If You Give A Cat a Pedicure

These claws are made for scratchin’

Don’t mind Miss Crankypants. She’s just recovering from her latest idiotic scheme: to keep dear old Cranky Cat from scratching up the carpet, she tried to fix that horrible feline good by taking away his sharp-as-a-tack claws.

In the pet store she saw these adorable little claw covers. As in fake nails for kitties. They come in all sorts of colors and there is even a glittery-sparkly choice. You’re supposed to glue them onto your favorite furniture shredder and voila! Your sofa won’t get mangled by Mister This-is-my-territory-so-back-off!

We all know how this turns out.

As with any cat’s claw-sharpening pastime, Cranky Cat does not see the problem. He is having none of this color-coordinated madness. “If I want acrylic nails,” he hisses, “I know a good tech just down the road!” He walks right past the scratching post and digs into the leg of Miss CP’s favorite chair.

Miss Cranky hides the claw covers behind her back. “Why can’t you scratch the post like the other cats?”

Cranky Cat stops in mid-shred. “What? And ruin my reputation? Scratching posts are for amateurs.” He yawns. “I’m a professional.” He resumes ripping stuffing out of the chair leg.

Miss Crankypants’s blood pressure has now officially gone to the moon

“Here kitty, kitty,” she croons. “I’ve got a treat for you.” Boy howdy does she ever. She’s picked out little sheaths of red, white and blue just in time for the Fourth of July.

She’s read the claw cover directions over and over. The first step is the most important: Catch and restrain. Use a bath towel and wrap him up. As if. Why didn’t they just say, “You will need an elephant tranquilizer gun”? The moment she makes eye contact with the Cranky, he runs for cover. Without a tail, his running really does resemble a rabbit hopping. In fact, when Miss Cranky wants to insult him, she calls him Bunny Boy.

Bunny Boy is now in the laundry room, hiding just out of reach, giving her looks that could kill. Miss CP will have to outsmart him. She grabs a handful of kitty treats (the Salmon Slurry ones that CC just LOVES) and kneels down in front of the dryer. “Look, Cranky Cat,” she says in her sweetest voice. “Salmon treats! Just for you!” She artfully places a few treats just out of his reach so he’ll be forced to come hither.

After three entire bags of treats (we have moved on from Salmon Slurry to the Crabfest and the Shrimp Celebration varieties), the wayward cat finally inches so close that Miss Crankypants manages to nab him. Now where did she set those claw covers?

It is at this point that she adroitly observes that the average human would need six pairs of hands and a billy club in order to subdue the likes of this cat. Bath towel? More like borrow the wrappings from an Egyptian mummy. A tousle ensues, followed by all-out guerilla warfare.

The next few minutes are rated PG-13, for mild language and terrible violence. She doesn’t put a scratch on Cranky Cat but he—well let’s just say Miss Crankypants looks as if she wrestled with a blackberry bramble—and lost.

Finally she sits on Cranky Cat and whips out the package of cat claw covers. The same package that declares: Saves Declawing! Oh really? By all that lives and breathes, she’s going to glue those star-spangled doodads on his oh-so-sharp claws if it kills her!

To which Cranky Cat replies, “Pfft!”

Did Miss CP mention that these perfect solutions to scratching furniture are about three millimeters long? That it would take an act of Congress to get him to cooperate? That the manufacturer generously provides extra covers for the ones that go skittering underneath the washing machine?

One thing they don’t tell you is the adhesive for the little gems is worse than super glue. Or maybe it IS super glue. At any rate, Cranky Cat cavorts with laughter as Miss Crankypants tries to separate her fingers, all while still astride the beast. This is definitely awkward.

Yet Miss CP is nothing if not resourceful. She manages to affix several of the claw cover thingies to Cranky’s claws—which she is forced to squeeze out because he won’t stop retracting them. There’s a red claw cover, a blue one a pink and a purple one now stuck catty-wampus on Cranky’s front toes.

The furniture can rest easy and the carpet is safe—for a little while. The darned claws grow and then the covers fall off and you start all over again.

Maybe, but not in her lifetime.

Miss Crankypants now has a lot of scratches and some advice: if you give a cat a pedicure, be prepared to hunt down your prey which has wedged itself behind the dryer. Don’t bother with the bath towel—you’ll only wind up gluing your fingers to it. Keep a boatload of Salmon treats on hand. And stock up on Band-aids. Instead of scratching on the furniture, your sweet kitten is more likely to take up shredding you. Hurray for the red, white and blue. Claw covers, not so much.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

2 comments on “If You Give A Cat a Pedicure

  1. I love Cranky Cat! I believe he’s related to my bad boy cat, Panzer. While I’ve never tried your red, white, and pink nail covers, I gave up trying to trim Mr. P’s claws as a dangerous lost cause a long time ago. We don’t stand a chance against these guys and they know it.

    • Fiona,
      You are so right! CC feels free to scratch me silly any time he pleases. And boy he pleases A LOT! We’re doomed, aren’t we? Ah the life of a crazy cat lady. Keep smiling, Miss CP

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