Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.),
Rescue / shelter organization
Posted May 18, 2013
Tango appeared at our house late one night from a friend who had rescued a motherless litter literally from the mouth of her large dog. Tango was the smallest, the runt, a tiny grey fluffball with a squeaky meow. He was really too small to be away from his mother. We had no idea how old he was.
But he was a smart kitty, used a litter box with only a little coaxing and had a tiny nibble of the only fish we had in the house. So he could eat and poop – two obstacles down.
Tango was rather wild – his mother was probably feral – biting and clawing constantly. He missed the roughhousing with his now-scattered siblings. As he grew, the biting and clawing became more aggressive, more frantic.
We guessed a birthdate and took him to a vet accordingly for a checkup and the necessary shots. We were assured he was healthy and actually quite content (and a boy, for sure). We scheduled neutering and debated declawing.
Out kitten grew quickly, the tiny runt turning into a long-legged, sleek climber with sharp teeth and claws. He was comically smart, trying to turn doorknobs when we were inside and pulling back blinds to see outside.
We did ultimately decide to declaw his front paws, to save our hands, feet, ankles and arms. One of our children is also sensitive to cats, and while Tango’s dander did not get to her, the deep scratches welted immediately. Also, Tango was going to be a full-time indoor cat, given our proximity to a busy street. All the advice of “distraction” when he became aggressive could only go so far; his temperament was not going to be tempered by neutering or distracted play. And now, at a year old, he still will latch onto ankles when you walk past, tenderizing with a quick lick before sinking his teeth into you!
A rescue pet does need attention and much love. We were very lucky with our rescue kitten that he had no major health issues and that he was able to fit into our household relatively easily. He’s been well worth a few scratches.