By Ruth aka Kattaddorra
It seems hard to believe now, but just over five years ago I discovered that the declawing of cats was almost routine in some parts of the USA. It was a horrible shock, because even before this was banned in our country, our vets considered it unthinkable, knowing how essential a cat’s claws are to his health and fulfillment.
Now it feels as if I’ve known and been helping to educate and fighting for declawing to be banned, for ever.
I was browsing Yahoo Answers when I first saw on the cats’ questions page someone asking what she could do to help her newly declawed cat who was in pain. Most of the replies said she would be OK eventually as cats got over it pretty well. Someone even said that many vets didn’t give cats pain medication so that they wouldn’t attempt to jump around until their toe ends healed.
I could hardly believe it was legal or that no one commented how very cruel that surgery is.
I said to Barbara “It’s like the song ‘One Voice Singing in the Darkness’ I feel so alone in my horror at this legalised abuse of cats”.
and she replied: ‘But now we are two voices, I’ll join you Ruth’
We started an internet group called ‘The Claws Connection’ and soon we had lots of members from all over the world and ‘Just One Voice Singing in the darkness’ became many voices:
‘Shout it out and let it ring.
Just One Voice,
It takes that One Voice,
And everyone will sing’
We invaded Yahoo Answers and began our campaign to educate, meeting up with many more anti-declaw people, there were some after all. Our UK anti-declaw people were known as ‘the troops’
We then invaded Facebook and I started the group ‘The International Coalition Against Declawing’ which now has 256 members many of whom are actively educating others and more are joining us all the time. We have remained long distance friends with lots of people all over the world, in our shared cause.
The campaign grew and we ‘met’ people like Annie Bruce, the author of Cat be Good who had campaigned against declawing for so long it had taken its toll on her health. She was very pleased to hear other countries where declawing was banned were taking notice that America was lagging behind.
I started an online petition which eventually had over 4,000 signatures, many from famous people in the animal world, such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Jeremy Angel, Helmi Flick and J.M.Willis and many more, too numerous to list.
Eventually, sadly the petition was lost when the web site went down for good, but The Paw Project had used it at some of the Californian Cities fighting for a ban, as proof that so many people were against such cruel surgery, so it wasn’t entirely wasted.
But best of all I came across PoC and ‘met’ Michael, a great anti-declaw advocate and he and Babz and I and other visitors wrote many educational articles about declawing and I designed posters showing the horror of the cruel surgery.
Sebastian’s Diary was a great hit even though someone said it was too English. PoC has saved many cats claws.
Vet techs started telling people the truth about how cats suffer when waking up from declawing, they described how some threw themselves around the recovery cage opening their wounds and how some hunched in the corner, shocked and bewildered.
The AVMA turned a blind eye to all this even though their policy was that declawing should only be a last resort for serious scratching behaviour. They ignored the fact that far from this surgery being done as a last resort, kittens were being declawed along with neutering and they also ignored the fact that vets were advertising a neuter/declaw package or declawing with discount. They ignored all of that and they still do!
Now there are thousands of people enlightened to the truth that declawing isn’t ‘just removing the claws’ (bad enough) but the amputation of the cats last toe joints.
Sadly there are still people who don’t know this, nor the physical and/or mental consequences of declawing and while some vets have never declawed and some have stopped declawing, there are still many who are making many dollars from the suffering of cats.
There are also people who even knowing that declawing is cruel think their furniture is more important than a living creature’s health and welfare.
The vets who break their sworn oath to cause no animal to suffer and who profit from declawing cats, will not stop until declawing is banned. The anti-declaw movement is growing daily and we will not stop until declawing is banned.
The Paw Project are doing wonderful work, apparently the film they have made is very educational and is saving many more cats claws. We haven’t been able to see it in the UK yet.
So, the battle to educate and to work towards that happy day when declawing is banned worldwide, goes on…….