by Anna Nesterova-Liers
(Long Island, NY)
Lyova the Lioness
Her name Lyova means "little lioness" in Russian. She was adopted from the shelter in Ann Arbor and she helped my daughter survive Law School.
Though I heard many times how big, beautiful, intelligent and furry she was, what a shocker it's been to finally meet her in person in our home on Long Island!
She looked more like a fox or a raccoon, so huge, heavy, with a dark silver coat mixed with patches of sunny orange and a big bushy tail.
For a day or two Lyova was hiding in the closet. I was anticipating long and hard work to win her heart over knowing that her previous owners had de-clawed her and probably abused in other ways (if that alone was not enough) before dumping her to a shelter.
It was such a ray of silver sunshine in my life when Lyova came out of her closet and just like that became a queen of our home. The only cloud in the sky and a heartache I felt when I watched her limping slightly on her front paws: what a horrible thing to do to an animal!
People do not realize that not only the claws, but a part of a bone is taken off from the cat's phalanges during this torturous procedure. They partly lose their balance, ability to climb, clean themselves, play with the toys, and may develop a depression. I think those owners should have removed some of their own digits first to see how that feels before doing this to their animal. Good thing those were the front paws only.
Though Lyova has evidently destined to be an indoor cat, once in a while I allowed her to come out to our patio and a stretch of grassland and shrubs separating my front windows from a golf course. The area is safe, she never went far and I always saw where she was.
That one evening my Daughter, Lyova and me were having a quality time out on the patio when a huge faraway neighbor's cat snicked out from the bushes.
Before any of us had a chance to grab our poor defenseless Lyova to a safety...no, no what you think happened 😉 In an instant Lyova turned into a mountain of standing up fur and in another instant she was cheerfully chasing that cat away with a speed of light. Unbelievable!
That was the moment of truth for all of us: it doesn't really matter as much if you are de-clawed, hurt or physically disabled. As long as your are loved and your spirit is strong, there is nothing to fear. I love our tender but courageous little lioness with all my heart and ready to share her pictures with all kind people on the planet.