A Parable of a Dead Cat

He started out as a gift to the children. Just barley two months old when he arrived, Quentin was an big hit with the family. We had never had a cat before, let alone a registered Siamese.

Raising Quentin was to be a family task. That nasty business of cleaning the litter box originally was to be a shared task for the children.

“We’ll take turns Dad, we’ll feed him and bathe him and clean up after him. We promise.”

Well, I eventually gave in and Quentin came to live with us. It didn’t take long for Quentin to learn the routine. He even liked his weekly bath. He was a very curious cat too. With his long tail extended, Quentin walked on the back of the chairs and sofa and the countertops in the kitchen and the window sills too.

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After being reminded several times, Quentin learned that we didn’t want him on the kitchen counters or on the table. He kept his back yard romps to a minimum and rarely stayed out more than about five to ten minutes. Then he would be back to the door asking to come inside.

There was just one thing that Quentin could not stop doing. Scratching. He extended his forepaws and dug them into the furniture. Deep gouges appeared on the legs of the sofa and chairs. He dug his claws into the fabric and shredded everything. He even scratched the legs of our very expensive and antique dining room table and chairs. Threads were appearing everywhere. And even though we warned him and tried to convince him otherwise he refused to obey.

Well, as my wife said “cats will be cats.”

So, a trip to the vet was planned. You see, a vet can surgically remove these sharp appendages. They can de-claw a cat making them harmless to you and to your furniture. Against his will Quentin submitted to this procedure. Within a week he was back to his old self with one exception. There was no longer scratching. Oh, he still went through the motions but he could not do any damage. Without claws he was no longer a threat to us or our furniture.

At last Quentin a manageable pet. He could run, jump and play without being a problem in our home or to anyone that might try to pick him up.

However one night during his romp in the backyard Quentin ran into an unforeseen situation. We don’t know how many there were but all we heard were dogs barking. I ran into the back yard and never even saw them. That’s when I found him. My Quentin. Lying lifeless in a pool of his own blood.

You see, in our misguided quest to make Quentin a more manageable member of our family we had removed Quentin’s only means of self defense. Without claws, Quentin was helpless. Quentin could only HOPE he wouldn’t be assaulted.

The moral to this story is simple: The right to bare arms saves your hide.

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