Thank you Sunlion and Lotsocats for your enthusiastic good wishes.
And thank you, Gap, for your comments. About the declawing: I agree with you. In a perfect world I would live on a farm with dozens of cats who had every claw they were born with and could use them as nature intended. Unfortunately, as man becomes more "civilized" and dwells together in urban areas, we must impose hideous sanctions on our beloved pets--or forfeit their companionship. I have agonized over whether I'm being selfish to want my "children" with me at such a cost...but I need their friendship. And I like to think that, as animals, they are unaware, after the initial painful operation, of the gross injustice we do them. At least I rationalize it because I want my kitties! And every apartment complex usually requires neutering/spaying and declawing. If you're fortunate enough to afford a rental house, that's not the case. When I lived in Denver I rented a house with a huge backyard where Jasmine and her sister, Jennifer, hunted to their delight (and my chagrin when they brought their prizes home!). But, when I moved with them to Cleveland, Jennifer was killed by a car only 7 months after the move. I vowed then to never let my beloved babies outside--and subsequent moves have necessitated that Jasmine and Pearl, and now Josie, have suffered the horrible fate. But I had to voice my feelings!