Welcome to our Cat Lover's Site
Being who I am - dedicated to increasing my knowledge - I went down to the local library to get some books about cat-rearing. Two of the books I recommend the most are The Cat Who Cried For Help, by Dr. Nicolas Dodman, published by Bantam Books in 1997, and No Naughty Cats, by Debra Pirotin, D.V.M. and Sherry Suib Cohen, published by Harper & Row in 1985.
One thing I did learn about cats (or I should say cat owners), which horrified me, was the method of declawing which is very popular in this country. I have also learned about devocalization (removing the vocal cords in cats that meow too much), and euthanizing a cat simply because it seems uncontrollable. Millions of cats in the US meet one or more of these fates each year, and we're hoping to help alleviate that problem with these words.
Both the above mentioned books have helped me immensely understand the attitudes and reasoning of the three cats I have owned. To put it bluntly, THERE IS NO REASON IN THE WORLD THAT A CAT MUST BE DECLAWED OR DEVOCALIZED! Both of these books give alternatives to these options, ensuring a happy and healthy cat (and owner). People who believe that declawing is not painful or traumatic MUST read Dr. Dodman's book. As a noted veterinarian, he has seen first hand the trauma and pain associated with declawing, that many owners do not see, and many vets who perform the operation deny.
Dr. Dodman describes the procedure as the "dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint, and dismember all apply to this surgery." Personally, for someone to say a cat is not traumatized by declawing (or having its vocal cords cut out) has never had the last joint of their fingertips severed - bone and all. I would be very traumatized if I went to the doctor, then woke up missing the ends of my fingers. And anyone who has had ANY type of surgery knows there is ALWAYS pain of some sort afterwards. I liken this procedure to going to the dentist and having teeth pulled. I think that puts it in some kind of perspective. Dr. Dodman describes the type of person who would do this to a cat as "the same people who believe that it is quite painless to castrate a camel by crushing its testicles between two rocks -- unless you get your fingers caught between the rocks." I must say that I totally agree.
Three things have helped me solve the clawing problem: a couple of GOOD scratching posts, pieces of plastic bag (like the kind that newspapers get delivered in on rainy days), and a small water bottle. I cover the areas that the cat likes to scratch in the plastic, or some orange peels (they hate plastic, and can't stand the smell of oranges), and provide several strategically placed scratching posts throughout our home for their use. Every time I see them digress, a quick squirt with the water bottle gets the message through. This system has worked every time.
Anyone who cannot devote the time or energy it takes to training their cat in the right way, and would rather opt for the easy way out (for the owner, and not the cat), does not deserve to be a cat owner, and the animal would be better off in a friendlier home.
Now that the soapbox portion of this page is completed, let's get on with the joy of ownership.
Click on the name below the image to see a page of pictures
dedicated to each of our buddies:
Please use the following links to reach the other RMG pages:
where Dr. Dodman has his practice.
Other Animal Sites:
Click the above image to find out how to give a pill to your cat
Prior to creating this page on our Homestead site, there were 621 hits on the original AOL page between 12/31/1999 and 8/21/2004