Meet Claude

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For months now, I have been volunteering at Cats in Need, a local cat rescue. I clean cages and cat boxes, feed the cats and (best of all) I get to play with the temporary residents. I try to take a photo of every cat I meet there but I’ve probably missed a few. What is gratifying is to see cats, especially older cats, go home with a new owner. But I admit, in addition to helping the Cats in Need, I had an ulterior motive. A while back, my son’s cat, Elvis, was diagnosed with a massive tumor and had to be put down. While I got over the loss of Elvis, I was keeping an eye open at the rescue for my next cat, who would really be my first cat. The cats in my past have belonged to my mother and my kids. They are, in order, Bambi, Purry, Norman, Mr. B, Kitty, Mr. P and Elvis. Last Saturday, I brought home Claude, six year old Tuxedo.

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Claude is not the cat I expected to fall for. He is cute, not beautiful, and though he’s called a Tuxedo, his black and white coat reminds me of a cow. Except from the back, when he looks like he’s wearing black pants on his hind legs. Yes, he does have a beautiful face. From the first time I let him out of his crate to

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clean it, he came right to me, purring happily. He is a perfect laid back old cat for this old guy. He’s been with us for a week now and he is starting to be comfortable here. Last night he jumped up on our bed and went to sleep … and this afternoon, while I was sitting in the bedroom, he came in and curled up in my USC Trojans blanket, bless his heart.

He has had a tough life. He was rescued then abandoned again by owners who didn’t want to take him when they moved out of state, which is how he ended up at Cats in Need. Somewhere along the line, he was declawed (hence his name, Claude). He seems to show no ill effects at the moment, except that he is not inclined to play with cat toys. Did you know that de-clawed cats are less likely to play because they can’t grip things? Did you know that the surgery doesn’t just remove the claws, it removes the fingers down to the first knuckle and that it often leaves residual pain? Did you know that because without claws, cats can’t stretch out the tendons in their feet, it often leads to atrophy and pain? ** Jim, at Cats in Need, who has also rescued a declawed cat, showed me how to massage his paws and stretch the tendons. Claude seems to like it, in moderation. I intend to make up for Claude’s first six years with love and care for the rest of his life. He is, after all, the first cat that is really mine, and truthfully, I’m as happy as a little kid. What could be better?

** The Paw Project (www.pawproject.org) has lots of information about the declawing of cats, large and small and is seeking to get the practice banned in Untied States. Take a look and I think you will never declaw a cat.

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3 Comments on “Meet Claude”

  1. barrythewiz Says:

    He’s a great cat. So glad we got to meet him. You’re both very lucky.

  2. rita Says:

    So thankful he has a wonderful home with the Reeds. He is really very special–it was love at first site for me!!!!


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