by Elisa Black-Taylor
Cocoa in the linen hutch
My poor rescued cat Cocoa is toothless and declawed! Readers, I hope I can write this without breaking anything nearby or having another crying fit. Please start by reading yesterdays story here.
25th April 2011: Urgent Notice: Cocoa will not eat and is being fed liquidised food through a syringe. He needs to get vet diagnosis and treatment. Please put out the word. I hope people can chip in too - the link has broken March 2013.
After I made the comment on yesterday's story about Cocoa NOT being declawed, I decided to break my own rule about not disturbing a new cat and headed to my bedroom closet where he is in transition from the shelter. I like to give a cat a few days of privacy upon arrival. If the cat wants attention then I'm available. This allows the cat to adjust and also prevents any jealousy from my other cats.
I picked up my big sweet boy and took him over to my bed and felt of his front paws. I even squeezed them a little just in case he's really good at shielding his claws. I'm just going to come right out and say it. He's declawed on all four paws and the only tooth in his head is snow white. My daughter helped me double check this before I left for work tonight.
How can anyone do this to a cat!? And which came first, the declawing or the pulling of almost all of his teeth. We believe they WERE pulled or the remaining tooth should be anything but white. Wouldn't gum disease discolor the remaining tooth? What do you all think? Or do you all think it was stomatitis (inflammation of the mucosa of the mouth) and the teeth HAD to be pulled to prevent a reaction from the bacteria in the teeth?
Cocoa wasn't listed as declawed on his GCAC euthanasia list paperwork. This is almost always mentioned as it's very important. The importance of a declawed cat is the other reason I'm borderlining on furious.
There are two groups of people who want a declawed cat from a shelter. The first group is those who rescue like myself who want to get the cat out of the stressful environment of a shelter. We want to find a home both safe and worthy for the cat.
The second group is comprised of those who promote declawing. They see DECLAWED on the cat's information and think "that sure will save me a lot of money on declawing the cat. It's already done so we'll get THAT cat. In other words, any declawed cat will do because plans would be made for toe amputation at the earliest convenience anyway!
I'll even bet there are people out there who would want him BECAUSE he's toothless and clawless. They think "this cat can't hurt my kids (grandkids) since it doesn't have claws or teeth. But how much more emotional (as well as physical) abuse should this cat have to go through?
Now for my biggest dilemma. Should I make Cocoa a permanent member of my home? I need advice on this. With my daughter and I he'll receive love, attention and care. He'll be kept inside because he has no defense inside or out. I'd hate for him to be adopted out where kids or other pets could torment him.
Maybe I'm selfish, but I don't want him to get adjusted and comfortable in my home and then him get uprooted again to go live somewhere else. We work hard getting these cats to trust humans again. It's my educated (okay, I don't have a degree in cat psychology) guess, but I feel he's the most abused cat I've taken in.
If someone convinces me they'll give him an exceptional home, of course I'd let him go under those circumstances. He's definitely not going to live with anyone who "just wants a cat." His adoption would definitely include a home visit and vet references.
It hurts me to imagine the mental anguish this cat must be going through. Cats who are declawed learn to bite and cats without teeth scratch to defend themselves. Cocoa has neither.
Please advise me on this, dear readers. Laura wants to keep him permanently so he'll be safe. I placed a large pillow in the linen closet where he chose to lay after the paw check. My bathroom and bedroom are huge and safe and he'll be cared for in my home. He's in a cabinet below where Samantha has settled in. They appear to be becoming friends and perhaps roommates.
I just don't want the outside world to hurt him any more. If that's even possible.
I'll update everyone once I have a better chance to examine his mouth for any problems.
Declawing? Why not detoothing as well? - by Finn Frode. This is a page criticising the absurdity of declawing not imagining that it might happen.