M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, October 26, 2007  

Meet Marvin

i can haz nu hoam?

Marvin is not my cat. But maybe he could be yours.

A reader sent me an e-mail this week upon learning that we might have a vacancy or two. For one reason and another having nothing to do with him, keeping Marvin has become problematic. I'll let her explain:

"Marvin's about 5 years old, but very friendly, active and healthy. He's well-behaved. He's hilarious. I've never seen a cat with more personality. He's neutered, but not declawed. I would have kept him for forever, but I'm never home anymore and he's lonely. I also moved to an apartment, so he doesn't have the space to run around like he used to. And the final straw was when the apartment I'm in changed management and I renewed my lease and found out that under the new management, all cats have to be declawed. I just can't do that. He doesn't scratch my furniture. He loves those cardboard scratching things, tho."

As I told the reader, we can't take a new clawed cat with M. Small in the house, and we're not about to take Marvin and declaw him at his age. But I said I'd be happy to help her find Marvin a home. And then I saw the picture and decided I had to act fast or, despite everything, that home would become mine. So here you go.

If you live in the Twin Cities area, send me an e-mail at m.giant[at]gmail.com and I'll put you in touch with Marvin's person. Unless you want him for animal research, in which case you're out of luck.

posted by M. Giant 5:06 PM 16 comments


Declawing is... bad.

I grew up with cats, from when I was younger than M.Small is, and all of them had claws. This did not result in any kind of trauma for me. Cats often recognise that children are children and will avoid using claws on them anyway, but if your child does get scratched, a) it will do no lasting harm, cat scratches aren't serious and b) it will teach him a valuable life lesson about pissing off kitty.

Not to sound heartless or to wish ill on M.Small, but seriously, pain is a part of growing up, and the minor injuries to which children are prone help prevent more serious injuries later. The world is not a gentle place and kids need to learn that in small ways that heal. And Marvin doesn't sound like a child-scratcher anyway.

(Just in case "despite everything" comes to pass, you understand. I'd take him, he looks adorable, but he'd have to spend six months in quarantine to get to my house and I wouldn't wish that on him either.)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 26, 2007 at 9:54 PM  

Many of the declawed cats I've met have actually been more dangerous than clawed ones -- they've tended to be biters, and they liked to grab on with the front legs and kick with the back feet. I also grew up with clawed cats, and although I did get some scratches, they never bothered me (I was a tough little girl, heh), and they caused no lasting harm. Cats don't want to scratch people, anyway... since I've become an adult, I've only been scratched once, and it was an accident (cat was scared by a very loud noise and hooked a claw into my neck).

That kitty's adorable... he reminds me of one I lost recently. If I didn't live in Canada, I'd take him.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 26, 2007 at 10:34 PM  

We have 4 cats, a toddler, and a baby. All of our cats have claws and our toddler has only been scratched once, mildly, for inadvertently stepping on a tail. I wouldn't worry about it with M. Small.

By Blogger Melissa, at October 27, 2007 at 1:29 AM  

My cats are declawed, but I would never do it again (they're 12, 9 and 9). My parents cats are not declawed and my kids (6 and 2) do great with them. The 2 yr old has been scratched once in nearly 3 years.

Many vets have stopped declawing. As long as the cats are given places to scratch openly, they'll mostly leave the kids and furniture alone.

By Blogger Bunny, at October 27, 2007 at 6:25 AM  

While in general I wouldn't be too concerned about a cat that age with claws around a little kid, we did once have a kitten of dubious origin who scratched the heck out of the entire family playing, and transmitted some type of staph bacteria, causing genuinely nasty infections. I guess the lesson from that would be to clean a new arrival's paws & claws with something disinfecting before you have much interaction. I was really sorry to read about Turtle, by the way, and wish the best of luck with Strat.

Totally off topic, did you ever find out why Trash's car smelled so bad?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 27, 2007 at 9:08 AM  

I'm with everyone who grew up with clawed cats and came through unmaimed. I'm also with those who decry declawing as inhumane. I use these on my cat:
I'm not with the company, just really like the product. My cat doesn't love 'em, but she'll stand it. She's pretty good about having her paws messed with though, which isn't always the case with cats. Best of luck to Marvin! If I weren't in Chicago, in a studio apartment...sigh.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 27, 2007 at 10:10 PM  

Lesley, I think the lesson there is actually to stay away from kittens of dubious origin. ;) My mom brought one home once and it had weird red fleas. She checked kittens more carefully after that!

I clip my cats' nails. They're good about it. I don't know if it's the best thing for a cat's claw, being clipped, but it's a lot more humane than declawing.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2007 at 12:22 AM  

If I were ever to become an activist it would be on the declawing issue.

I grew up with EIGHT cats, none of them declawed. It's all a matter of teaching the kid how to interact with the cat.

My husband says, no no, we can still keep it legal, but anyone who has their cat declawed will be declawed themselves. Let's see how they do without the first joint of all their fingers and toes.

That said, Marvin is adorable and I'm sure he will get a good home.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2007 at 7:02 AM  

M. Giant, I am SINCERELY sorry for the number of angry emails you're going to get from the Pro-Claw faction.

2 of my 3 cats were declawed as tiny kittens, and they are happy, healthy little monsters. That "declawing makes them more hostile" idea is simply not true. The only reason the third isn't because we got her at the age of 2 and she's a little unsteady. That one? Has ruined my sofa. And she pulled off the Softpaws and ate them. So, there ya go.

Frankly, I'm willing to sacrifice as many little kitten toes as necessary to the great god of Catnip if it puts them in a forever home where they are loved and cared for. Don't get me started on the "cats know how to deal with babies and children" thing. He has a brain the size of a walnut! Don't spread that kind of junk advice!

Sorry, now *I* sound a like a member of a crazy faction...

By Blogger Unknown, at October 28, 2007 at 5:03 PM  

PS If Marvin were my cat, I would snorgle the hell out of him. Look at that nose! LOOK AT IT! I am dead from the cute....

By Blogger Unknown, at October 28, 2007 at 5:04 PM  

Oh, awesome. Declawing. The most productive topic of debate on the internet after (1) fat people; (2) bikes versus pedestrians; (3)home schooling; and (4) osteopathy.

Aren't you glad you mentioned declawing? Aren't you?

By Blogger Linda, at October 28, 2007 at 6:51 PM  

Eh, I've had cats all my life that were declawed. We currently have 6 inddor cats and 4 of them are declawed, and SOMEHOW they are all fine. The other 2 simply don't use their claws in ways that cause problems, but despite using all methods to deter them, the others tore out carpet, ripped up furniture, clawed people (not with malicious intent, but still...not appreciated) and so they got declawed. They never go outside, ever, and they remain extremely spoiled and happy. They also have not found the need to resort to other violent means of expression. Good grief.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2007 at 3:59 AM  

Cat scratches aren't necessarily harmless. Cats have something in their saliva, that gets on their claws that can cause serious bacterial infection in humans. It doesn't happen often, but I've personally known people who've had some serious infections from cat scratches. That said, I wouldn't declaw either, it just seems mean. it's painful, it can deform their paws over time and it's not necessary if you keep the claws clipped and/or get SoftPaws.

By Blogger XUP, at October 29, 2007 at 9:37 AM  

I live in the UK, where declawing cats is simply not done, any more than extracting all their teeth would be. The very thought makes me shiver. Strange how pet-keeping culture varies so much from country to country. Anyway, I hope Marvin finds a home soon, he looks like a darling.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2007 at 6:30 AM  

For the love of god, can't someone go the one extra step and make a cat scratch fever reference?!?!?! It's killing me!

I got yo back, Nuge...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2007 at 7:00 AM  

Marvin is so freakin' cute! I'm sorry that we can't take him in.

By Blogger Teslagrl, at November 1, 2007 at 11:51 AM  

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