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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Abominable Mew


In one of my favorite holiday movies, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, I am always troubled by one scene. It happens almost at the end of the show, when Yukon Cornelius drags in the scary Abominable Snow Monster and all the elves recoil in terror. Then, he reveals that "Bumble" is actually now just a big furry oaf, rendered harmless now that Hermey (the dentist) has removed all of the White Giant's pointy teeth.

I'm not sure what bothers me most about this scene. Is it that Hermey did his surgery without anesthesia? Or that the Bumble isn't more pissed off about the whole thing? Or maybe it bothers me because the Bumble has lost something that defined him---after all, it is hard to be "Abominable" without those teeth.

Strangely, it was with those thoughts running through my head that I brought my old male cat, Zack, to the vet this morning to be declawed.

The decision to do this did not have anything to do with our precious furniture or my dislike for clipping claws---it had to do with him scratching three children in the face in the span of a few months.

It started with a hug from a two year old who had come to visit. Zack seemed to be saying, "Enough is enough with all these little people. I'm old, cranky and am going to get these creatures away from me!". The little girl took a nasty swipe to the face, horrifying everyone, most of all me, who had never seen Zack lash out like that.

We tried to keep the kids away from him, but little people are forgetful so it was only a matter of time before I let my guard down. This time, he took a swipe at Jilly who was gently patting him. He missed her eye by a few hairs. Then he scratched Belly in the scalp because she dared to sit near him on the couch.

All of my options sucked. I could try to find a new, child-free home for a 14 year old cat, or perhaps keep him locked away from the kids (and, therefore, me--his most favorite human). Sending him to that big catbox in the sky was never really an option, in my opinion. This left me with: "get rid of the offending claws".

My vet listened to me sob to her one Sunday (yes, she took my call on a Sunday; she rocks) and suggested we try the declaw. The office she recommended uses lasers which sounded very high-tech and fancy to me and are supposedly less painful than the traditional surgery (I repeat this to myself to make me feel better; I pray it is true).

Zack comes home tomorrow afternoon. I have a feeling he will not be as altered as the "Abominable/Bumble" character was. I just hope he can find a way to live with our crazy family, kids and all.

And, I hope he doesn't realize that he has good biting teeth. I doubt Hermey the Dentist makes house calls for cats.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Mom101 said...

Wow, I know what a huge, hard decision this must have been for you. I hope it helps. As you know, the claw-free Des makes ample use of her teeth instead.

Let us know that all is well.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Thanks Lizzy. Zack is doing great. A little quieter lately but he doesn't appear to be in any pain and is walking pretty well.

Des has always seemed to me to be the poster cat for declawing. My God, if that cat WASN'T declawed, can you imagine what she would have done to your houseguests? My ankles thank you.

10:43 PM  

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