By Angela Lutz
When I was a kid, it took six years of consistent whining and pleading to persuade my parents to let me get a cat. I finally wore them down the summer following my first-grade year. When we went on our annual trip to visit my mom's family, my parents let me choose a kitten from my aunt's farm. After much deliberation, I selected a little black-and-white tomcat who started purring when I picked him up.
"He's so sweet," I said. "I'll call him Sweets."
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Almost defiantly, Sweets did not live up to his name. Afraid that the cat would keep them awake, my parents insisted on keeping him in the basement at night. Sweets did not appreciate this, and he showed it through behavior. He made the basement door his own personal scratching post, an unwise move that landed him at the vet's office to be declawed.
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