For a man who put up the brilliant poster from the Paws Project on his website he had certainly turned his snout against the wind. When asked to give facts and figures, he couldn’t, when asked to give the percentages of clawed and declawed cats that are surrendered, and re-homed, he couldn’t! He said it was too difficult! I don’t think he spent a lot of time in preparation for his moment of glory, what a disappointment for his paymaster.
He falls back on the age old argument, comparing neutering with declawing, he calls them both mutilation, with a little wiggle of his fingers to imply speech marks, shouldn’t a man of his experience appreciate the difference between surgery performed for the benefit of the cat’s health, and to save millions of unwanted kittens being born only to be destroyed, and surgery performed purely for the owners convenience and to the detriment of the cat? He also compares cutting off the ear tips of feral cats, admittedly a sad thing, with declawing, but again he fails to realise that removing an ear tip, and unless I’m wrong here the ears do not have a lot of pain receptors so the cat is more than likely unaware that the ear tip is gone, potentially saves a female feral cat from the trauma of being trapped twice, anaesthetised twice and operated on twice. Now that is potentially life threatening so the ear tipping is fully justified.
He also tried to make out that a vet performing a declawing procedure is saving a life. No Mr Bok, emergency surgery saves lives, neutering saves lives, feral trapping, neutering, ear tipping and releasing saves lives but declawing most certainly doesn’t save lives. Declawed cats still end up abandoned, straying, sitting in shelters, lying in gas boxes or being injected with poison, and disposed of in sacks and incinerators. Had he bothered to keep a count of the cats relinquished to the three shelters he managed he would have known that.
Mr Bok is certainly obsessed with killing cats; he seems to regard any cat that is not declawed as dead meat. That was just about the only thing he was clear on, most other things he flannelled his way through, saying it was too difficult to track such information to give statistics or that such statistics didn’t exist. He conjured up a figure of 55% and claimed this percentage of owners would dump their cats if they could not have them declawed. But how many of those people, if they knew that there was no option of having a cat declawed, would adopt a cat in the first place? And surely this is a good thing, that someone who has no regard for the health and well-being of a cat but thinks of it merely as another possession to pretty up the house with and to be altered and adapted for this purpose, should opt not to own a cat after all.
Bok also told us that Mayor Stern, of Malibu has said that he would have taken his cat to the pound if he couldn’t have declawed it due to his wife’s health issues. Well firstly it begs the question why did Mayor Stern acquire a cat when his wife has a health issue? And furthermore how does Mayor Stern think those people with health issues in countries where declawing is rightly banned manage to keep a cat and stay alive?
No one seems prepared to take responsibility for his or her own safety – why?
Thankfully despite Egg Box’s best efforts the council members were wiser than he and they voted to ban declawing in Santa Monica.