A Cat's Pride And Joy

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If cats could talk, they would probably tell you their most prized possessions are their paws and claws. Cat paws are like cute little mittens and come in sizes from dainty slender to bobcat size. Cats with extra toes are called polydactyls and have extra wide paws. Cat paws are armed with sharp miniature retractable sabers that come in mighty handy for catching a toy, climbing a tree, snagging a mouse or defending oneself. Paws work great as wash mitts for those hard to reach places.

From the time they are tiny babies, kittens use their paws to knead their mother's teats to stimulate milk production. This primeval instinct continues on through adulthood as cats knead their favorite humans. When a cat jumps up on the bed in the morning and kneads your butt, it's time to fix him breakfast! If that doesn't get results, a gentle paw bop on the nose usually works. When your cat jumps into your lap in the evening and kneads your leg as you watch TV or read a book, he's telling you he's happy you finally have a minute for him.

In order to keep their claws in good working condition and to pull off the old sheath that is shed periodically, cats need to be able to scratch a rough surface. When cats are indoors, that surface can often be upholstered furniture, much to their owner's chagrin.

The trick is beating the cat to the draw before he targets your furniture. Cat scratch posts are available wherever pet supplies are sold. Place them near whatever the cat has been scratching. Hiss and fiss at the cat if he goes for your furniture, or use a water spray bottle to mist him. Never hit a cat; it will just alienate him. A scratch post shaped like an orange traffic cone and covered with sisal rope is inexpensive and easy to move around. There is a gentleman who handcrafts creative carpet-covered cat condos and sells them on weekends alongside Highway 87 opposite the Swiss Village. One of these things really appeals to cats and is a very worthwhile investment if your cat needs an outlet for its clawstrophobia. Another solution to scratching is to cover upholstered ends with plastic, or buy furniture with hardwood armrests and ends.

Humane organizations across the board discourage people from declawing their cats. This procedure removes the entire first joint of a cat's toe and leaves behind a numb or painful stump. It is the equivalent of removing the first joint of all the fingers of the human hand, the most sensitive part of the hand for the sense of touch. Declawing a cat often causes litter box problems because the litter is painful to a declawed cat's feet. Before spending a lot of money at the vet's and causing your cat potential emotional damage, it may be less expensive to experiment with humane solutions to the problem.

Now take a look at some of our kneady cats:

PEEKA

Peeka is a fluffy 2-year-old spayed female longhaired black and white kitty. She has big white snow cat paws just like a lynx. She loves sitting in the front window of the shelter where she can watch all the activity, breathe lots of fresh air and maybe get a kind soul to pet her. Peeka would love a quiet home with a gentle someone who spoils her, makes her feel secure and brushes her lovely long fur so she always looks like a show cat.

JESSICA

Jessica is a wonderful 3-1/2-year-old spayed female tabby cat. Her coat is long, dark colored and very soft to touch. Jessica had a loving home, but her mistress passed away. We have been told she is a really sweet kitty. She has been a mostly indoor cat and is very good with other cats as well as dogs. She is quite affectionate and gentle and responds happily to any attention she receives. She was used to a quiet household and will probably adjust best to a similar situation.

CODY

Cody is a handsome 6-year-old neutered male gray and white shorthaired cat. He has been declawed on his front paws and therefore needs to be an indoor only cat. His family had to give him up because their work requires them to be on the road for extended periods. They say he is a sweet, loveable and playful guy. He is scared of vacuum cleaners and hides when you vacuum. Cody lived in an adult household with one other cat. He is good at using the litter box. Because Cody cannot tolerate dry cat food he needs to be fed moist canned food.

CARLIE

Carlie is a 1-year-old spayed female mackerel tabby. The striking patterns on her sides swirl like a marble cake. Her rich golden orange eyes are mesmerizing. Carlie entertains herself for hours by playing with her favorite mouse toy. She is a very sweet kitty who loves warm laps and gentle stroking that make her purr contentedly. She gets along amicably with other cats.

SPARKY

Sparky is a very dear 12-year-old neutered male bicolor gray and white tabby. He had a wonderful loving home till his owner was moved to a nursing home. He thought he had it made, and now he is feeling pretty worried. Sparky is a very gentle cat and loves to be held and petted. He would be delighted to find a new home with a retired couple or senior citizen who could look after his needs and dote on him.

OPEN HOUSE DEC. 14

Payson Humane Society will host a Christmas Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. KRIM will be broadcasting live from the event.

Come by the shelter at 812 S. McLane Road and see the wonderful adoptable animals. We'd love to get them all "Homes for the Holiday!" There will be refreshments and shelter tours. You'll be able to view an artist's concept of our new shelter and learn the latest about this exciting project.

Like all humans, our animals also love gifts, especially at Christmas. Because of our storage shortage at the shelter, gift cards would be very much appreciated. Then, as we need them, we can buy the food, litter, treats, toys, collars and leashes our animals need to keep them healthy and happy. We'll also have our beautiful 2008 PHS Pet Calendars on sale for $10. They make great stocking stuffers! If you have any questions about this event, call the shelter at 474-5590, or visit our Web site at www.paysonhumanesociety.com. Hope to see you there!

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