She looks at me from the floor. The mutilated one. I would never have done this to her myself.

I found her in the Albertson's parking lot where my old trainer used to be, .9 miles from my house. She had been hanging around the lot for a few days and I fed her bits of dry cat food that I brought in a baggie. She was very sweet and seemed somewhat well taken care of, but something bothered me. It seemed like a strange place for her to be, this lot surrounded by busy streets on all sides, any crossing likely resulting in her being hit by a car. She reminded me of an old lady's cat.

The trainer's girlfriend was a work associate of mine, and like me, a confirmed animal lover. She was the one to suggest I take her to the vet for an exam and to see if she was chipped, which I did.

The vet gave her a clean bill of health and confirmed she was not micro-chipped. I couldn't take her back to the parking lot, so my co-worker suggested maybe I keep her. Notice she never once assumed responsibility for the vet/ownership responsibilities, but was insistent that I be. Some people have your number. I decided that this would be the best course of action, and vowed to find her owner.

When my husband came home that night, I had to tell him we had a new houseguest. "You what?!" he gasped as I told him I had captured and brought home someone's pet. "How do you know it's not someone's cat?" he rationally questioned. "I didn't know", I told him. "There's just something about this cat."

Well, let me tell you, something is an understatement. When I got her home, she went ballistic. I had to lock her in the bathroom to avoid contact with my other cat. She howled and screamed and I was beside myself. That night, I went in to comfort her, and she literally reared up, hissed at me and bit my arm down to the bone. I freaked out and ran from the bathroom. After I staunched the flow of blood, I sat down on the couch, looked at my husband and said "I've made a terrible mistake".

This went on for days, with me trying to comfort her and make her feel protected, but she was a mess. During this time, I ran ads in the paper, posted signs with her picture all over Point Loma, and left flyers on the bulletin boards at every business in the complex where I found her. I actually found a lost cat flyer on the Albertson's bulletin board the day I put my found one up, with a picture that looked EXACTLY like her. I was ecstatic. I called them, they came over, and it was not their cat. It was so weird. What are the odds? I received a few calls, but none panned out. We were stuck.

During this time, I noticed something strange about her. Her front paws were tiny, and even though she could easily have scratched the hell out of me, she was inclined to bite. She would try to scratch the carpet, and nothing came up. I called my husband. "I think she has been de-clawed". Sure enough, I took her back to the vet, and they confirmed it.

It was only her front paws, but she was at a serious disadvantage. As I attempted to acclimate her to my other cat, Tiger, he sensed something was wrong with her. At first, he tried to engage her in a little rough play, but she could not defend herself other than to bite him. He seemed puzzled, and then he took to holding her down and licking her face and ears. At first she cried and howled, but eventually she succumbed to his charms and let him have his way. They became husband and wife. They still fight all the time, but I also find them lying next to each other basking in their luck at landing in this house.

Never, even if the real owner called, would I have considered giving her up after finding out about her mutilation. Anyone that would let a cat with no claws go outdoors, let alone de-claw one in the first place, does not deserve the privilege of pet ownership. Most don't understand what de-clawing entails, but it is a horrific practice, and if you are so selfish that your couch is so important to you that you would put an innocent animal through this, you should be banned from having one. A cat, that is, not a couch. Cats will tear up your stuff. That's part of the tradeoff for the right to have a cat. You don't ever own a cat. There is an old saying. "Dogs have masters. Cats have slaves."

I made no mistake taking this wonderful creature home. She is still a god-awful bitch, but I could not imagine our lives without her. This cat has taught me a lot about moving through life without the things we take for granted. When I found her, she was in a real pickle. So, I named her Pickle.

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Comments

thestoryteller Dec. 19, 2009 @ 6:35 p.m.

You have a good heart, Ms.Grant. Currently, my rescue group is searching for someone who can foster a declawed cat with all expenses paid for a year. The owner is being deployed to Iraq and is heartbroken at the thought of giving her up.

It seems like an ideal situation for a senior citizen on a fixed income who could use a companion. My group is great and would certainly be there as a back up should the foster parent not be able to follow through.

I would do it but my Pit Bull (shown above) considers cats a finger food.

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CuddleFish Dec. 19, 2009 @ 7:55 p.m.

MsG!!! Thank you for making room in your home for Pickle, she doesn't know how lucky she is, bless her paws!!!

I have just added another cat to my household, I am hoping temporarily, my cat volunteer friend is off for the holidays, but she is thinking sometime in January she might be able to house him and put him up for adoption.

He's a beautiful orange Tom, not spayed, I found him at the local laundromat, a lady was there and told me he had suddenly shown up at the apartments upstairs, that evening had come down to the laundromat and she had fed him and given him water. The attendant came in a little later while I was there and shooed him out with a broom, so I picked him up and put him in my car and brought him home. He's a mellow fellow, the other cats don't bother him at all.

I've been a cat magnet all my life, by the way. I remember once giving a friend a ride over to the local elementary school and while she was inside, I heard mewing, and got out of the car. Out in the middle of nowhere, this kitten had appeared. I put her in the car and when my friend came out, she said, in Spanish, "It means that you don't find cats, cats find you."

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MsGrant Dec. 20, 2009 @ 8:48 a.m.

Story, I hope you find a home for your friend's cat. I would do it as well but I am restricted from bringing home any more animals!! My husband is allergic to cats, and he still deals with it, because he loves our cats as much as I do. But he suffers - runny nose, itchy eyes. But we could not imagine our lives without one of them. They make an interesting trio.

CF, I am a magnet as well. Isn't it funny how homeless cats just know? One day I'll tell the story of Tiger. He is an orange tabby too. Something about those guys. He is mellow as the day is long and just a cool customer. I'm glad you took him home. Maybe he will grow on you and stay. I have a third cat as well that is a whole nother story. She was meant to be given to someone when she was old enough, but, yep, she is still here.

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CuddleFish Dec. 20, 2009 @ 10:44 a.m.

Awwwww MsG, you are a good soul. :)

Looking forward to the story of Tiger!

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kattaddorra Dec. 29, 2009 @ 11:18 p.m.

Ms Grant you have a heart of gold to give Pickle a home.You and your husband are obviously Earth Angels. As you so rightly say, declawing is a very cruel and uneccesary operation and we in England couldn't believe it when we found out just over a year ago that it still happens routinely in the USA.It is banned here but even before it was,our vets would never do it, it is classed as animal abuse. We have joined with the people in the USA who know how cruel it is and we are educating as many people to the truth as we can,because vets don't tell them that it is actually amputation of the cats last toe joints and that it causes many cats physical and mental problems.Even little kittens are being declawed routinely along with neutering,some vets are offering discount packages for what is supposed to be a last resort operation for serious scratching behaviour.We have saved 89 cats this way but because we can't reach every cat owner, declawing MUST be banned. PLEASE help us by signing and passing on our petition: http://www.petitionthem.com/default.asp?sect=detail&pet=4312 Too many cats are suffering ! THANK YOU so much, best wishes to you and your husband. xx Tiger and Pickle Ruth(retired vet nurse)

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thestoryteller Dec. 29, 2009 @ 11:55 p.m.

Rickeysays his mom can take the soldier's cat. How wonderful!

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PistolPete Dec. 30, 2009 @ 10:22 a.m.

LMAO! Another ban? Really? Is that what's going to save the kitties? Another worthless ban? C'mon people. Use your heads. Education I'm all for even if I don't agree with it. A ban though? Nope. If my cat was a scratcher and ruined anything of mine and I knew I couldn't get it declawed, I'd break it's f***in' neck! CRACK! Problem solved. Then I'd get another cat. And people wonder why our country is so screwed up politically...we're listening to a country that has 0 balls when it comes to their own. Hey Ruth? How's that Islam thing workin' out for you Brits? What's that you say? They're taking over your country? What a shame. We should've let Britain rot in hell when we came over here.

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