while in grinnell (part 1): claw removal

After only being home for a day, the poor little cats had to have their front claws ripped out. This was the only requirement that my mother set for taking them in, and I had wanted to have it done when we first got them. The GF refused to have this done, though, on moral grounds. Personally, I didn’t even know that people would choose to not have their cats declawed. It was just something we always did with our indoor cats, and everyone I grew up with did the same. The idea that it was a bad thing had never occurred to me.

It turned out we should have had them declawed when we found them anyway, since adult cats have giant claws and removing those claws then leaves giant holes. Plus, adult cats are stronger so more difficult to bandage (they’re awfully clever at getting those bandages off) and apparently are much more interested in the wounds than a kitten would be. So my advice to anyone who has a kitten and has chosen to leave its claws in: If you think that you will ever need to have their claws pulled out, do it now instead. Your younger cat really won’t even notice, but it will when it gets older and it will likely be a bit pissed off.

So I rounded up the cats Tuesday morning, put each in his/her own carrier, and took off with Father Beta to the vet. Cati made a lot of noise, while Yoshi was peculiarly silent. We dropped them off without incident and left them overnight. They seemed to be in good hands, so I didn’t worry too much the rest of the day (plus I had my Eee PC to fiddle with, which I will discuss in a later post).

Wednesday morning I went and picked them up (I don’t recall who with, probably either solo or with Father Beta). They didn’t start removing their bandages until I arrived, so I stood at the counter to watch through the door as Kati was unbandaged first. It seemed to go well, from what I could see. Then came Yoshi. I heard the angry mewling that only Yoshi is capable off, some hissing, and then the door between Yosh and I was closed. A few moments later, the vet came out and said that Yosh was not cooperating and asked if I thought my presence would help, since he was afraid one of them might get bitten. I chuckled a bit and thought, “ah, typical Yoshi” and then politely declined. I didn’t want Yoshi to associate me with that trauma, so I had the vet knock him back out with some drugs. That way I they could remove his bandages, and then I could pick him up a few hours later as his savior.

The plan worked, and Yoshi was quite friendly when I got him home. Kati had already been brought home a few hours earlier and had, of course, fortified herself under my bed. The vet had given me 5 days (inclusive for the pick-up day) worth of honey-flavored (my response: “WTF? Why not meat flavored?”) pain drugs. The drugs sucked at relieving pain, so the cats were constantly licking their wounds. They should have been given codine Tylenol (I love that stuff).

The cats slept in my room for the next few days, until they ran out of drugs. All seemed well so I moved over to the Fathers’ (note: that apostrophe is in the right place) house for the second week of my Grinnell stay. So I wasn’t around when they started to feel more pain and began licking/chewing their wounds…

(Continued in next post)

4 thoughts on “while in grinnell (part 1): claw removal

  1. I just think that declawing is on par with ear docking and tail (snipping?). Its only purpose is to relieve some sort of burden on our parts with no real benefit to the animal at all.

    Plus the process and the stories I’ve heard of the process are horrible.

  2. My Dad also pointed out that if the cats escaped they’d be more screwed than before.

    And isn’t any kind of surgery ‘horrible?’

  3. Boots does really well outdoors. Without claws (he kills rabbits and pimp-hands other cats (except for Yoshi)).

    And I think all kinds of surgery are great.

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