“Do you want to get her declawed?” the vet asked me over a year ago.
“I heard it was like cutting off a person’s fingers at the first knuckle,” I said, surprised that I was even being offered this option at the vet’s office.
“If you’re ever going to do it, it’s best to get it done within the first year,” the vet said. “You’d be surprised how often people say no and then change their minds.”
Drex and I were sure that our kids would get mauled by trying to overlove this cat. When Skywalker stretched out in a patch of sun on the back of the couch, the girls would cover her with baby blankets and pat her back. A savvy cat probably would have run and hidden somewhere, but Skywalker remarkably just yawned and played along. Because of her cooperative personality, she became the girls’ plaything. When she was a kitten, Leena would pick her up by the middle, sling her over her shoulder and jump up and down.
“That is some cat,” I thought. She has claws. She has teeth. She could scratch, bite, and escape if she wanted. But she didn’t.
I think it was all part of an elaborate Jedi mind trick to win a place of tremendous power and influence within our household. She shreds the leaves off my houseplants, kicks kitty litter three feet out from the litter box, and chews through power cords (totalling hundreds of dollars in damage).
But one day, Leena had Skywalker in a bear hug on her lap, face buried in fluffy striped fur, breathing her in. Then suddenly Leena decided to stand up. Kitty slipped so that Leena was basically throttling Skywalker in a choke hold. For a sickening split second, which passed in slow motion, I watched both of Skywalker’s front paws land on Leena’s eyes, one mitten paw in each socket. Then those paws dragged down the length of her sweet round face.
When Skywalker finally landed on her feet, Leena giggled. No gashes. No blood. Not a scratch. Because even while falling to the hardwood floor, our cat didn’t pull out her claws. Instead of raking Leena’s face, Skywalker just softly brushed her with velvety paws on her way down.
I honestly couldn’t believe it.
Later that evening, I got proof of the damage Skywalker might have done as she clawed a corner of her favorite wicker basket in the living room, shredding the corners into sawdust with her front paws.
Some Force, I’m convinced, brought this particular cat to our family. She is wisdom, like a well-trained fighter of a martial art who knows when to hold back her deadly strength. She is unconditional love curled up every night at the foot of the girls’ bed like a mystic guardian. She is happiness prowling our house on quiet feet, our Jedi cat. As much as she annoys us sometimes, having recently chewed through yet another MacBook Air power cord, she’s a part of the house, if not quite a part of the family.
And I will say, our upstairs and downstairs neighbors have brown mice scurrying in their kitchens. We have no roaches, no rats, no mice since Skywalker came to live with us. If for no other reason, I love Sky-kitty for that. Also, she belongs to our girls. They are loyal and protective of each other. Sonya and Leena look out for their “Moochies” whenever Drex or I threaten to toss her out on the curb for being a nuisance. But that cat knows she’s spoiled, loved, and here to stay, controlling us all with her Jedi mind tricks.
New sophisticated Diwali clothes sent by Dida. I can almost picture the girls as tweens. Goodness.