Mrs. Gray

MRS. GRAY by columnist, Anne Raver, lamenting the declawing of her cat,

Mrs. Gray (New York Times, August 13, 1992)

“She doesn’t flex her claws anymore, in that luxurious way she had while snoozing in the sun. She’s quieter, too, like a feisty soul beaten up once too often. We’ve taken away her last wildness, the dignity that comes from power.
“We tell ourselves it’s all right to do these things to animals. We have civilized reasons, like not letting them destroy our priceless possessions. We tell ourselves how we rescued them from the streets. After all, Mrs. Gray was a stray.

“We remove their claws when hey don’t respect our possessions. But we’d call it barbaric to remove the fingers of a thief.

“Mrs. Gray comes to sit by me now. She purrs and rubs her head against my hand. I suppose I could say she has forgiven me, in which case her love puts mine to shame. But I have stolen from her and she is the lesser for it.”


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