Today I Will Lovingly Sport My Cat Scratch
A few days ago I was lying on the couch with Sampson (our resident scaredy cat) curled up on my chest. We were enjoying a relaxing afternoon with our attic fan going and windows open. I moved my arm. That movement for some reason startled Sampson out of his sweet kitty slumbers, and he jumped straight up in the air. When he came back down, his back foot and claws landed on my face. Ouch.
Needless to say, that startled me straight up off the couch. With my hand over my cheek, I ran into the bathroom to assess the damage. Yikes.
I rinsed the scratch with water and dabbed some peroxide on it for good measure. It was bleeding pretty good, so I held a wet paper towel over it for a bit.
When I finally came out, I went and found my Sampy. It was a startling experience for the both of us, and it certainly wasn’t his fault. I absolutely could not (nor would I ever) blame him for what happened. I picked him up, he nuzzled me and gave me some of his signature suckles, and all was right with the world.
I’ve kept an eye on the scratch to make sure no infection developed, but it has actually healed up much faster than I expected. It’s been about five days now, and the scratch is barely noticeable. My husband and coworkers have gotten a kick out of calling me Scarface all week though.
It was actually the thought of how my coworkers would react to the scratch that brought about some of the thoughts I wanted to share. I knew people were going to ask me what happened, and I was actually worried about telling them that it was a cat scratch – afraid they would jump to the usual conclusion that cats are somehow dangerous or destructive and shouldn’t have claws. I certainly didn’t want to inadvertently perpetuate that myth.
Most everyone at work knows I have cats, so they all ended up guessing it was a cat scratch. When I explained how it happened, stressing that it was an accident, many accepted the explanation; however, I did get a couple leery glances accompanied by an “uh huh.. yeah, sure…”. One person was even surprised to learn that my cats still have their claws.
For the life of me, I will never understand why cats are sometimes painted as mean and destructive animals who should have their claws ripped out to keep them from hurting anyone or ruining any furniture. Even today, when there is so much information out there to the contrary, people widely accept these views. Dogs scratch too, you know – I’ve frequently seen and been the recipient of dog scratches that even cause bruising. Children bite and scratch – in fact, when I was a kid I accidentally poked my mom in the eye so hard that she had to see a doctor and wear an eye patch for days.
A dog scratch or a child-inflicted injury? “Oh, no big deal – just an accident!”
A cat scratch? “That thing is evil – you should get it declawed!!!”
An unacceptable double standard. Cats, just like dogs and children, can sometimes cause injuries. It doesn’t mean that they are evil and out to get you. And it certainly doesn’t mean they should have their claws ripped out. Certainly no one talks of removing their dog’s claws or their children’s fingers. That would be incredibly cruel and inhumane. News flash — it is incredibly cruel and inhumane to remove a cat’s claws too!
Yes, I live in a house with five cats, all of whom have their claws. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Yes, I sometimes get minor nicks and scratches on my hands, arms, or legs (or face). Rarely ever done intentionally.
Yes, my cats have even scratched up some of our furniture. Damage no worse than what a dog, or even a child, could do.
And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.
So this cute little fella accidentally scratched me… so what? He is just a big furball filled with nothing but love. He doesn’t deserve the negative stigma that so often surrounds cats, and he doesn’t deserve to have his claws removed. If you can’t see that that’s true, not just of Sampson but of every cat, then the problem is YOU!
I shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed or ashamed because my cat scratched my face. In fact, I won’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. Today, I will lovingly sport my cat scratch! Join me, will you?