Meet our very own Professor Galileo Borealis (his friends call him ‘The Professor’)!
As many followers of Skeptical Kitten know, we adopted The Professor from a rescue shelter back in November of 2018. He was a scraggly looking thing. He was missing hair on his chest because it was so badly matted/clumped, and when the shelter got him, they had to shave a lot of his body because there was no chance of getting rid of the mats. He looks *so* much better now, and quickly went from scraggly cat to one of the goodest bois you’ll ever have the privilege of seeing.
(The Professor, taken earlier today.)
He’s also become incredibly playful with the other cats, as demonstrated in a video we posted to the Skeptical Kitten Facebook page earlier today:
If you watch the video, you’ll notice he doesn’t really use his right paw very much, and favors the left. We’ll address that here in a minute.
Since adopting The Professor, we’ve had to take him to the vet many times for various issues (cat acne – cacne? – that was infected, check-ups, etc). Today, we took him because we noticed that when he was sitting on his hind legs, he would always keep his right paw off the ground.
The Professor’s front paws were already declawed when we got him. Declawing a cat is a barbaric process that is similar to cutting off your own fingertips at the first knuckle. So imagine being a quadruped who has to walk around on your hands but you’re missing the very tips of your fingers. That’s about what it’s like to declaw a cat.
Cats generally don’t like to show that they’re injured or hurting. So we decided to play it safe and have the vet look at him just to be sure that he’s okay.
The picture above was just before his exam – as you can tell, he was *very* stressed out when we were at the vet’s office.
The vet examined him and noticed that when she pressed on certain areas near the right ‘wrist’ of his paw, he squeaked as if in pain. She thought it could have been an infected cut (possibly from roughhousing with one of our three other kitties), so they shaved his leg.
They didn’t find any wounds.
Next, they did bloodwork and an x-ray. The bloodwork came back fine, however the x-ray had two issues. One is a mass of some kind (indicated by the red arrow in the image below) about midway up his forearm. But his right ‘wrist’ has an incredible amount of inflammation.
Here’s the side view of his right arm:
To the best we can tell (they looked at the plaque buildup on his teeth as well as cloudy buildup inside his eyes), The Professor is about 4 years old. Fairly young, and he really shouldn’t have arthritis yet or anything like that.
The vet believes that as a result of the incredible trauma of being declawed, The Professor now has a substantial amount of inflammation in his wrist. And the mass could be a mineral buildup or fluid of some kind resulting from being declawed as well. She doesn’t really know right now, but he’s going back in a week to have another x-ray to see if the anti-inflammatory meds we got today have any affect on him.
Basically, he’s suffering in pain because some idiot thought it would be convenient for them to have his front claws removed. Then the same irresponsible idiot abandoned him until he was saved by the rescue shelter we got him from. That’s not to mention that everything he had done today cost a total of $320. He’ll have to have another x-ray next week (so another $150), and might have to have a procedure to see if there’s fluid to drain in his forearm.
Part of responsible pet ownership is taking your pets to the vet, especially if you think something is wrong. Just like their humans, our pets need regular checkups to make sure they’re healthy and happy. If you don’t have a vet for your pet, you can find one in your area using this handy tool.
We’re not upset that we have to pay for the vet, but now we’re on the hook for at least $500, and may have to give him arthritis meds the rest of his life. Again, we’re not really worried about the money side of things (though we’d rather have that money than not). We’re pissed off because all this is because he was declawed.
If you are going to adopt a cat, do not get them declawed. If you buy scratching posts, toys, and play with them, your furniture will probably be just fine. Spray them with water if you catch them doing it and move your scratching post/mat/whatever near where you’ve seen them scratching.
Whatever you do, don’t declaw them.
If you’re not willing to deal with the possibility of a kitty scratching up your carpet or couch, then you’re not ready to own a cat.
It’s as simple as that.
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