The very first cat that Dad Tom and I brought into our lives was a brown tabby and white kitten. It was the mid-80s. We named our kitten Skooter. He was the son of a stray that friends had taken into their home. His dad, Tubby, was their neighbor’s cat.
Skooter was five months old when we brought him home. He was a sweet and gentle cat, but we did something terrible to him. We had his front claws removed! I am ashamed to admit this, but we didn’t know any better at the time.
I don’t remember who suggested we do this or why we decided to do it. Even though I had no idea what declawing entailed, I always felt guilty about doing this to my boy.
Of course, now I know that declawing involves amputation of the last bone of each toe. That’s like removing a human finger at the first knuckle. Just the thought of it makes me cringe.
It recently came to my attention that the state of New Jersey’s Assemblyman, Troy Singleton, has introduced legislation to criminalize declawing in his state. Those who perform declawing would face a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail, according to the provisions of the New Jersey Anti-Declaw Bill A3899.
Over 25,000 individuals (including myself) have signed a petition, begun by The Paw Project*, in support of Bill A3899. Won’t you please add your signature? Click here to go to Change.org to read more and sign the petition.
The Paw Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that exists to increase public awareness about animal welfare and animal cruelty issues related to the declawing of cats.