Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Trimming Cat Claws as an Olympic Sport

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Kit is easily the best behaved of my three cats. She never misses the litter box, she is polite to company and she always uses her scratching post. And use her scratching post she does. She digs in with zest and shreds it to bits. My other cats reserve that type of scratching for my couch. They could take some lessons!

All Kit’s scratching creates some super-sharp claws, which presents a problem when she walks. The slim little tips become stuck in the carpet and she has to peel her foot away from the floor with every step. It sounds like Velcro being ripped apart. The worst part is she tends to pace when she wants something. At five-thirty this morning, she decided she wanted to go outside. She made Velcro sounds all over the bedroom for an hour. It is time she had a manicure!

Trimming Kit’s claws should only be attempted by a trained professional or a Hollywood stuntman. Kit is sassy and imperial and if she wanted her nails trimmed she’d prance up and demand it. Because she has never once demanded that I trim her nails, she thinks me presumptuous in the extreme when I come at her with the trimmers. To her credit, she doesn’t really scratch at me but she’s an expert squirmer and she could teach a sailor a few profanities even he’s never heard. Trimming her nails requires agility, speed and the ability to tune out her swearing. It’s so much fun.

I’m blonde so sometimes it takes me a couple of tries to get things right. After a few attempts of trying to hold that slippery little cat (she’s eight pounds wet) still to trim her claws, I realized that there was a much easier way. The next time she needed a trim, I waited until she was asleep, not just asleep but in such a deep sleep she was soggy. I was through one whole paw before she realized I was doing something she didn’t like.

It worked so well that now I wait until my cats are out cold before I do anything with them. This is particularly useful when pilling them. The pill is usually down before they wake up. No more crawling under the couch to find the slimy pill that was spit past my head and by this evening, no more Velcro paws. At least for a few weeks.