By Leah – with editing and additional work by Michael
Kitty Softpaws is the girlfriend of Puss, in Puss in Boots. She is declawed. Why is this featured?
Kitty Softpaws is a new character in the successful computer-animated film Puss in Boots released in 2011. She stole Puss in Boots’ heart (and his boots). This his how she describes to Puss how she lost her claws:
Kitty Softpaws: “I was just a stray, but I had beautiful claws. One day a really nice couple took me in, gave me milk every morning, loved me. Maybe I scratched her curtains or play too rough with the hamster. I don’t know why they did it, but they took my claws.”
Puss in Boots: “Cat people are crazy.”
Her weaknesses are described as: Gets impatient from time to time, steals, can’t be trusted until you get to know her, lacks claws, and is partially defenseless without her sword.
I was watching Puss in Boots the other day, which btw is brilliant. However, I was more than just a bit unsettled to find that Kitty Softpaws was declawed. I don’t know whether it’s good that this is a good thing to portray in the film or not. What do you think? I have to say I don’t know why this was included in the film. What was the reasoning behind it?
She is called Kitty Softpaws not because she is declawed but because she is an accomplished thief. However, her name seems to be an oblique reference to her paws without claws.
When Kitty Softpaws was trying to unpick the lock to the magic beans with a knife, Puss in Boots kept saying ‘use your claws!’ ‘use your claws!’ Kitty Softpaws seemed to lose her temper and shouted back ‘I don’t have any claws!’ then he jumped in to the cart with her and unpicked the lock with one of his claws.
In this link is the conversation that followed, see quotes 3 and 4. I’ve hunted high and low for this particular clip of the film but can’t find it.
In the film she explains to Puss in Boots about her claws and how the humans took them (see above), this is of course very sad so clearly the writer knew what he was doing because the declawing process is sad for a cat (not just sad but life-changing and cruel) so the writer knew this and portrayed it in the right way. This to me means that he knows that declawing is wrong but why in an animated film? I don’t understand his thinking. Maybe it was because the writer wanted people to know that this is a sad fact of life for cats in America and that it is sad and detrimental for them?
If anyone has that bit of the clip please would you add it?
The film btw portrays cats really well and the characters are hypnotising and clever; here is a still of the moment when Kitty tells Puss in Boots about her claws…
“I am called Kitty Softpaws because I will steal you blind, and you’ll never even know I was there.”
On a similar theme, the film ‘Grown Ups’ features a dog that had been de-barked. Sadly it was mentioned flippantly in passing which I found very inhumane and sad because the dog tried to bark and all that came out was a hoarse noise. The caretaker of the dog simply states the neighbors complained so they had him de-vocalised. See below;
Shocking that the scene is described as ‘funny’ on you tube which clearly it is not because the dog had surgery for the benefit of the caretakers neighbours. Does anyone know of any other films such as this or Puss in Boots?