Daisy used to climb the high back chair in my office to lay across the top, that is, until the veterinarian declawed her. And that brings up another interesting point. Daisy was neutered that same day, which is why Daisy, you see, isn’t a she. She’s a he. And he’s a cat.
Chester. Tucker. Tyrone. Or stick with Daisy. These are a few names, among others, our family can’t decide on since my oldest son’s girlfriend enlightened us of Daisy’s genital make-up, though I’d known for a while something looked odd. And I apologize. That might sound sexist.
But as best as I can tell, Daisy doesn’t care about sexism. He doesn’t care about names. And he may not even care about losing his gumbo—it has certainly made no difference with his feline fetishes. He does seem to care, however, about his claws.
It’s been a few days since he last jumped onto the back of the chair, his front paws naked and smooth. He slipped. He fell. It was a humiliating experience.
From the chair, I watched him walk away, limping. Not once did he look back. He had always looked back.
I found him in front of the desk, lying flat on his side and licking his front paws. His tail flipped up, shook a little, and patted the floor. He did that a few times. A good sign.
I stroked his side slowly. He kick-started at me with his hind legs, drawing no claws though he could have since we let him keep the rear set. I took the hint and gave him space. “Alright little buddy. I understand.”
Daisy is, after all, a cat. One might go further and say he’s just a cat, or only a cat. I get it.
He had practically shred the legs off our dining room table. Out in public, people looked at me like I was a drug addict, scratches covering my wrists and hands. Try waking at midnight after you nodded off on the couch, two eyes dilated staring at you—no, into you. Glimmering orbs, like distant moons, fixed on an afghan landscape. He pounces. You flinch. The scratches on your wrist reopen—for the third time. Your hand receives another bite. These rituals needed to stop before ending in a blood transfusion and a trip to the furniture store.
After sulking on my office floor, Daisy roamed into the living room. I found him sitting atop the couch, like a loaf of bread, staring out the picture window and fidgeting at every passing bird.
I suppose all of this may have nothing to do with Daisy or his claws. He seems to have had no trouble cutting his losses. He’s not attempted to climb my chair again, but he still comes by my office on occasion to rub his head against my leg.
He has a new favorite spot now, one that he can reach without claws. His tail can twitch at every bird that lands on the windowsill. His eyes can dance erratically at the clusters of bugs flying about. He can watch curiously as children throw baseballs, shoot basketballs, and hit golf balls.
His ears can perk up like radars to the approaching sound of rocks grinding beneath rubber. Maybe it’s the car that pulls in almost every day at three in the afternoon. My son and daughter may walk through the door at any moment, calling his name, the first syllable in a slightly higher pitch than the second. “Daaay-zeeee!”
The living room, and that window, is a space filled with life. And action. That’s the place to be.
And to think of all the time Daisy used to spend on top of my office chair, with four sets of claws, staring at the walls.