I knew if I just waited long enough after my cat Cocoa died, I'd get another one. I wouldn't have to go looking for one; one would just find me.
And that's why I'm only a little bit surprised that there is a beautiful young tomcat howling at my door tonight, wondering why he can't come inside. Didn't I give him a can of cat food and two helpings of kibble? Didn't I give him fresh water? Didn't I pet him and hold him? Didn't I lay out a spare kitty bed for him? And wasn't he appreciative of all that? Wasn't he a good boy?
Of course he was! He is a very good boy. That's plain. He's had people at some point in his life; he isn't a bit mean, and he's nowhere near as wary as he ought to be in this world.
He's also declawed.
But he hasn't been neutered.
These, these are the people whose heads I would like to beat against rocks: The kinds of people who make it a priority to remove from an animal his chief defense mechanism, but the part of his body that will cause him to wander for miles and miles until he is hopelessly lost? That part of his body that will help create dozens, if not hundreds, of other homeless cats? Oh, no: We keep THAT part. Heaven forbid we emasculate the poor fellow.
And don't tell me it's about money. It isn't! Declawing is expensive, but I once paid a whole $15 to have a cat neutered, and not that long ago, either--within the last 10 years. There are low-cost spay and neuter programs everywhere, even here, in wouldn't-you-really-rather-have-a-dog? land.
I'll be taking this little guy into such a program tomorrow, if he's still around. I hope he is. He is very sweet. He licks noses and likes sitting in laps.
Alas, poor Shane: Your time as a baby was so short.