I've always been a cat person. I have a little boy who I just bought yesterday, after a three-year hiatus without cats. Ostensibly, I bought him because it is my son's birthday this week, but predictably, he's turned into a momma's kitty because I really bought him for me. While at the pet store, I stared into all the cages for a long time, watching the kittens romp and vie for attention. There, neither hidden away, nor particularly concerned with flamboyance, was an utterly common-looking tabby with a kinked tail.
He was older than the rest by a month or so; since he was neither as physically distinctive nor as attention-demanding, no one had seen fit to take him home. But, I noticed that while the other kittens crawled all over him in order to get to my hand (to bite it with those needling teeth), he lay there with a placid look about him, unbothered by the little kitten feet on his head. I opened the cage and reached for him, and he almost looked surprised, but when I held him close to me, he nuzzled my chin and purred loudly. I thought, This is my cat. I took him home on the spot. //;.cfgiooqewde333333333333q1tgywe As you can see.
My son, who will be five in a couple of days, elected to name him Kitty, and then asked me to pick a "second name", so I chose Coulomb. Coulomb favors the underside of the bed right now, and won't come out for anyone but me. He sleeps with me, and lays on my lap while I type. He's affectionate and personable, and he'll interact with my son happily as long as he knows I'm around. I have yet to see him claw anything other than the carpet. I love him, and I'm utterly sure he knows it.
I'm also looking for a house to rent. I'm already at a disadvantage, because I'm a single mother and most home-owners discriminate against that, saying that they would prefer a "family". It isn't the kind of thing I'm going to formally complain about, since it is difficult to prove, but it has frustrated my quest to find a good home for my son. Now that I've added a pet to my non-family, it will be even more difficult. On many listings, it says, "Cats must be declawed" or "Cat OK w/declaw". I refuse to do this, which means that now I'm looking at buying a house.
However, I disagree with banning the procedure. It is no more inhumane than "neutering" which is not conducted the "humane" way - it is castration - and I don't know any man who would volunteer castration as a humane choice. And I can't believe some of the people who think (in another thread) that euthanizing a cat is more humane than declawing. Okay, here's a choice: Die, or have the last bone on all your fingers removed. It would suck, but I'll choose life, thank you.
You can't have it both ways, people. Either your cats are your "children", or they are your pets. If they are pets, they are inferior, and as inferior animals, you can chose to kill, maim or disfigure your animal as it suits your perception of what is best for you, as a human, because if it was left up to your cat, they wouldn't choose any of those options. This includes euthanizing, declawing, altering, tail docking, and all the other procedures that we pay vets to do. If they are "children", then you have to respect that cats are animals with wild tendencies and should be allowed to resort to their natural state, as would be their inherent right as a cat.
The question of what is considered inhumane, and therefore subject to legislation is comically tragic at best, and unforgivably stupid at worst. Personally, I think that many pedigree breeding programs are just as "inhumane" (if not more so) as they purposely encourage certain genetic qualities that produce known defects and disfigurements, which prevent the cat from being able to survive without constant human supervision and frequent medical attention. Here, I'm thinking of Persians. But, of course, it is fashionable to consider it inhumane and irresponsible to have feral cats whose genetics will be selected out by nature so that they are more robust. Certain cats would die, and that's just too much for many people to bear thinking about, so we call it inhumane.
I would never declaw my cat. I wouldn't neuter him either. He is a darling creature and I won't, as long as I don't have to, inflict pain on him. But, I don't find it inhumane for a person to make the choice to declaw a cat, anymore than I find it inhumane for a person to breed Persians. Since we sit at the top of the food chain on this planet, it is our prerogative to own animals, domesticate them for entertainment, labor and food, and do whatever we wish in order to maximize our benefit. Anyone who owns a cat is subject to that judgment, just as the person who eats a hamburger or wears leather shoes is on the same moral level as the butcher. Even if you, like me, wouldn't declaw your cat, you still own them for your pleasure and entertainment, and this is not the same biological, ethical or psychological reason that we have children, ergo the cat is inferior and subject to your whim.
At the bottom line, you have to ask yourself, isn't that inhumane?
Just a little food for thought.