Monday, May 9, 2011

Unsticking the Velcro Cat

One aspect of life at the Kitty Spa has not been running smoothly.  My parents have Berber carpet in their living, dining, and bedrooms, and whenever Rusty walks across it her claws catch.  We've been calling her the Velcro Cat because the sound of her unhooking herself from the carpet is a lot like the noise Velcro makes as it rips apart.  She's started using an exaggerated duck walk to avoid the snagging but it doesn't always work.

I've been putting off trimming her toenails because it's always an ordeal.  I originally bought Rusty from a rescue organization and she had obviously been badly mistreated.  She wouldn't let me pick her up without a struggle for almost two years after I got her, and to this day she goes wild if she thinks she's being forcibly restrained.  (Her file at the vet's has a yellow "fractious" sticker on it.)  Unfortunately, claw-clipping usually requires forcible restraint.  Once in a while I can sneak up on her and trim a couple of nails while she's sleeping, but lately she's been napping under the bed so that hasn't been an option.

Last night my sister came over for dinner and Dad's birthday cake so I recruited her help.  (She has had several hard-to-handle cats and is an experienced claw-clipper.)  I held Rusty and Sue clipped.  I could tell from the language Rusty used that she had spent way too much time listening to the alley cats behind our apartment in Brooklyn.  No blood was shed, but by the last paw she was struggling so hard that I finally let her go.

Rusty and friend
Upon her release, Rusty jumped on the back of the sofa where we were sitting and gave us a smug "So, there!" look.  She didn't have a chance to enjoy her victory, though, because Sue grabbed her under one arm and finished the last two claws before she could even protest.  I didn't know a cat's face could look that shocked and surprised - not to mention outraged.  She may never speak to Auntie Sue again.

At any rate, today Rusty is walking across the carpet with no noise or snagging.  I'm just hoping we'll be able to move before she once again morphs into the Velcro Cat.

(Note to self: DO NOT buy a home carpeted in Berber!!)

"Velcro: what a rip-off." ~ Tim Vine


  1. Chuckle ... I feel your pain. Three of our four are complete sweethearts who tolerate the occasional pedicure with remarkably little fuss. Dash, however, immediately flies into adrenaline-induced hysterics. She's a polydactyl with SIX saber-tipped toes on each paw, and she has no qualms about demonstrating what nifty slicer-dicers they are.
    After a couple of early attempts that left us
    with PTSD and scars, we admitted defeat.

  2. Well, now I'm feeling grateful that at least Rusty doesn't have extra toes! I'm so reluctant to traumatize both of us that I usually wait until she needs her teeth cleaned and have the vet clip her claws while she's still under anesthesia, but this year she didn't have to have any dental work. Never thought I'd feel sorry about that!!