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Earl's story

Earl picked me out at a shelter when he was 2 months old. He rubbed against the cage and batted me playfully with his paws. I wasn't able to pat any of the other kittens, he would push them away. There was nothing special about his looks...a gray tabby. But his personality was so charming. I brought him home.

He took to my family immediately, we all still argue over whose best friend he is!

I decided to have his front claws removed the same time I had him neutered. He was clawing the carpet and the furniture.

How did I not KNOW what declawing actually meant???

I get so angry with myself!

I picked him up the same evening, all bandaged up and still groggy from the surgery. He could hardly walk. He never once cried...I guess he just isn't a complainer, my 3 year old son sprawls across him all the time while watching t.v. But I could see his pain in the way he limped around the house. After about a week or two, I called my vet. He was still limping and his paws looked 'gross'. Like hamburger. So I took him in to be examined. They weren't infected. Completely normal. It took months before Earl could walk without a limp and finally he started 'mincing' again.

I never really 'looked into' declawing before I had it done. I certainly wish I had!

Earl had stopped using his litter box for about 3 months and I was ready to give him away! Only because he is so sweet, did I keep him. He finally did start using the box again. I only realized that it hurt to use the box after I read about it tonight! I am so glad that I didn't give my baby away... I am also glad that he is so much more forgiving that I would be if someone mutilated my body!

As a final note, I would like to also mention the 'biting' of declawed cats. I am a groomer and have been bitten severely by declawed cats. I should have put one and one together then!

I feel my cat is one in a million. I had NO idea how many risks I was taking with his HEALTH, nevermind his awseome personality. Yes, I was one of the lucky ones, my boy is back to himself (except for walking flat on his feet) but please, please DON'T risk your cat's health and well-being! Earl could still end up with problems later on in life. I don't want to submit another story, so I will be praying for him every day and hoping he doesn't regress...

Stacy and Earl

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