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Educating friends about cats...or...was trying to.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,
Just had to share a conversation that I had with a co-worker the other day. She was telling me about her older kitten. She is a cat lover and before she adopted this kitten, she had lots of questions. She asked me, knowing that I am the resident cat/dog lover and vet wannabe at work

She had all kinds of very basic questions...things that I felt capable of answering accurately. Nothing complex. Just very basic litter box questions, declawing questions, etc. I did everything in the world to educate her in preparing for her kitten etc.

Quite some time has passed before we came upon the kitten/cat discussion at work again. What do I discover? She had her kitten declawed. She is complaining about her litter box being "too much work"...and "my kitty is just waaaayyyy too fussy, she's spoiled...she insists on a very clean box"...blah blah blah. I couldn't believe it. Soooo...I took the time to explain all over again the importance of keeping a very clean litter box. She seemed to have the idea that it was frivolous? I told her...if you don't keep it clean, your cat will find other areas to eliminate in. She said...well...then that cat is going! UGHHHHHHH! I couldn't believe that either. I told her she better get her act together about this issue, or she will have troubles...she did somewhat relent, stating she really didn't realize that it was that important. She said she would look into a LitterMaid then, if it is that important to keep the box THAT clean.

I also really questioned her about the declawing...why she felt it was necessary to do so after we had discussed it so thoroughly. She said her kitty just "was such a naughty kitty!" her kitty..."scratched up all my nice furniture"..."I couldn't get him to stop"...etc. I asked if she had tried any of the things to prevent scratching furniture...asked if she purchased a scratching post/furniture for her kitty...the answer, "No"..."my kitty probably wouldn't use it, anyway". Damn. Thought I had made a difference...turns out, I made not even a dent. In fact, I could just as well keep my mouth shut...but, I keep trying. Just wanted to vent a bit. Frustrated with people. Grrrrrrrrrrr!

Cindy W.
post #2 of 24
i dont want to offend anyone but if her furniture is too important and if its silly to clean the litter tray often, then it doesnt sound like a cat lover - a cat lover would do anything for their furbabies. this is just my opinion.
post #3 of 24
Cindy, you may not have educated this woman, who apparently didn't want to listen in the first place. She probably already had her mind made up and wanted you to reaffirm her opinions and when you didn't she ignored it. But who knows, maybe someone overheard what you said and will treat their next kitty differently or will share that info with someone they know. It's never a total waste.
post #4 of 24
Unfortunatly most the people in this world are just like her, at least so far. :/
I agree I don't think people who say or do things like that are REAL pet lovers, and I'm not sorry to say that.

Ask her, what she would do, if she walked into her bathroom, and the whole place as covered and filled up with YOU KNOW WHAT! Ask her what she would do then??? That's right, she'd go some place else, just like her cat.
post #5 of 24
I lost the same fight recently with a relative. They ended up buying purebreed Persians and going against the contract and having both kittens declawed! If I could find out what cattery they bought out of- I have a mind to report them! Problem is they live out of state and bought out of state.
post #6 of 24
Same hissy! I'd do that. I'd actually love to report my brother (the one who abuses his basset hound.) But I don't even have his phone number or know what city he lives in. Plus they can't do anything just on "hear say" over the internet. :/
I talked to him again recently found out some other disgusting things he's done to this poor animal, and of course he thinks he's in the right and wont listen to me, I've stopped talking to him.

There are some people who just will NOT listen, very stubborn.
post #7 of 24
This is a horrible thing to say, but many people see these animals as disposable. If this one doesn't work, I'll dump it or trade it in for another. We already live in such a disposable wasteful society, it's infuriating!!

I had a similar situation to you and tried to convice a coworker to not declaw her kitten. Of course, she did and said to me "See, nothing went wrong and the kitten is fine! All you environmental people exaggerate everything!"

When you thumb your nose at nature, it will rebel ten fold. But then what do I know, I'm just an exaggerating environmentalist!

post #8 of 24
Russian: I can't stand the granola eating hippy expression. I don't like hippies and I hate granola
post #9 of 24
Don't forget Tree Huggers!!

Actually, excuse me while I scrape this tree sap off me. And while I'm here, pass over that granola I'm hungry!

post #10 of 24
I know the feeling, but in the case I'm thinking of the cat is already using the flower pots, and my friend is barely speaking to me because I asked her if she flushed the toilet after using it. She doesn't have the time to clean the litterbox! Scooping once a day would be a big improvement, and how long does that take? Two minutes?
The poor cat is also declawed.
post #11 of 24
Ha Ha AngelzOO and Russian Blue, you guys crack me up. I definitely like the idea of telling her if her bathroom was full of $h!t where would she go?

The world of pets is changing people. All people used to believe the same as this woman, they are disposable and remain unattached. But now we actually have pet insurance, some states have laws against declawing and we can have pets in apartments (for the most part and with a fee)... it is getting better, people are starting to become unafraid of admitting their pets mean a lot to them and are allowing more information to get to themselves. It is a slow process, but one day they will be recognized as family members and will have stronger laws protecting them.

Education is power.
post #12 of 24
at least you tried. i hate it when people just get rid of there pets. And I think cats are soooo easy to take care of!!! My dogs drive me nuts of and on but my cats are just so easy.
post #13 of 24
Originally posted by Tamme
The world of pets is changing people. All people used to believe the same as this woman, they are disposable and remain unattached...... It is a slow process, but one day they will be recognized as family members and will have stronger laws protecting them.

Education is power.
I agree, but getting there is such a slow process!

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was just reading everyone posts about this. I should have said I THOUGHT she was a cat lover. She professes to be one, but, her actions tell differently. To me, it is such a lazy way to deal with cat ownership. It is like she wants a maintenance-free pet. No claws to scratch with. Wants a LitterMaid, so I am sure, she will never look at that catbox again.

I would like to think that people's opinions are changing about declawing. My opinions have changed drastically over the years, esp. since I have had the internet, and have read much about cats/kittens/declawing, etc. I was raised with cats that had been declawed. This was the thing to do. Vets recommended it. My parents still swear by it. I argue with my dad all the time about the reasons NOT to declaw. He believes it causes no harm, that it is necessary. I show him PROOF that Duncan literally NEVER touches any of my valuables with his claws. I SHOW him that Duncan loves his scratching posts, etc. My dad just insists that "you'd have a much better pet if you would have just declawed him". He has absolutely NOTHING to base this on. Just ideas that are deeply ingrained. He believes that all of the associated problems with declawing are overly exaggerated. Ugh. There is no convincing the man.

I find that MOST people that I talk to really do not have the slightest idea that there is anything wrong with declawing. They believe that if their vet recommends it...then it MUST be OK. Most people will not be swayed beyond this (at least this is what I am finding).

I take a kind approach to talking about declawing. I don't push my views all over people, because I have found people just simply quit listening when that approach is used. People seem interested. Usually because they were the ones who asked in the first place. I am just really frustrated because I thought this woman really was going to do the right thing for her kitten. Turns out, she has done what was convenient for her. I don't believe she is a BAD person, but, I do believe she is lazy and is doing what she thinks is best for her, not her cat. I do believe that if problems would arise...she would get rid of the cat and try another. The disposable theory. She claims that she loves the cat and that she is a good kitty most of the time. Oh...I don't know...I am just rambling. Thanks for your thoughts

On another note, I went to visit our Humane Society today (which btw, about half of the cats were declawed, wonder why people don't question what brings declawed cats to shelters). I found the cutest kitten, "Ruby" there. She had a little pink cast on her leg (she had broken it...not sure how). Her cast comes off in a week. So friendly and cute. I wish I could have brought her home right then and there. I am still undecided about adding another kitten/cat to our home. I think for family harmony, at this point, I am going to maintain with the # of pets I have. Going to enhance their environment with some cool cat furniture. Spoil the ones that I have I lean towards the idea that another cat wouldn't be a good idea at this time, no matter how much I would like another

That's all for now...nice to hear your thoughts. Thanks for listening!
Cindy W.
post #15 of 24
Cindy, you are so right! A lot of people just don't give a thought to declawing, because they're accustomed to it, it's convenient, etc.. I have to admit that I never gave it a thought till I moved abroad. We had cats when I was growing up, but they weren't declawed, primarily because they were living with large dogs and had to have some protection against overenthusiastic Airedale, St. Bernhard, Labrador, etc. puppies. Germany banned declawing, and also cropping dogs' ears, years ago. We moved here with an American Boxer with cropped ears and a docked tail (he was from the SPCA - we didn't have it done), and I always thought the German Boxers had it better. Our dog had such scarred, cold little ears. When I'm Stateside and say I believe that declawing is cruelty to animals, some people look at me like I've lost my senses, though the majority of my American friends also don't have it done. Incidentally, Germany also bans so-called "tortuous breeding" (Qualzucht) - there is a ban on breeding several kinds of cat like the "Pekingnese-faced" Persian, Sphynx, Munchkin, Manx, and white cats with blue eyes (because of hereditary deafness). The Ragdoll and Scottish/American Fold are also quite controversial. The Germans sometimes go overboard, but I'd welcome a little bit more control in the States.
post #16 of 24
Cindy just reading this thread makes me wonder why this woman got a kitty for? Just all the good stuff and doesnt want any of the nasty stuff (if you can call it that). Does she have kids? Heaven help em if she has, arent they also too much trouble. Heaps more hard work than a kitty. Sounds like a selfish/lazy person to me.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
I also would like to see tough restrictions on a lot of these issues. I wish the laws on declawing were similar to what Europe has in place. I believe it is illegal. It should be.

I own Boxers and both have natural ears. Parker, my older Boxer has a natural tail as well. Something that just isn't seen very often in the United States. Nat'l ears are quite popular, and are probably more common than cropped ears, but, Parker is the only Boxer I know of in this area that has an undocked tail. I adopted her from a Boxer Rescue in MN and she came that way at 1 year old. My youngest boxer, Bear, was docked before I bought him. As far as I am concerned it is all just cosmetic type of surgery done for the pet owner, not the pet. I also tend to agree with Germany's position on these issues as well. Yes, I would like to be able to have some control with what I do with my pet, but, that shouldn't outweigh what is right for the pet. Most of these surgeries are NOT what is right for the pet.

As far as my co-worker goes...I really do not know why she needed a kitten. I don't. What I believe at this point is this: she is lazy and was looking for a care-free pet. The closest thing she felt she could get to this was a cat. It really pisses me off, but, I tried and will continue to try to educate in a kind way. I bought and read the book, "Think Like a Cat" by Pam Johnson-Bennett. I am bringing it to work for her and GIVING it to her. I am going to make her promise to at least look over the sections on declawing and litter box issues. I am pretty sure I can get her to do this. I think she will agree to do this. Her problem is more laziness and ignorance than meaness or callousness (I think. I am giving her the benefit of the doubt...lol).

Well...off to bed for now. Take care everyone and thanks again for letting me ramble on. Cindy W.
post #18 of 24
I enjoyed your ramble Cindy, and it is always better if you can get it off your chest.

post #19 of 24
At least you tried. I recently sold one of my most beautiful persian kittens to a family that raises beagles. They wanted a cat for in the house as they had plenty of dogs. We went over everything and I explained that they could not declaw the kitten and they signed a contract stating that they wouldnt. Well just recently I received a phone call from the husband who was very sad. He said his wife went against my wishes and listned to her mother and went ahead and had the kitten declawed. The poor kitten died on the operating table because they had it done too early! And they wanted to buy another kitten. Of course they said they would never do it again but I said H@## no! And there isnt really anything I can do about it. If the kitten was alive I could sue for the kitten back. But the little thing gave up its life hopefully they learned a lesson.

post #20 of 24
Just to add my 2 cents. Cindy dont stop trying to educate your friends. You cant win them all but there will be some who will listen to you. Im all so the resident "cat lady" at work and i know i saved at least 2 kittys their toes, but not 5 others. There will be some who will listen allong with some who wont.

I had one lady at work who when i was talking about Hoots surgury said" you know new kittens are free" as if i would just dump her and get a new cat? Incredible ignorance!
post #21 of 24
ceehorn: That's horrible!! There is something you can do. Talk with other persian breeders in your state and inform them of just what type of person this lady is!!
It would be bad enough to declaw the cat after she knew she shouldn't for the sake of the cat, but she also went back on a LEGAL contract, not many breeders will look kindly on that.

If she still wants another cat I say you put her and her husbands name on a look out list.
post #22 of 24
Oh I calle deveryone I know right away when they asked for another. We always keep each other up to date on people like that. If they get another one it will probably be un papered or out of our area.
post #23 of 24
It's so sad to see how some people treat animals. I would just like to say that I grew up with dogs, cats, birds, fish, frogs, etc. Out of a cat, a dog, and a bird (the only animals that you can snuggle with), a cat is the easiest by far to take care of. They make almost no mess when taken care of properly and if you spend a little time making sure they learn WHERE to scratch, they don't damage any of your things either. I would like to own many animals one day, but as I am an apartment-dweller currently, I am sticking to cats. I just don't have the space for a dog or a massive bird cage.

I think you should tell her to go smell the litter box. If she thinks it stinks, the cat probably does, too!
post #24 of 24
Well hopefully she HAS learned her lesson and will never do it again and will be forced to adopt from a shelter instead. To a lot of people it's not worth it to go all the way out of state just to get "some animal".
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