When I was a little girl I had an ancient book called "Scat, Scat" by Sally R. Francis. By ancient, I mean the copywrite is 1936...and I had to convert that from Roman numerals. (Goodreads shows a different book than what I have.) I still have the book and pulled it out just to write this. Anyway, the reason I mention all that is because yesterday I groomed a cat named Scat, and I always think of this book. And there's a story. I mean, there's always a story, right?
Last week this guy calls me and leaves this message: The cat where I work needs to be groomed. It lays on my desk and sheds. It gets cat hair and cat grease and dander all over my papers. It's really gross. I need you to fix it, I'll even pay you. (emphasis mine)
Ok, so that guy was my husband, who clearly has no idea how our JOINT bank account works (it's mine, all mine, bwhahahahaha!) but obviously, the man was desperate to have his desk cat groomed. I agreed, since that's the kind of person I am.
Meet Scat! She's an older Domestic Shorthair.
I've known her since she was a stray kitten living on a small mule farm where we occasionally mule-sat.
Greasy. Shedding. Look at all that already-shed hair just sitting on her!
Yup, she needs me.
When I picked her up, I was told that "Scat doesn't need to be groomed.
If she's shedding, WE can comb her." Then I was warned that Scat wasn't a sweet little kitty that would just lie there and let me do stuff to her. She'd probably scratch me, bite me and burn down my house. Or something to that effect.
Scat was a little nervous, so I started just by combing and letting her get used to me.
She had so much come out, I could have made another cat!
So I did.
Then Scat Cat got a bath. No panic, no fuss, just bubbles and suds.
Since I wasn't at "work" where my Catty Shack Vac is, I decided to place her inside my cloth and mesh carrier to try and contain some of the hair. I got this idea from another great Canadian CFMG, Sally Staples of West Coast Sassy Cats. Thanks, Sally!
Once most of the hair had blown out and I knew Scat was comfortable being hand dried, I took her out and let her cuddle on my lap to finish drying.
Then I combed her out some more. This is about 3/4 of all coat I removed from Scat both before and after her bath. Not shown is the hair removed during bathtime or blown out during drying.
If I had more room, I would have done something with the other pile of hair. (The table shown is 30"x 32")
"Hey, this used to be ON me."
"Now it's not..."
"This is MINE"
Cats are so weird.
"Don't judge me. I saw what you did with that hair!"
She might look a little grumpy, but mostly she was just tired
of me trying to get her attention for pictures.
Look at how nice and shiny! No more loose, dead hair just floating on top.
Now she can go back to hanging out on the husband's desk. He's a cat snob and truly enjoys a well groomed cat. (I've created a monster!)
Despite all the warnings, Scat didn't once panic, scratch, bite or try to rip my face off. She wasn't scared or stressed out at all. She enjoyed snuggling with me while I worked and purred and purred. Husband tells me she was very happy to be home and purred loud, lazy happy-cat purrs.
This was the first time Scat had ever been groomed. She must be...8, 9 years old? She was wonderful and enjoyed her kitty spa day. Typically, I've found that older cats do just as well for first time grooms as younger cats. Sometimes better, since they had more experience with different situations. I know there are groomers out there (and at least one national chain) that will not take first time cats over 2 years old. Now, that might be a good idea for them, but it's simply not true for groomers that specialize in cats, like say, Certified Feline Master Groomers. If you have an older cat that's been turned away before, don't worry! Find a CFMG. Have a happy, clean cat!
I am so, so sorry to all of my wonderful clients whom I've deprived of the joy of celebrating National Hairball Day.
your kitties, I've caused them to no longer hack up huge wads of hair all over your house all the time.
While 364 days of the year I'm sure this is a great thing, this one day, this scared day set aside to celebrate clods of regurgitated fuzz, food, spit and stomach acid...well, I know you mourn this loss.
For my final pair of Fun Kitties, I bring you Mosby and Jasmine. I've been grooming them for a couple years, and I love them to pieces!
Mosby is a Blue Domestic Shorthair. With fabulous yellow-green eyes!
He's a sweetie. Although he was feeling rather feisty the day I took these photos and looks kinda sinister.
Hahaha! It cracks me up, I love these pictures! Mosby is actually very friendly and easy to work with. As is his "sister" Jasmine. She's just lovely.
She has the plushest coat you can imagine. So soft. Very dense. She comes in for a regular deshedding treatment and it really pays off. Other than her big Spring and Fall seasonal sheds (where I pull TONS of loose undercoat out!) her shedding has really decreased. Because she has so much undercoat, she comes in more often than Mosby. He's got a nice slick coat with very little extra puff underneath.
Jasmine doesn't love her special spa days, but she does enjoy being held and cuddled. When I work with Jaz I try and cradle her as much as possible. I hold her in my lap while I dry her, when I'm combing or deshedding I wrap my arm around her. Giving her lots of physical contact makes her feel safer and helps her enjoy her grooming. And of course, I let them snuggle up together when they're all done!
I started grooming their 'big brother' Hank right after I become a CFMG more than 3 years ago. After about a year of regular, every 8 week appointments, his owners decided they wanted their other two kitties to look, feel and smell as good as Hank. I love all three of these cats. They're sweet, gentle and have a little bit of spunk that just makes them fun. Plus their owners love their cats! I always enjoy when any of these kitties come in. I know it's going to be a good day!
I hoped you've enjoyed meeting some of my favorite pairs of cats!
Last year I had a "May" on my schedule. They showed up late, holding a big ol' Maine Coon and the first thing he said was "Don't shave my cat." My internal monologue? "Ugh." A quick check told me that while she was dirty, greasy and had some mats, I would not need to clip her down. Her owner agreed to a belly clip which would remove the worst of the mats without having to go Full Lion Clip. A happy, shiny, mat free cat left a few hours later. I told her owner she would need regular grooming at least every 6-8 weeks to maintain her now lovely coat and prevent the nastiness she came in with. I remember thinking, "If I ever see her again, it's going to be in a year or two and she'll be in exactly the same condition."
Well, a week or two later April came to see me. Another big ol' Maine Coon. The woman told me they were so happy with how May looked, that they had to have April done as well. She warned me that April was nervous and had been given some Elavil (vet prescribed) to make her not stress so much. April didn't have near the greasiness or matting that sister May did, and she went home happily sporting just a sanitary clip.
And despite my cynical thoughts, April and May now come to see me on a regular basis, every 8 weeks. Shame on me for doubting!
Even though she's a little grungy, May comes in tangle free and looking pretty good. A little greasy, but not too bad.
She leaves looking much prettier. Look how shiny and silky!
May LOVES being groomed. All I have to do is gently push her and she lays right down and lets me clip her belly.
She'll lay quietly until I ask her to get up or roll over so I can clip the other side.
April is also excellent for her grooming. She no longer shows any sign of being worried (or takes any meds prior to her appointment) and is just as agreeable as May.
She likes to stretch out on her side and doze off. If I stop what I'm doing, say to take a picture, she'll sit up and look at me like, "what's the hold up? Keep combing!"
I'm so happy these girls are regulars! I love coming in and grooming such striking, well behaved cats. The icing on the cake is that their owners truly love them. I can tell by how they talk about their cats. No, there's not lovey dovey kitty coo baby talk, but there's affectionate teasing, funny stories and that smile when they look at their cats. They ask questions about their health, and follow through on the recommendations.
April and May's owner tells me that since they've begun their regular "Kitty Spa Days" with me, the girls shed less, so she doesn't need to vacuum as often. Also, her allergies have lessened. Plus she doesn't mind them sleeping on her bed, since their sanitary clips keep them nice and tidy. Hmmm...less housework, less severe allergies and cleaner pillows? Sounds like Kitty Spa Day really works for them!
I was going to write just one post about two pairs of cats that I groom. I love them to pieces! But then I was watching some MLP: FiM and kept thinking of Pinkie Pie exclaiming that twin baby ponies were two, two, two times the fun! And I realized I would need to find a third pair. Since I need to think on that, I'm splitting it into three posts.
Ah, now that the long, probably unnecessary intro is over, please meet some of my favorite kitties, Goldie and Zushia, a beautiful pair of Siberian Cats.
No. Gonna hide in the CORNER.
Awww, hi Zushia! I love your hour glass facial markings.
I love Siberians, and I was over the moon excited when I saw two pop up on my schedule. I groom these ladies when they board. Luckily, they stay with us on a pretty regular basis, so I groom them about every other month. Unlike some kitties that are in desperate need of a professional grooming, Goldie and Zu have always been pretty tidy kitties. Of course, they look exquisite now that they get the special Beth Rex touch!
Hmmm...'Beth Rex touch". I don't think I'm going to keep that as a catch phrase. It's kinda weird. Forget I said anything! Let me distract you with Goldie.
Aw, what's with you girls? Not in a picture taking mood?
Maybe I'm grumpy!
Ha! No, you're not. Neither of you are! Goldie and Zushia are little love bugs. Sometimes they get a little nervous, but in general they love being groomed. Actually, they love being dried. They stretch out and purr and air knead their little paws. Well, their paws are pretty big, but trust me, it's cute!
I love these two! They're a lot alike in so many ways, yet, in many ways they're not. I would love to know what they're like at home, I bet they're fun. Zushia often looks a little concerned, but Goldie usually has a lovely, soft expression on her face. Except when I start taking pictures. Maybe next time I'll get their true expressions.