I had no idea what I was doing to my precious cat when I had her beautiful paws mutilated. It was hard for me to say that word for the first time, but I had to admit it to myself.
When I got my little Pinky, she was so tiny she could fit in the palm of my hand and my husband's hands completely covered her over. She was the runt of her litter and so so sweet. She loved to be held all the time and loved to be loved on by other people. She never was much of a purrer, though.
I did everything I thought a good pet owner was supposed to do. I took her to my wonderful vet who takes great care of all my animals and made sure she had all her shots. When we went on vacation when she was only 8-10 weeks old, I kenneled her there and they all joked about how she hadn't walked all weekend because someone was always holding her!
Then, at six months of age I again did what I thought all responsible pet owners did. I had her spayed and since she was an inside cat I had her declawed. I just thought that's what you did. I admitted her into the clinic right before we left to go and see my sister so I wouldn't miss her as bad. I called the vet's office two to three times a day to make sure she was ok and they said she was doing great. My husband dropped me off at my other sister's on the way home and when he got back to town, picked up Pinky. I called to check on her and he said she seemed fine but cried a lot.
Shortly after that, Pinky started displaying anti-social behavior. We attributed to the fact that my neice had visited not to long after the surgery and kept trying to pick her up. It didn't stop though. Pinky became very aggressive towards strangers, started biting and throwing fits. If the room has too many strangers she gets under something and starts screaming just like a child. I asked my vet what could be wrong and they said that they thought it was due to the spaying. We tried several treatments including hormone replacement therapy!! Nothing worked. I thought it was cute when I noticed she stood on her hind legs instead of sitting.. I called her 'godzilla kitty' I had no idea that she was doing that because she was in pain.
Then, on the anniversary of her mutilation she started to act really strange she would holler when she jumped off of things and would not use one of her paws. I took her to the vet and they could not find anything wrong. She was very hard to examine because she was hissing and trying to bite. She offered to x ray her paws, but said she would have to sedate her to do it because of how aggressive she was. I told her I would wait to see if the shot worked and it did. Pinky has now done this every year right around the anniversary of her declaw except this year. She also very frequently holds up her left paw instead of putting weight on it.
All this seemed a mystery to me until I stumbled upon this section of this website. I visit it frequently and had never read about the declawing until recently. I called my husband almost in tears from work and told him what we had done to our little daughther (we call her that since we don't have kids) Now, it is all so clear. I wish I could take it all back. She is so mean with other people, one of the vet tech's nicknamed her the devil cat. That may sound mean, but it describes her when she's around strangers. When she got her shots this year she threw such a fit that everyone was staring at me when I came out of the little room! She loves me and her daddy, but does not like anyone else. She is just now warming up to my mother-in-law who comes to my house everyday to feed my kitties and change their litter. (Says it gives her something to do!)
We do have another cat named Baby that we got when she was a year old and already declawed. She seems ok. She loves everyone and is complete lap fungus w me, but I noticed a couple of months ago where you can tell the first joint in her foot is missing from the declawing. How sad!!!
*****DON'T BE SELFISH. IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO SPEND THE TIME TO TEACH YOUR CAT WHERE TO SCRATCH, THEN DON'T GET A CAT!! NEXT TIME YOU ACCIDENTALLY SCRATCH SOMEONE WITH YOUR NAILS AS WE ALL DO OR SNAG YOUR HOSE, THINK HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IF HUMANS WERE PUNISHED BY HAVING THE FIRST JOINTS OF THEIR FINGERS CUT OFF!*******
February 19, 2001