I have a few confessions:
1. I used to be scared of cats. My friend Ted remembers me asking why his cat was making a weird noise and sounding like a motor. He had to explain that she was purring.
2. As a result of #1, I used to be in favor of declawing. In my defense, I didn't know anything about it. I was ignorant. I still feel guilt and shame when I remember actually saying out loud that I didn't understand why Toby and his "sister" weren't declawed. In my defense, I had never lived with one cat, let alone two (yes, I got Toby from an old roommate when she didn't want him). Thankfully I never actively tried to get any cats declawed. It still makes me turn red.
3. Until I met Missy, I bought into pitbull's bad PR.
4. After bruising my tailbone and hitting the back of my head, I became terrified of large horses for awhile. Admittedly, I still have to remind myself not to tense up when the horse is particularly tall.
5. I'm not good with reptiles and bugs really just freak me out.
Why did I post these? Partially to show that even an "animal lover" can have anti-animal characteristics. More importantly, because it's proof, albeit anecdotal, that information and experience can change a person's mind. Living with Toby started my journey toward being a "cat lady," volunteering at the shelter taught me about declawing and all the ways to help a destructive cat without maiming him for life, and meeting Missy made me fall in love with pit bulls. I now adore cats, hate declawing, and consider pit bulls my favorite breed of dog.
Maybe in the future I'll get to know a snake up close and personal and he'll change my mind.