Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Informed Decision In All Aspects of Life

Two weeks ago, we declawed our kitten.

My mom had her cats declawed, all the vets where I live declaw cats, even the vet we went to told me it was a tiny procedure, and he wouldn't even miss his claws.

Instead of researching myself, I believed other people. The vet was the one doing the procedure, he is the same vet my mom uses, and I trusted him. I didn't think he would be doing something that would hurt my cat.

He came home, and was doing pretty well. By Saturday he was limping since he was awake more often, and I began to wonder if there was something wrong or something I should have known before I had him in for the surgery.

I googled a bit and found out that declawing is the equivalent of taking off my fingernail and cutting my finger off to the top knuckle. I had no idea.

I am a strong advocate for making informed decisions for you family, whether it is pregnancy, birth, circumcision, breastfeeding, vaccinations and so much more. I learned that I needed to research things myself after I had my daughter and all that happened with her, but in wanting my cat to stop clawing me, I didn't think of research for him.

In my ignorance and stupidity, I have given my cat a limp that won't ever go away. I have done something I can't ever take back. I think of if my daughter had been a boy and how we would have had him circumcised because I didn't know any better. I now know better about that, but instead, I made the same mistake on an animal that I treat like a child. We got him after my last loss, and he has been one thing that helped me heal.

Instead of advocating for him and being smart like I am with my children, I turned into a hypocrite.

From him, I have learned that I need to be informed on every part of my life, for everyone in my life, even my animals. I am always so wary around doctors because of what I have gone through with them, but I had no reason to not trust a vet. Now, too late, I know better.

Because of this situation, I have learned so much. Because of this decision, I have learned I need to research everything I do. Some decisions won't have the fallout like this one, but every decision I make for my family, I need to do because I am informed and can make a decision based on information I learned myself, not what someone told me.

He will have a limp forever, and I will forever have this decision over my head. I will always feel guilty for what I did to my kitten, and I will never let it happen to any of my animals again. I would rather be scratched day and night than deal with the guilt of knowing I could have made a different decision.

Informed choices need not only be for ourselves and our children. In every aspect of our lives, we need to know the positives and negatives and make a decision based on what is best for our families. And for my family, that includes our animals.

I wouldn't have an elective procedure done to my child, and now I know that I will not have it done on my animals, too.

Too little too late.


ErinKate23 said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for having the courage to post this, and the courage to admit a mistake. Declawing cats is similar to circumcision in a lot of ways - it's just something people "do" without really researching and thinking about it. I'm glad to see someone talking about the procedure (I'll also mention the even worse procedure of "de-barking" dogs...shudder).

Your kitty will forgive you - and this article will probably save other kitties from the same pain. :)


Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so sorry. You have to forgive yourself. It doesn't help you or your kitty at this point, kwim? The best thing you can do is just learn from this experience.
That's all we can ever do.

You're human, you make mistakes, we all do. It doesn't mean we're terrible or don't love our babies both of fur and of human.

Shawna said... [Reply to comment]

If it makes you feel better, I've never owned a cat, but those around me who did always declawed their cats and if I hadn't met a cat owner who knew better than to declaw, than I would have declawed any cat I owned. Just think of all the future cats you will not be declawing (and that you saved with your post!).

Dionna said... [Reply to comment]

I had the exact same experience - I declawed a cat before I ever had kids, and it was only after the fact that I started researching. I can't tell you how many nights I stayed up, horrified at what I'd done. Thank you for this post and your honesty.

Mommaof3Loves said... [Reply to comment]

I can completely understand. But what I did was way worse in so many ways! I had both of my boys circ'd with out doing research for myself. Everyday I have to live with the guilt of amputating my sons. But all we can do is learn from our mistakes and move on. :)

Abigail Road said... [Reply to comment]

At least you learned, and are trying to educate other people on why you shouldn't declaw a cat.
However, the fact that vets do this at all makes me vomit in my mouth a little. Any vet that allows this should have their license yanked.

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