Friday, July 16, 2010

How to clip a cat's claws and live to tell the tale

Baggins after his one and only bath - and just before his demise. 
Many years ago when Muffin was not so big we took her to the Vet to be - ahem - neutered. We lived in a neighborhood where there were lots of boy cats and you know what they are like - and as Muffin was allowed to go wherever she wanted to we thought it best if we took precautions. 
We of course took into account her rights as a potential kitten producer but decided that she was not the motherly type.
So we took her to the Vet and she came home and  glared at us balefully for a few days - but recovered to live a long and happy and - we thought - child-free life.
Except that about six months after the operation she presented us with two bouncing baby boys. This was a great surprise. To us and to the vet - but probably not to Muffin. 
Well we already had three cats so it was a big ask for us to take on another two but they were as cute as buttons and we succumbed. We lived in a house with a very big garden and there was lots of room for everyone.
This was 17 years ago - long before the Lord of the Rings movies - but we were great fans of the book so we named the two boys Bilbo and Baggins. 
Baggins full name was in fact Baggins Ayrton Senna da Silva and this proved to be his downfall as - like his namesake - he was killed by a car - when he was one year old. Bilbo came to Vienna with us two years ago but did not survive the first winter. 
Muffin is still with is - barking mad - but here. 
What I wanted to tell you was that when Bilbo and Baggins were very small we decided that we would give them a bath. This seemed like a good idea at the time. 
We only did it once and I still have nightmares about it. These kittens were the size of a ball of wool but fought like deranged Tigers. I never did get all the bloodstains off the ceiling and for years after whenever Bilbo heard water running he would be off like the hounds of hell were after him. 
Anyway we have another cat and her name is Sissi. She has very sharp claws. I mean VERY sharp. You could cut glass with Sissi’s claws and she sharpens them on our feet if they protrude from the bed. 
A more difficult problem is that she sharpens them on Cate’s clothes - and particularly on new and expensive ones that she brings back from the USA. 
So when we were in Australia I suddenly thought ‘why don’t we cut Sissi’s claws’. So I googled this and it looked quite simple. Easy to do - painless for the cat - so yesterday I acquired some cat claw clippers and last night we prepared for the ordeal ahead.
Having had previous experience being torn to pieces by wild animals - and given that Sissi is the size of a Panther - we prepared for this thoroughly.
We phoned the Red Cross and warned them to have emergency staff standing by. We alerted the neighbors  to the possibility of blood curdling screams coming from the apartment. Put plastic sheets on the floor and placed bins of cotton swabs everywhere. Wrote our blood types on our foreheads with indelible ink. Donned dressing gowns, oven mitts, bike helmets and Scuba masks and gripped wooden pegs between our teeth to stem the shrieking - and pounced on the Panther. 
The Panther lay in Cate’s arms quite placidly and watched lethargically as I snipped away - quickly - with bits of nails flying all over the place. It was a wondrous experience - quite an astonishing outcome.
I wonder if I should try and give her a bath?


  1. LOL! Nice story Badger!
    So I take it your Australian sojourn is over now?

  2. How in heck did she get preggers after being spayed? I hope your vet went back in and did the job right.

  3. Maalie: Yes back from Oz. A very quick trip indeed.

    Steph: Yes he was very apologetic and did it again (well actually for the first time) for no charge.

  4. I was wondering because Nettl's father is a veterinarian of many, many years, and she said that sometimes a cat will have two uteruses (uteri?). But now that we've read your reply, she says she's sitting here with her mouth open: "Put an animal under, then not do the surgery? Then send it home like he did? Why did he not notice there was no incision? She should have been shaved and there should have been stitches! My god! WTF?"


  5. Ah yes - but there was an incision and stitches - so we all assumed that the job had been done. But I could not say that he 'did it again' because his first attempt failed. Juts a grammatical thing.