Saturday, November 22, 2008
Meet The Family, Pet One
This is Tuxedo. He likes to make himself at home, wherever that may be. Windowsills, the tops of chairs, the bathroom sink. We rescued him when we lived in Miami, just before Katrina hit, from the animal hospital where my partner, Carlos, used to work. Tuxedo had been adopted out many times, and always brought back within a day or two because "he's mean and hides all the time."
The last time, before we saved him, he was returned to the animal hospital and one of the doctors decided to declaw him so he might be more adoptable. WHAT? Let's see......mean cat.....hides all the time. What to do? What to do? I know! Cut off his fingers!
See, declawing a cat isn't just taking off the nails, it's actually removing their "fingers" down to the first knuckle. So they can't scratch themselves, protect themselves, play.......and it doesn't make them nicer, it turns them into biters.
Oy! People are stupid.
But we took a chance and brought Tuxedo home. That first night he hissed at us, spit at us, growled like a demon cat, tried to bite and hid from us. But everyday I went in the room where we were keeping him, and I sat there. And everyday he came closer, sometimes close enough for him to bite me, sometimes close enough for me to pet him. It took a good month or so, but Tuxedo, or Tucky, Tuck, Tuckleberry, became the sweetest cat, the smartest cat, the most playful cat.
Believe it or not, you can learn lessons from cats that you can use if your "real" life. If someone seems a little mean, a little shy, maybe even, oh I don't know, a biter, sit with them, hold out a hand, and maybe, after a while, they'll come to you and become one of the sweetest friends you'll ever have.