The Bloody Joy of Living With a Fully Clawed Cat

Harvey has a full set of claws, oh joy. Gato is declawed in front. Hence, the “bloody” part of living with these loving felines pertains strictly to Harvey. Here’s Gato, just so you know he’s not who I’m talking about.

Gato, who is NOT the subject of this post…

…but who also prefers not to be reminded that his front-paw swords are missing.

The bloody part of this cat-loving joy, a memorable episode in both Harvey’s life and mine, made its presence known this morning as I was lounging in the tub, soaking, reading the same Stephanie Plum bounty hunter comedy for the third or fourth time. Harvey was amusing himself, up on the bathroom sink counter, checking to see if maybe I’d left a bit of water in the sink. I seldom do, but he’s always as hopeful as a prospector with burrow, pick, and shovel.

I was enjoying his company but not really paying any attention until he tried a new maneuver. Inspired, he launched from the sink area over to claw-grab the towel I’d hung over the shower curtain rod for easy access. Naturally, the towel came right down, -whip!- and the fourteen pound, fully clawed cat came with it, startled, panicking, twisting in midair and a flying fluff of towel. His left rear foot found something to slow his fall slightly.

Namely, my naked right arm, which had been propped comfortably, elbow on tub-edge, while I read.


Yep. I did yell. But not at the innocent cat. Just in shocked surprise and instant pain. He really had nailed me good. There was no point in trying to soak any longer. Two separate calls from solicitors, one on the cell phone, the other on the landline, had already gotten me out of the tub twice, dripping all over the floor. Third time was strike three, right?

So naturally I pulled the drain plug, stood up, toweled dry, sprayed the wounds thoroughly with antiseptic, let a nervous Harvey cat out for a while, and took pictures. If you can’t stand the sight of blood, stop here.

The bloody joy of living with a fully clawed cat (upper arm).

The bloody joy of owning a fully clawed cat (forearm).

Harvey’s not likely to do that again. He’s a smart kitty. A lot smarter than I was when I hung that towel in perfect paratrooper attack position, anyway. No nervous licks this evening, so he realizes I’m not upset with him. He’s lying on his “special chair” to my left as I type. (Gato cat’s special chair is to my right, though at the moment Gato is a few feet away on the carpet, licking his butt clean.)

Later in the day, after spending a couple of hours picking up spruce cones (four contractor size lawn-and-leaf bags’ worth) from the front yard and curb, the Harvey tracks were settled in and looking good.

Harvey tracks after 12 hours (upper arm). Looking good. Regular road map.

As it happens, I don’t believe in accidents. As Harvey had lived with me for nearly two years before launching this morning, it was out of character for him, another clue that the Universe was trying to tell me something. Paying off a special little bit of karma, perhaps? I suspect so.

But that’s another story. For now, all is peace and quiet in the house. Both cats are snoozing and it’s time for me to join them after a remarkable day, enjoying the bloody delight of living with a fully clawed cat.

Harvey cat spends a lot of time outside, so he needs those claws.