Been a long time since I did a shaggy cat story.
You all know Zoë, my cat. My little princess. My sweet faced little adorable furball. My lovely little, silver-haired darling.
Otherwise known as “The Bitch”.
Zoë is a bird friendly cat, which means that she stays indoors at all times. We have a large, carpeted cat tree in front of the window, as well as several rubber mats that she can claw to her heart’s content. She gets quality ‘bird’ (chasing feather on string), ‘keep away’ (playing hide n’ seek throughout the house), and ‘earthquake’ (shaking the tree or chair while she’s on them, which she loves) time, not to mention the ‘under the blanket monster’, the ’stair climb’, and the Lap.
She gets a mix of healthy dry food, formulated for both her teeth and her advancing years, as well as a dollop of wet food in the morning and evening (and treats at noon and before bed). She’s amazingly healthy, happy, active, and I think quite a looker. She’s the most beautiful cat I’ve owned, and with a loving, curious, playful personality.
And she has claws. She has, probably, the world’s longest cat claws.
At the vets, they look on in horror at those claws, as they leave gouges in the hard surface of the examining table. “Oh my!”, they exclaim, as they quickly reach for the ‘huggy’ to wrap her in before doing an examination. I’ve finally figured out that the most junior person in the office is the one delegated to hold Zoe while she gets her shot. I sure as heck don’t hold her.
We also try to clip her claws, with varying degrees of success. Varying, that is, from poor to “I’m ripped to shreds, and only clipped on claw and I need a transfusion”. The roommate and I hesitate to try again as we don’t want to cut into the quick and cause Zoë to bleed.
(Loosely translated: “The roomie and I are cowards.”)
Now, it’s not unusual for an indoor cat to have long claws, and long claws don’t necessarily mean that there’s a problem (other than they can hook into carpets and get yanked out). But Zoë also has a habit of extending her claws and gently inserting them into whatever is closest. Usually us.
When I’m working in my chair, and her butt is half over my TiBook, her front paws are extended, oh so sweetly, over my leg, claws lightly sunk in. And then she’ll slightly flex them in tune to her purrs, sending tiny little pinpricks of exquisite agony into my skin. My roommate’s arms are a mass of scars from all the play time. I am luckier in that she doesn’t claw me during play time because I’m Mom; roomie is just the hairless, idiot, older brother and therefore fair game.
If she’s on my lap, though, and something startles her, she uses her claws to obtain traction in order to launch herself off –accompanied by my screams of anguish, which I think has the neighbor really confused about our lifestyle. (Especially if he gets a closer look at roomie’s arms.)
I have gotten fairly adept at sensing her tensed muscles and quickly grabbing her front claws in order to preserve what’s left of my legs. I am not always successful, and my knees have a series of little red dots all over them, accompanied by thinner red lines of old markings. Last week, though, was the corker. Last week, she sunk her claws in so deep, she punctured a blood vein and now I have this massive dark purple bruise on my leg, with this tiny little pinprick in the middle.
Zoë cleaning my blood from claws.
I am mad at her. I am so mad at her. When she isn’t snuggled up into the crook of my arm, head back against my chest, looking up at my face with absolute and unconditional love, I’m really going to be so pissed.
The little Bitch.