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Nina and Nala's Story

My husband and I were newlyweds when we decided to get a cat of our own. We got Nala when she was six weeks old. We watched her grow from day one and were already attached to her when we picked her up. A couple of weeks later we decided to get her a playmate who we named Nina. They quickly became best friends. They slept together, ate together, bathed each other, watched birds out the window together....they were inseperable.

Nala was very playful and scratched everything in our house. We decided to get her and Nina declawed since they were strictly indoor cats. We dropped them off at the vet's office for the surgery. About three hours later we found a message on our answering machine from the doctor for us to call her. My husband quickly returned her call and I could tell by his voice that something was wrong. He got off the phone and told me the heartbreaking news...Nala had had a reaction to the pain medication they used in the declawing procedure and had died. They had kept her and Nina together the whole time while trying to restart her heart.

As soon as I saw Nina they following day, I knew we had made a terrible decision. She was in pain and her paws looked horrible. Even worse, she was so disoriented and sick that she could not keep down her pain medication. She had to recover without it. Nina quickly became aware that Nala was no longer around. She went through 'pet loss anxiety' and the vet had to order special medicine for her. She became withdrawn and had a decreased appetite. She finally came through the ordeal, but it took 3 months. Even today, her whole personality is different. She is not the outgoing, playful cat she used to be. She hardly ever plays and she is very timid with strangers. She is also very clingy to me.

In the last couple of months, she has also developed a very painful back condition which the vet cannot seem to cure. And she is only a year old.... The bottom line is that if I had known all that can happen during a declaw surgery, I could have saved my husband and I a lot of heartache. Not a week goes by that I not think of Nala. I am sure not a week goes by that Nina doesn't think of her either....

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