Friday, June 13, 2008

Defending Home and Hearth

Last night, after my usual forays in the garden, I came and lay down. My female human was snoozing in front of the TV. I decided to snooze as well. As I lay there, I had a dream where I was eating at my bowl. I could hear myself eat and then it dawned on me that someone was actually eating at my bowl. I leaped to check and there was another cat in the house!

I have seen this cat around the neighborhood. She is a big Bengal. She has come into my garden a few times. She is bigger than me. She doesn't seem aggressive or mean so we have passed each other by without incident. But now...Here she was! In my kitchen! At my bowl! Eating my nice food! I was mad!

My tail fluffed up and the hair stood up along my spine. I'm about half her size but do you think I'm gonna let that get in the way of defending my turf? My female human came up and started making cute sounds at the other cat. Then she tried to touch me but I was already keyed up for attack. It just felt like the other cat touched me so I tore into her. But when I realized it was my human, I was a bit contrite, but come on, who in their right mind would allow another cat to enter my kitchen and eat from my bowl and then cuddle me?

My male human also came down. He and I are totally in-sync in situations like this. I don't get my female human but I get this guy. He took one look at the situation and sized it up - just like me! Then he leaped with a loud hiss at the cat. Now had all avenues to exit been well labeled and open, the other cat might have left. But that audacious intruder took off in the wrong direction. She leaped to go upstairs in my house. I decided to pursue and deter. We screamed as I attacked her. Tufts of fur (exclusively hers) came off as she yeowled in anger and at least a little bit of pain, as far as I can tell. She hid under my human's bed which I consider to be part of my territory.

At this point my female human came up and dragged me away. I got tied up in a harness downstairs and the cat upstairs got both my humans giving her attention. I didn't like it one bit. They eventually got her to leave by the front door. You may well ask, how someone my size (beautiful and compact but about half the height of the Bengal) was able to completely and utterly rout a bigger cat? I want to take credit for my courage and fighting prowess but I can't lie. The Bengal was not able to be a worthy opponent. Not because it was a scaredy-cat. Far from it- it put up as much of a fight that a cat, which has been mutilated by its humans, could. Not once in our fight did I feel its claws. It was not able to defend as well as it could have against my nails. It was not able to make a mark on me. It was not able to hurt my humans even once. All it could do was hiss and bare its fangs.

Why would humans be so mean to cats? It is unethical and wrong! It is like extreme makeover surgery and all for what? Cats need their claws in order to be beautiful, to walk gracefully as if on clouds, to make beautiful acrobatic leaps, to chase flies, to groom... Who cares about silly couches and curtains which are easily replaced? Declawing should be punishable by law just as amputating a perfectly healthy human is. In fact, declawing is illegal in many nations. Declawing is an American phenomenon and one invented solely for the trivial convenience of one species at the painful expense of another. A lot of people seem to be walking around under the misapprehension that declawing is like nail trimming for us felines. Well, it isn't. It is more akin to cutting of your toes in order to prevent your nails from growing. Some cats have been known to develop behavioral problems after this surgery and no wonder. Would you not defecate and urinate on softer surfaces too if the nerves in your feet became too sensitive to walk on or scratch litter? Just because cats don't whine and emote as much as humans do, does not mean that they don't have pain. I am posting a link to declawing (in my links sections to the right) to inform all you other cats and cat-worshipers out there. Please, disseminate and stop this cruel and unusual punishment inflicted on felines.

[The picture shows a Bengal but not the Bengal which visited us last night. The picture is associated with the website of the Swedish Enhagens at Thanks, you cat-loving family.
The Declawing site was created by Dr. Christianne Schelling, a veterinarian. Thank you.]

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