Thursday, April 22, 2010


Pet sitting has been incredibly hectic this week. The couple I am working for lives a half hour away from me, so between work and feeding my cats twice a day, I am driving more than two hours a day. Singing in the car helps. I've only almost killed myself while driving twice (not related to the singing, however).

A little grey kitty with a bright pink collar ran up to me as I got out of the car yesterday. "Oh no," I thought. " A stray cat." It's very hard for me to leave these animals on the street when they are sociable with humans. I called the woman I'm pet sitting for to ask if she'd ever seen the cat before and found out that she does indeed have a home. With the neighbors.

I got out a can of food from the car and the little girl ate it up fast. She's not starving, as I initially thought with dismay, but really likes canned food. However, the reason I'm writing about this particular cat is because when I noticed her nails, I about had a freakout. They are fully curved around and growing into her pads. Very thick and horrible looking.

When I called Snoopy's owner, she had said that the neighbors are not the most informed pet owners. But very nice. She told me to just take the cat over and ask if I could trim her nails. I immediately went over with the cat in my arms, nail clippers in my bag. They weren't home, though, so I called and left a message.

On closer inspection of the nails, I realized that I do not want to trim them. Doing so is going to make the pads bleed and I don't want her pads to get infected because I don't know how to clean them or tell the owners how to take care of them after. In my message, I told them I would love to be able to take the cat (named Julie) to a groomer or hospital to have her nails trimmed where they would be able to clean her pads properly and inform them of what to do after they've been trimmed. They are an older couple and babysit their grandkids often and I really don't want Julie's nail issue to get overlooked due to time constraints and caring for little children.

When I noticed they had been home for a couple hours, I went over to see if they had gotten my message. I was afraid they were going to think me judgmental/be defensive/not allow me to help. They were wonderful, though. I explained to them that some cats' nails grow differently and you have to trim them more. My three cats, I could probably trim them 4-6 times a year and they'd be fine. My parents' cat, you have to trim them at least every 2-3 weeks or they get thick and start to curve inwards.

I told them that at first I thought I could trim them myself but wouldn't feel comfortable doing it when they're growing into the pad. I gave them T's number for grooming but later realized that not only is she super busy right now, she doesn't usually get back to her clients right away. I let them know I could also just take her to the hospital with me tomorrow morning when I go to work.

After trying to get a hold of T to make an appointment, the woman called me back to tell me that they may ask me to take Julie with me tomorrow.

I already called to make sure I can bring Julie in tomorrow morning. I hope that her pads are not infected and that it will just involve clipping and cleaning the pads. She has got to be in pain but is super sweet and let me pick up her paws and look closely at her nails. They are seriously the worst I have ever seen. The tips of the nails are embedded in the paws, no doubt about it.

Let's hope all goes okay and that I can bring her with me tomorrow to get this taken care of.


  1. oh wow i didn't know that could happen with cats. i thought only dogs had that problem! thanks for highlighting this!!

  2. Wow, what an amazing story. I have never heard of nails getting embedded like that. My cats hate to have their nails clipped - it's a major struggle to get them to be still for the treatment. Please post about how it went with this cat after you take her for her nails to be done.

    For other folks (I refer to kitties and doggies as people) reading this, my blog has stories and information helpful for cat caretakers everywhere.