May 10, 2016
My cat, Lucy, has been my best friend for nearly 12 years. To say I adore her is an understatement. She’s my fur baby and her companionship has been paramount to my happiness.
My love for her does not blind me to the issue that Lucy is mean to almost everyone. She was trusting and sweet as a kitten, and still is to me, but around 4 years old her personality changed toward others. She scratches. She bites. She’s downright aggressive. My sister used to wear galoshes to my apartment as protection because Lucy would hide under a table cloth, jump out and attack Kerry’s legs when she would walk by.
My husband jokes that when we first started dating he was relieved to hear me say that he should stay away from Lucy because it meant he didn’t have to pretend to like cats. Nearly 10 years later, they have a sweet and slightly guarded relationship that has allowed us to live in harmony.
I never declawed Lucy. She was born on a farm and I wasn’t sure if one day when I left Rittenhouse Square she would want to go outside again. I thought she would need her talons for play and protection. I thought declawing was cruel. But knowing we will soon bring an infant home meant we had to address Lucy and her claws.
Our first priority is our son, and we won’t put him in a dangerous situation. His health and safety are most important. We discussed giving Lucy away, which we ruled out pretty quickly because she would probably hate a new family and end up in a shelter. I couldn’t bear the thought of that. We talked about euthanizing her. Not a chance. Ryan was clear that Lucy cannot pose any threat to our child or she won’t be welcome in our home, to which I agree. He also told me that her fate was ultimately in my hands. I decided that we have to give her the opportunity to adjust to our son.
We scheduled the declawing surgery so she would have many months to recover before the baby arrived. It was tough to see her in pain, but she handled the surgery like a champ. Afterward, she wasn’t mad. She just wanted to be around me for comfort and cuddles. Within a couple of weeks she was back to normal: walking without trepidation, jumping and playing.
My love for my cat is unending, but the safety of our son trumps all else. We’ve removed Lucy’s greatest weapons and are now crossing our fingers that she will love our baby as much as she loves me. It’s a wait-and-see situation, but we’re doing all we can to ensure a good outcome. I’m realistic, and hopeful.