subject here, it’s her assumption that she knows best that is so annoying.

And then the killer phrase: “we haven't got people evolved enough yet to give up the notion that a cat must have its claws in order to be happy.”

This honestly makes my eyes bulge and for once words fail me. Evolved? Give up the notion that a cat must have its claws in order to be happy? Here is one definition of evolved “In biology, evolution is change in the genetic material of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. Though the changes produced in any one generation are small, differences accumulate with each generation and can, over time, cause substantial changes in the organisms. ...” so by my understanding the writer seems to think that accepting the amputation of cats toe ends has to be bred into the human race, it’s a bit like one of Hitler’s plans for a master race then? Plainly she is evolved, in fact she speaks in the plural so she must have some evolved friends too, the rest of us are still swinging in trees in the jungle holding our fully clawed but happy cats in our teeth.

This throwback to the anti-spaying, anti-neutering, 'let the cat run free and wild, don't keep it locked indoors' mentality needs to be discarded. Then we will see more happy cat owners, more happy cats, and more cat owners.

This bit is just plain silly, what has this to do with her argument for declawing? Ranting on about “spaying and neutering” is a favourite smoke screen of the “chop them off brigade”, they try to muddy the water by lumping the very necessary neutering of cats with the very unnecessary declawing of cats. I don’t quite get the happy cat owners and happy cats remark I must admit, but she's quite obsessed with the word happy isn't she?

Cats don't need their claws for any other reason. I think the prissy world of the politically correct goes too far, in completely banning and rejecting declawing.

Speechless again! Look at this lot, “cats don’t need their claws for any other reason” Whaaat? What about all those reasons I noted above? And not only do cats need their claws but they WANT their claws, just like I want my finger ends. Imagine someone deciding to chop your or my fingers off, there’d be no end of an investigation, and compensation claims would be flying hither and thither but cats are picked up, stuffed in a basket, whipped off to the vet, anaesthetised and toes removed, then they come home happy. Huh!!! I bloody think not. And the world of the politically correct is prissy is it? Well maybe it is and maybe it’s not but declawing isn’t politically incorrect it is MORALLY incorrect. Completely banning and rejecting declawing is exactly what is needed all the world over but blinkered, self deluding, opinionated bigots like this person will fight to the last to defend her right to cripple her cats, and to tell the world her cats are quite content (and happy).

Next thing, they'll be against spaying and neutering, since that involves mutilation of the animals, and they should have a right to reproduce....

Back to the old, old story, so yawningly predictable so worthless a remark.

But wait…..though her tale is told and she is satisfied that she has enlightened us there is more in the form of comments she received, but before them she posts this: Many people have emailed me, to state their concerns about declawing. **If you're thinking of sending hate mail - and I've received some on this subject - forget it. It goes to 'trash' where it belongs. Polite email is always welcome**but please, do read through the following pages first, because most of the anti-declawing arguments have already been posted!
So the comments made are not going to come as any surprise to you readers, needless to say they are all loaded in favour of declawing, here are some of the comments and her replies too:

1. Our current kitty has his claws, and regularly goes to the groomer for nail trimming, as well as clipping - the fur between his toes and on the pads of his feet grows thick and long, and makes him quite uncomfortable. If he had come to us at a young age, and had to go to the vet's for neutering, then we would definitely have him declawed at that time. Because he has already been neutered, is a most well-behaved cat -he uses his scratching posts faithfully, and because he is not a young cat we would not consider having him declawed now. We see no reason to have him undergo an operation only for that.

Right, so where is the logic here? When they got the cat he was obviously a bit older and had already been neutered, had it been different and he had gone to her as a kitten then he would have lost his claws for life at a very early age and yet this person has written in black and white (well green and white if we’re nitpicking, which of course I love to do) that he is a well behaved cat and he uses his scratching post faithfully, so by the pure accident of not going to live with this person until a later date he kept the claws that he has done no damage with anyway! No one would have known that he had no intention of scratching anything he shouldn’t! And yet she STILL doesn’t make the connection, she goes on to say because he is not young they wouldn’t consider having him declawed now? But why would they? He doesn’t scratch, so why?? Because it’s considered de rigueur that’s why! “We see no reason to have him declawed only for that” must mean the fur growing between his toes; well thank the Good Lord for that!!

The enlightened one has put on a comment here
2. For those of you concerned about what happens when a cat's claws are removed, it's really NOT that big a deal no matter what the politically correct, overly sensitive may say. *While further email and research has convinced me that cat's apparently *DO* lose the tip of the toe when declawed.....because the 2 cats we had throughout their lives were both declawed and had their toes after declawing, I find that the so-called mutilation is pretty insignificant, not a major disaster, as most anti-declawing people claim. As for the pain caused, for Pete's sake, a child goes through a certain amount of pain when getting an inoculation, and may even become ill with a fever, etc. for a few days, but surely you would still get the shots!!? A bit of pain, that has a useful result is sometimes necessary. We can't live in a pain free, happy fantasy Pollyanna world forever. It is *not* possible to avoid pain all the time, either -- it's a fact of life.

Where do I start with this lot of bile? She’s still banging on about the PC and overly sensitive types here, and she still thinks that declawing is not that big a deal despite admitting that email and research has convinced her that cats “apparently DO lose the tips of the toe when declawed”, that shows how much research and knowledge she actually had when she posted her original words of wisdom! She doesn’t seem to know much about cats, not even her own. Can any of you cat lovers tell me that you haven’t looked at any part of your cat? That you wouldn’t have noticed shortened toes, half paws in effect? That you don’t know every inch of your furry companion’s body and caress it and check it for irregularities? I know we do, and yet this all knowing person who has taken it upon herself to advise other people to declaw their cats didn’t even notice that her cats’ had shortened toes, in fact by some miracle she claims her cats still had their toes! And so she proclaims the so-called mutilation pretty insignificant, comparing it to a child having inoculations (which as far as I know doesn’t involve having body parts removed) and becoming ill with fever. Regrettable yes, some kids do, but inoculations are to protect the child for life. A fever following declawing however is the same as a fever following any major amputation on any animal, be it human, feline or any other, a fever following a surgical amputation indicates infection in the stump and that can cause gangrene and can kill! I don’t call that insignificant! Oh! A bit of pain that has a useful result is sometimes necessary is it? Useful result for the owner perhaps, but there again it isn’t the owner who is having the bit of pain is it? No it’s the cat, who is probably having a tremendous amount of pain in fact and who can’t stay in bed with access to painkillers, a bedpan and elbow crutches for walking with, no the cat has to have the toes off, lie in a cage, probably in an Elizabethan collar round it’s neck, overnight then go home and get on with things. This person might in fact be the original Pollyanna, she is so blinkered and indoctrinated to the merits of declawing that she dismisses all pain and distress as a fact of life, which it may well be when it is unavoidable but declawing is elective and totally unnecessary so by choosing to declaw their cat an owner is actually opting to voluntarily cause their cat great pain.
In real life, some cats are very destructive with their claws, and won't use a scratching post. Does an owner have to suffer, because of that, by not declawing? Doesn't seem right to me.
Well it seems more right to me than the cat suffering because the owner is too damn lazy to spend time teaching their cat about the scratching post.

Here’s another comment that had me reaching for the Diazepam before I could even contemplate commenting on it
"What a relief to find a site that doesn't condemn a cat owner for getting his kitty declawed.”

Give me strength what sort of bloke talks about “getting his kitty declawed”, my mental picture of him is a right big girls blouse, polishing his specs and his furniture constantly. Lets see what else macho man has to say…

Along with the fact that my little buddy absolutely hates getting his claws trimmed, he screams and wails at the site of anything metal while he's held (doesn't need any contact to start the panic). Well I bet his poor little buddy bloody screamed and wailed at the surgery then as he was prepped for his declawing, but let’s hear the story:
My kitty, Simba, was terrorizing the dog (a female Papillion named Gizmo).Even while Simba was sleeping, the dog refused to walk past,fearing a ruthless attack - wimpering and crying to be helped past the cat, sometimes even wetting herself in desperation. Simba's attacks were getting more severe than the normal 'slash and dash', we would see the dog yelping and running by with Simba attached - all claws embedded in the dog and biting into Gizmo's throat. The dog's fear of the cat extended to waiting while the cat ate (being to afraid to eat near him),and having 'accidents' just to avoid going past the cat. The dog even started having skin problems from all the scratch wounds she was receiving from Simba - just like my girlfriend and her daughter (who are allergic to cats - though love Simba). Typically when Simba scratched someone (human or otherwise), it wasn’t just a quick slash - most of the time it was like a digging, continued slashing until the claws got stuck in the victim.
My God, it’s not a cat he’s got it’s a wild beast that slashes ickle doggies in their sleep and makes them pee their pants. OK which animal was there first? Was Simba overthrown by the new doggy? Was his furry nose pushed out of joint by an excited pup who thought everyone was his friend and bothered Simba to the point that he lashed out? Did he or his girlfriend try seperating them? Did they just stand and watch this killer cat picking on ickle doggy? Who knows, the bloke doesn’t bother to give any background, he’s just sooooo relieved that he isn’t going to get condemned for declawing his kitty!
Simba just got declawed yesterday, and is still bandaged up and sore. We feel very sad for him, and wished he would have calmed down (we kept giving him 2nd chances to stop being so aggressive),but the injuries he was delivering to the dog and us were getting to be too much. It was either declawing or animal shelter, and though we hate seeing him feel so bad - we couldnt let him go to a shelter.
As I said before, I bet his poor little buddy bloody screamed and wailed at the surgery then as he was prepped for his declawing, he would certainly catch sight of plenty of metal there. But wait, he said Simba GOT declawed, that implies Simba had a choice….in fact Simba had no choice because Simba has no voice, and that voice might just have come in handy for Simba to explain just what the problem was with the dog, the girlfriend and the child, problems that might not have been down to Simba at all but for which the poor cat had to carry the can! I wonder how they gave him second chances and how they expected him to know about these chances?

FYI - Simba was found in a box that was in a garbage pile at an apartment building (waiting to be picked up), when he was less than 2 weeks old. We all took turns feeding him with a bulb syringe for the first month that we had him.
What’s this got to do with the price of fish? Is this some sort of attempt to prove he loves his kitty? Funny sort of love!

Escaping from the house...There are at least 2 doors to get through to go in or out, with small areas enclosed by the doors....couple times that we've taken Simba outside, he hates it - if your holding him, he clings to you; if you leave out there, he wails and pounds at the door (wanting to get back in).We actually tested him, to see what his reaction would be if he got out." I can tell you, he’ll be flaming dead seeing as he has no claws to defend himself, another mutilated life prisoner is added to the list!

Anyway that’s macho kitty-man on his way with a clear conscience and we only have one more comment left.

Here the enlightened one introduces it –
Excerpt from an email received, used with permission
Thank you for your reasonable stance on declawing. So much more sensible than most of the anti-declawing web sites I've seen. Is it really better to have a constant battle with yelling at the cat, or spraying them with water and still not being able to keep them from destroying that $1500 couch or $350 drapes?
So if it doesn’t keep them from destroying the furniture why yell at them or spray them with water? Why not take a chill pill and buy one or two goods sized scratching posts and spend time showing the cat what to do with them?
Or for the cat to have a few days of discomfort followed by a much more rewarding relationship with its owner? Is it better to get so frustrated that an owner has their pet euthanized or begins putting them outside where they can get killed by dogs or cars and die a painful death, or a simple (usually safe and complication free) procedure?
Again we have this much more rewarding relationship cr*p, the owner gets the reward here, the cat just doesn’t get yelled at or sprayed with water for scratching the couch and that is because his poor bloody paws are too sore and sensitive. I wonder what this few days of discomfort would be described as if it was the owner having nails removed, I wrote a blog a while back based on the experience of a friend who had to have some toenails removed. She didn’t describe it as a few days of discomfort, she described it as three months of pain, and remember that was toenails only, removed from beds of flesh, not toe ends with claws attached sawed, cut or lasered through with resulting injury to adjacent bone, tendons, skin and fur.

What is a person doing owning a cat in the first place if they are going to work themselves up into such a state of frustration about the cat that they kill it themselves or put it outside to be killed by dogs or cars? This person sounds unhinged!
A simple (usually safe and complication free) procedure. Don’t make me larf!! We all know, we’ve read, we’ve seen, evidence to the contrary. Declawing isn’t safe, it can kill or cripple a cat, complications are the rule rather than the exception, you only have to read some of the sites that we all post on Y/A where complications are well documented to know this. This is what worries me, people like this can give opinions that could result in a cat losing it’s toes (or life) if read by someone gullible or someone looking for justification for chopping off those offending toes.
I've owned several cats who were declawed by vets who did a good job, none of whom have acted as if they miss their claws at all. Most of them were declawed at a young age, when they were spayed or neutered. They still ran, jumped, climbed, and played with the same energy as before. They still 'knead'ed their paws as they were being petted. They still loved to play under the bedskirt jumping out to get my toes, except now I'm not yelling 'ouch' as they scratch me.

It’s all about “me” isn’t it? And isn’t playing under “bedskirts” and jumping out what cats do? Is it so wrong for them to play like this? Wrong enough to amputate toes? So she has to yell “ouch” – so what? It’s hardy life threatening to get your toes attacked. People just don’t seem to make any allowances for cats playing and accidentally involving the owner and the claws. And they don’t give them any leeway, they don’t allow them to be cats. WHY do some people have a cat and then deny the cat the right to play? What do they actually expect of the cat?

They don't accidentally get hung up in carpet (as you mentioned). People don't realize that cats can pull their own nails out like this, when they get hung up in the artificial weave of carpet or material. They also don't accidentally hurt one another while playing. Come on, how often does this happen?

You can use my comments on your web site if you like.

Oh yes the enlightened one liked very much the chance to put forward more evidence, sadly the evidence is flawed as is all the information on this cursed site.

I wonder what this person is up to these days. I wonder if her mind is still closed and locked against reason? I wonder if she is still spreading declawing propaganda? I don’t know the answers but I do know however that this site of hers is like a barrel of nuclear waste buried underground or thrown into the deep briny sea, it’s shelf life is long since over but it’s still there, on the Internet, and seeping poison that can have tremendous impact on the lives and paws of kittens and cats in the USA and Canada.

My cats have claws, have yours?

Sunday, 9 August 2009

A little light relief

Recently I've been collecting what I think of as "funnies" from various places. Some of the topics are serious ones, and I don't wish to laugh at that but I hope these bring a bit of light relief to those who campaign tirelessly for animals.
Starting off with:
Q Was I right to get my cat declawed? (Needless to say we all answered NO, but here's a good bit of information) You could have filed or cut them too but it's dangerous considering they have meat in their nails, so you have to know exactly where to stop.
Q How can I stop my cat scratching me?
A Trim the pawnails

Here's a comment about we who post arguments against declawing
Ah, the usual flurry of thumbs downs typed in by middle-aged women in cardigans who's homes smell of cat wee and no prospect of marriage.
Well, I qualify on two out of the three points I suppose

Moving on to the strange things cats do:
Q Does anybody know what this means? My baby, the one in my avatar, every time I wear shorts, she gets her 2 front paws on my leg and takes a little bite off my leg. Not to hurt me, just a little snip! I find this so cute. Is she trying to tell me something or is it just her way of giving me a kiss?:-)
Here's my favourite answer......I think it's a cat kiss especially when you consider that cats don't have lips. (Mine do!)

Strange noises:
1 My cat makes a noise like a telephone she sounds like she's sayong "Riiiiing Riiiinnngg" makes me laugh every time.
2 Some like to get in the bathtub and chase their tails. You hear Womp Womp Womp and that is what they are doing.
So if you hear womping in the night...don't look for your cat, he's in the bathtub.

Cats having kittens:
When my cat had kittens, she just curled up behind my closet door and let them go.

Cats in bed
I have a black and white cat and a grey and white cat what colour sheets would be best?

Hungry cats
My cat would definitely eat me. My dog would too probably.

Cats in the kitchen:
When a cat rubs you or any object they are marking their territory, he or she is claiming the microwave as his microwave also he is just letting you know he is letting you use it
Probably just to warm up his own food though!

Cat health
Q Why would my kitten not be pooping
A Same reason as you, he's constipated.
Succinct and to the point!
Q Are cats colour blind?
A Who can actually tell? You can't go up to a cat and ask "Can you see colour or not?" So maybe, maybe not!
This is very true

Words of wisdom:
1 A lot of cats have no eyelashes
2 Outdoor cats are the best. they stay in shape and poop and piss outside.
3 Cats don't know who you are unless you smell.
4 Body temp is best measured internally, rectumal temperatures may be altered by poop and gasses. Oh yuck!
5 Cats purr by vibrating a bone in their throat

Cats breeding:
1 A pregnant female cat is called a queen. If she is fixed then there is no name for her.
2 Can dogs and cats have a period? Or can they just breed right out of the womb??
3 Even female cats should be spayed by six months or they will go in to heat & drive you crazy with howling at the top of their lungs 24 hours a day, dripping all over the house & you won't sleep.

4 Harry's going to be newted today (better change his name to fish-face)

Q How much do you love your cat
A more than my cars and electric guitars

Q What colour is your cat?
A 1 He's black but you can tell he's a tabby in the sunlight.
A2 My cat is a fat orange tabby with no tail, she's so cute and we love her.

Songs about cats:
"It's really good to hear your purr, meowing my name it sounds so sweet
Coming from the paws of a kitty, hearing those meows, it makes me weak"
and this is my favourite
"Precious kitty from above whom I love, love, love!"

Odds and ends
"My friend showed me where she had been bitten. How do I no if I've got flees?"

Who's leg is like a tree trunk? The owner's or the dogs? If it's the owner I'd just clean the shoes and keep quiet (an issue about stepping in doggy-doo)

"I guess if I forced the cat to have something done for his snoring I would have had to insist on it for the humans too."

"I'm sorry but cats REALLY don't know what a birthday is.......sorry to break it to you."

"My cat poops only when classical music is playing"

"My cat's got a loud purr and if he lies of your feet you get a message" (He must be a psychic medium)

Q Sometimes when I go next to a cat (Except Polo) they run away, why?
A Maybe you could have a ghost on you. They don't like that

Q What should I call my black and white cat?
A Cabbage John

Confrontational (needless to say on the declawing subject)
Do you also have a problem with a baby's ambilical cord being cut at birth?
No! Nor it's umbilical cord but that's no argument against declawing mate.

Q Where does your cat sleep?
A1 The little male cat sleeps with his body wrapped around the dog's nose and the female cat sleeps up against the dog's belly and uses his penis sheath for a pillow. All three of them are just a trifle left off centre.

A2 Mine loves inside the toilet, she's really strange. Unfortunately that's sucky for me because I have to clean her.

A3 My cat loves my kid's stroller, I put the seat into the lying down position, sunshade down, and I even put a towel hanging from the sunshade so it makes a nice little "house" for him.
This isn't actually funny, it's lovely that someone with a small child still makes such a fuss of her cat but I've included it because thinking of the cat, happy in the stroller with the sunshade down and a towel as well to make sure he's cool just makes me smile.

And finally my absolute favourite
I have a Persian cat and you may know that they have faces that are smashed in.
Poor little blighters!

Thanks for your indulgence, back to a serious topic next time.