My Rescue Cat With The Saddest Face
We rescued ANOTHER declawed cat on Friday. We didn't make the decision to adopt Saber because she was declawed. I'll explain that in a moment.
Saber is a 10 year old long haired ginger tabby I spotted on the euthanasia list where we rescue and foster. She had been turned into the shelter due to the bad health of the owner. Saber had the saddest little face...
I contacted the rescue coordinator Andrea, telling her we'd like to foster Saber. Our signals got crossed and I was put down on the paperwork as "rescuing." This means we'll either have her until a forever home can be found or we'll keep her.
I'd already decided to change her name from Saber to Ginger. I didn't much like the name that came with her. Saber makes me think of saber-toothed tigers.
Now for the rest of the story and how we learned Ginger is a declawed cat. It appears her shelter name fits her personality. As soon as Laura picked her up to place her in a cage to feed her, Ginger turned around and nailed Laura. She bit Laura really hard, then tried to scratch her. That's when Laura turned to me and asked "I wonder if she's declawed?"
There's no mention of Ginger being declawed on her shelter paperwork. There's also nothing about a bite history, which we believe she has. Laura didn't get scratched because Ginger is a declawed cat! I believe the shelter didn't realize it either because she's a terror to get near with all the hissing and growling and slapping.
Let's not forget BITING! This is what declawed cats do. When their main line of defence is taken away, even sweet kitties learn to bite. We know her front paws are now mutilated for life. We have been brave enough to check the back ones yet.
Ginger has become an expert at biting. It's not her fault. Her previous owner may have been elderly and afraid of being scratched. Many elderly cat owners in the U.S. are still mentally conditioned to believe the only good cat is a declawed cat. They may have had grandchildren they didn't want to fall victim of a cat scratch.
I wonder how many people Ginger has bitten? As for the shelter paperwork, it's a shame they hadn't listed Ginger as declawed because declawed cats are very desirable. Compare it to having cruise control on a car. Many people here in the states believe a declawed cat is great. Until the cat learns to bite and begins to show other behavior problems.
The owner of a declawed cat may save on new furniture, but the difference moneywise will be spent on antibiotics for bitten hands and future vet bills for their cat.
Laura would have had a scratch for just a few days if Ginger had used her claws to defend herself. Maybe she wouldn't have been scratched at all. Declawed cats perceive threats differently than cats with claws. Paranoid is a word that comes to mind. Laura didn't fuss at Ginger. She made her humb bleed and washed and treated it. It's still very swollen and sore. Laura's on antibiotic for strep throat, so she shouldn't have any problem with infection.
People are so clueless about bites. The wound is small. Laura has a small hole where Ginger's teeth penetrated the skin. When compared to a scratch, some would think a bite would be preferable to a scratch. Yet a scratch doesn't interfere with life. Usually it doesn't hurt long after. Laura's bitten thumb will interfere with everything she tries to do for the next several days. I know it sounds lame, but it's painful for her to text using the thumb that was bitten.
I wonder if the biting has anything to do with Ginger being turned into the shelter? Whatever the reason, we'll lover her and care for her until she learns to trust us. Ginger hid in the cabinet under the master bath sink last night. Today she found the cat tree in my bedroom and Laura caught her looking out the window.
Perhaps Ginger was daydreaming about all the things she can't go outside and do as a declawed cat.
I ask you readers, are declawed cats preferred in the area you live in? Has a vet ever tried to sell you a package that included declawing? It's hard to believe declawing can still be looked at so casually in this country.
As for dear Ginger, we'll do right by her and not fuss about any behavior problems. i hate to think what would have happened if she'd been up for public adoption. Biting the hand that feeds you is punishable by death in this country.