Betty & I have been working on Aurora for years now. What we found out is that cats who are de-clawed are often meaner, and more prone to biting. If the cruelty of declawing your cats isn’t enough, those are two more good reasons not to do so.
But of course we got Aurora long after whoever owned her before had declawed her, & so we got a bitey cat who is something like post-traumatic. She doesn’t like her nether parts touched ever. Nor her belly, or her paws. She is mostly okay with being scratched between the eyes, and sometimes on her cheeks or under her chin. But mostly all touch is very conditional – depending on how full she is, how sleepy, how recently she’s had a standoff with one of the boys, or how long ago she saw some other cat in her front yard, how recently it’s thundered… you get the picture.
We’ve worked to make her a little less sensitive to touch, or more used to being touched in good ways. That is, we just try to communicate that a human hand does not need to be attacked immediately; she tends to be “shoot now, ask questions later” about hands. Things have gone very well, to the point that I will actually take a catnip toy away from her while she’s playing to toss it back to her, without fear of losing a finger.
Except that sometimes it’s hard to judge how she is. Sometimes the flick of the tail doesn’t predict her mood quickly enough to take your hand out of harm’s way. & So it was with me late Sunday night, early Monday, when she really got her teeth into me. It would be bad enough except, of course, I’m allergic too. So it started to swell, from about mid-forearm to wrist, and I had to go to the doctor, who put me on antibiotics and gave me a new tetanus shot.
So for this week at least, she is no longer Princess Aurora Thunderfist Quickbiter (which is her full name, after all), but just Quickbiter, and occasionally, that orange rescue fucker who bit me. (But of course I still love her, and I’m extra glad we didn’t rescue a pit bull, instead.)