I once had a cat named Pinto that had what, we called, ‘double toes’ also called Polydactylism.

On both of his front paws he had 6 toes. The extra one was stuck in between his "thumb" toe for lack of a better name and what would be the first toe on a normal cat. It had a claw that always protruded from it that he was unable to retract like all the other "normal" toes.

We always had to pay careful attention to these extra toes – the claws needed to be cut as short as possible because since they stuck out they tended to get caught on things as he walked along, like the carpet or the blankets and such. They never seemed to cause him any pain except for the frustration of getting trapped in stuff occasionally.

He acted and did all the normal cat things. Once my friend had some fresh grown catnip she gave me that I hid away from him up in a top cupboard in the back room. He adored catnip! Especially this potent smelling kind! I heard a strange noise about an hour later and went to investigate. I found him way up high (about 6 feet up) sitting on the top shelf of the cabinet crazy out of his mind staring down at me with big dilated wild eyes.

Somehow he had climbed up on the lower cabinet and opened the top cabinet door with his paws (not easy - it is the kind that you have to pull at and finally it pops open) and then climbed up three shelves in order to indulge in his secret stash. Obviously his other toes were quite nimble. He was no worse for the escapade though - wired up maybe for about an hour afterwards but then off to sleep he went - like normal.

He was a very large cat and his coat colour was mostly white with some black blotches here and there and a black tail. He lived to be 14 and died of an enlarged heart condition, which had nothing to do with the genetic deformity of his toes that I know of. I had him from when I was 10 till age 24. He was a dear sweet loving soul and I miss him with all my heart still.


Amiee Amaral: Taunton, Massachusetts, USA


 

Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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