Hey there cool cats and dog friends! S’up? So sporadic snow storms aside, spring has officially sprung in Montreal and I am beyond thrilled that crotchety and clingy old man winter is getting rained-out. Let’s hug you guys!!
What else is super about spring? Kittens. Yep. There will soon be an abundance of kittens. Either roaming the streets, in horrible pet stores or overwhelmed shelters. For those who adopt (I implore you to adopt!) you’ll soon be faced with the decision of how to deal with your kitten’s, soon to be a cat, bestest friend: their claws. It’s true some cats use their nails more than others. For the owners of felines who enjoy leaving a mark there comes a time when the subject of declawing comes to surface.
The subject of declawing makes my claws come out
So, what does declawing involve? Lets pretend that your hand is your cat’s paw (the magic of imagination.) Now, you see your nail? Pretend that’s a cat claw. Most people assume that declawing involves simply removing the claw (your nail.) This is a lie. Look back at your hand. If I were to declaw you not only could you no longer apply funky nail art but you’d also be needing some serious medical attention because I am not a licensed surgeon and all the tips of your fingers up to the first joint would be gone.
“What’s the number to 911?” – Homer Simpson.
My personal opinion on declawing is that it’s selfish and disrespectful but that’s just me. Being one to never give an opinion without backing it, here are 6 reasons why you shouldn’t declaw your cat.
Really, if cats decided to show us that they do know how to speak the human language, do you really think, given a choice, they’d say, “Heck yes humans!! Cut off part of my toes!? Lets get on that party! That sounds downright fantastic!” Cat claws and toes are an integral part of making a cat a cat. Would you honestly want them to be anything less, especially since there are humane alternatives? It’s your decision, but please take a moment and think about your cat’s needs before making such a drastic and permanent choice.
Jack, my new addition
Speaking of moments and choices, last summer I experienced a moment that lead me in deciding to adopt a one eyed cat. A friend named Miranda Wimbush (whom I had the pleasure of working alongside once upon a time at Pampered Pets) introduced me to a young man I couldn’t resist.
The story of Jack: when a stray is born on the street there are a number of ways for them to die. Jack was a kitten that faced one of those possibilities. Being born on the street Jack caught a cold byway of an ear infection. This cold got bad, so bad he lost his left eye but not bad enough to take his life. And the only reason for that is due to Jessica Zerebecki. Animal Care Coordinator at the SPCA, this lovely lady found and named Jack. She brought him to the Sherwood Park Animal Hospital in Beaconsfield where one of the loveliest vet techs, my gurl Miranda, assisted in Jack’s recovery (during which he earned quiet the reputation. Jack can roust a bar if need be but he’d much rather just share your lunch.)
When he was healthy enough he travelled to the SPCA in Valleyfield. When I went to meet Jack last August it was the very first time I had ever gone to the Valleyfield SPCA. Now considering it’s a shelter it’s probably one of the most phenomenal places I’ve been. The set up is beyond.
Walking up to the facility you’re greeted by a floor to ceiling window that stretches across most of the front of the building. More than half of the space visible is a sectioned off room that’s only accessible once your inside byway of a sliding door. This area is dedicated to the cats available for adoption. Cats of all ages, cat trees galore, private litter areas, soft pillows, cuddly blankets, and toys to be enjoyed, this is a place that I could totally hangout in. Every single cat, from year olds to nineteen year olds, were adorable, sweet, special, and amazing.
I love what the Valleyfield SPCA has done. When I walked in I was faced with a tidy front desk, friendly staff and a super pleasant atmosphere. The lovely cat room to my right and to my left were about six large cages displaying new arrivals still under meds and not to be handled only observed. What I absolutely adore most about their setup is the social aspect of it all. All of these cats are around people, noises, an other cats. Rescue and shelter animals generally come from situations where they’re been isolated or rejected. Either way trust has been broken. This is why I love animals, not only do they not hold onto drama but they also tend to go by the rule of, “you’re good to me and i’ll be good to you.” I think it’s a phenomenal way to live and not just because it’s honest but because it’s remarkably simple. Having all these cats setup like this allows them to build trust without feeling restricted. This encourages confidence in the animals and in turn confidence in the trust. Basically everybody is happy at the SPCA Valleyfield but it doesn’t last forever. There must be a rotation because new arrivals come far too often. For some cats this shelter is the last home they know. That being said, this is my plug for the Valleyfield SPCA, by request of Jessica, anyone willing to foster a cat and assist in the SPCA’s recovery of finding forever homes PLEASE contact Jessica via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
(So Montreal Dog blog readers, much love you guys, please pass the word.)
Jack’s addition has been nothing but smiles. in all my years on this planet of meeting far too many rescues I have never met a more well-rounded and friendly rescue. Jack didn’t skip a beat when he moved in (remember, I live with two big dogs, a chow chow and Doberman/Shepherd. Jack is BFF with both but in love with Pady (the doby mix)). I totally attribute Jack’s adaptability to the love he received during his recovery at the Sherwood Park Animal Hospital in Beaconsfield but also due to the fantastic setup they have at the SPCA in Valleyfield. Jessica’s skilled hands and loving heart turned the fate of this street kitten assumed for death in the opposite direction. Perfectly named by Jessica, Jack is totally a Jack.
In poker, the one eyed Jack is wild – and Jack is everything unexpected. Part of that charm is his need to be involved with all things. What’s come with that trait is the need to climb. Jack LOVES climbing; people, other animals, walls, furniture.. et cetera. His activities have left me with one option… well two. One, let Jack destroy what he will or two, cap those claws in hope of saving what’s left of my nylons.
PRODUCT REVIEW: Soft Paws Nail Caps
As you guys know, I work alongside fellow blogger and animal angel, owner of Pampered Pets of Westmount, Anna. Just below our shop is the Veterinary Hospital of Montreal. What’s really special about this is that we often share clients and I love this because the dogs we see become accustomed to the area, people, and events involved in these visits. We work with the vets in dealing with a variety of health conditions (skin cancers, allergies, post-surgery hygienics, noting altering physical conditions that may be signals of a developing health condition.) Ergo, this familiar social setting is not only good for the dogs but, turns out, also for the owners.
So about a month back I ventured down a flight of stairs to the Veterinary Clinic of Montreal and spoke to the receptionist Debbie. Now let me tell you something about Debbie. Debbie is awesome. She also has the most handsome Scottie named Winston and Goose, a lovable boxer. I asked Debbie what the cat nail caps were all about. So here’s what they’re about:
PRODUCT: Soft Paws are little nail caps applied with a clear adhesive. My tester for this product was my little badass Jack. I got Jack pink caps because Jack’s a bit of a tough guy and pink softens his image.
Applying the caps was relatively easy. It was probably so easy as I work with animals and manipulating them comes as second nature. The process involves only three steps. First, nail cutting. Second, applying the glue to the inside of the nail cap (careful not to put too much. you don’t want the glue to overflow when you slip the cap on.) Third, putting the cap over the nail and holding for 15/20 seconds. And then you’re done. To do both front paws took about fifteen minutes.
PROS: I really do like Soft Paws because they really work and they come in really fun colours. (I wanna do a rainbow theme on Jack next. I’m excited. Don’t judge me.) An investment between 45 to 55 dollars, a Soft Paws package includes 40 caps, two glue bottles and four applicators. The caps are made of a soft rubber that’s actually soft and the reason why I was surprised by this is because I’ve assisted in applying the dog nail caps. With the dog caps the rubber is stiff (makes sense the nail and weight is more) BUT it makes nail trimming more difficult in it’s precision. If the nail is cut too short and the cap exceeds the nail when you apply it, there will be discomfort for the animal. That being said, if you’re interested in the dog nail caps you should probably have a vet or groomer apply them.
So yes, the rubber used in the cat nail caps is super soft. So soft that even when I cut a nail a tad too short Jack failed to notice the cap on that nail. Actually, Jack doesn’t mind them at all.
CONS: Depending on how rough said cat wearing the caps is, time between reapplication of the caps will vary. With that said, the first time I did Jack’s nails it was on a Sunday and by Friday I had to redo a few. The first month I was reapplying them more often as Jack discovered a new hobby of pulling them off. He’s apparently accepted and become accustom to them as I’m finding less pink nails around the house.
OVERALL: Soft Paws are an excellent and humane way to bridge the gap between claws and people.
PRICE: under $45 – $55
WHERE TO BUY: I bought my caps at the Veterinary Hospital of Montreal and, as Debbie suggested, any readers interested can surely call her or drop into the veterinary clinic to ask about these caps and/or make an appointment if they’re rather a vet apply them. You can also purchase them online. That said, most vets carry them and will gladly assist and answer all your inquiries.