Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Crack

Crack and I would like you wish you all a very
Happy Hanukkah!

Ok, to be honest, Crack should be wearing a soft e-collar. She can't really see anything, but that doesn't stop her from going and doing whatever she wants. The fact that she's unaware of her surroundings is meaningless. As always, Crack is just barreling through life. 

Remember, safety first! 
Always be sure to blindfold your cat before lighting candles

WHOA! I want what's over THERE!

Having just walked THROUGH the menorah
Crack pauses to reflect on...something
maybe her toasty tummy

Oh hai, you guise! Happy Hanukkah!

I guess the only thing left to do this weekend  is take some pictures of her under (or in) the Christmas tree! I didn't intend to do a Hanukkah kitty photo session, but Crack had other ideas. She's been 'helping' us all week. It's a race to see if the candles can burn down before she sets herself on fire. (I'm kidding, I'm kidding!) Surprisingly, she's left the Christmas tree, ornaments and all, completely alone. Cats, who can figure them out?!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Short Hair Cats

One thing that often surprises people is the number of short haired cats I groom. In fact, many people are surprised that short haired cats get groomed at all. I mean...what could possibly be done to a cat with a short coat?

Well, Mr Toes-type grooming aside, there's lots to be done with short hair cats! Many of the problems that long haired cats have are also problems short haired cats have. Don't believe me? Think about it...

greasy, grungy hair that feels gross and smells worse

clumps of hair and dandruff

excess shedding, dingy coat and flakes

excess shedding, dandruff and a funky odor

mats and excess shedding

You've probably  noticed by now that excess shedding, dandruff, mats of all sizes, oily or grody feeling hair and odor are the main problems with short hair cats. Is this nasty critter lounging on your sofa right now? Sleeping on your bed? Batting you in the face with litter box paws and raptor talon claws?

Wouldn't you rather have a cat that is...oh, I don't know...



Flake free and shiny!

not shedding!

mat free!

I don't know about you, but I know my cat is going to be sleeping on my sofa, on my bed, on my pillow, on my lap...she's going to be walking around my house. She's going to touch me. And I'm going to want to pet her. I would much rather pet something that's clean, smells good, isn't going to leave dead skin flakes and dead hair on my hands. And I don't want to feel greasy and dirty after I pet my cat. And I know if I sleep on the sofa that she's going to bap my eyeballs when it's breakfast time. For the sake of my eyelids, I want her nails trimmed!

The truth is, short hair cats benefit from regular, professional grooming just as much as their long coated friends. As a cat owner, you'll enjoy the benefit of having a clean, sweet smelling cat that isn't shedding or coughing up hairballs all the time, that doesn't have flaky skin and dandruff, that doesn't smell bad or feel gross to touch. And trust me, you'll spend less time vacuuming and cleaning the house and more time petting and cuddling your cat! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't Try This At Home...

One phrase that strikes fear in the heart of professional groomers all over the world is "home haircut". It sends a chill down our spines, dread in our minds and caution in our eyes as we take our first peek at the pet someone tried to groom themselves. 

Sure, there are many non groomers in the world that do a very nice job grooming their pets. But more often than not, we see pets coming in that looked like they had a run in with a weed whacker. 

'my owners bought a pair of clippers...'

'they thought it would be easy.
It wasn't.'

When grooming cats it's really important to remember two things. One, THEY ARE NOT DOGS. Two, THEY DO NOT CARE. Generally speaking, your cat wants to do whatever it is he wants to do, and that usually isn't sitting quietly while he's brushed or clipped. Especially if you're not familiar with how to do it. Cats move quickly and unpredictably and without warning. That means scissors should never be used on them. I've groomed many cats with owner attempted haircuts that ended with a trip to the vet for stitches. 

'leave this to the professionals'


This cats' owners tried to clip him at home. They found out pretty quick that getting an even clip on a cat is pretty hard! Luckily, neither party was injured during the attempt. Clippers are far safer than scissors, but it's still possible to cut a cat by using the wrong blades, wrong technique or just bad luck. Even the pros (like me!) have had a cat move just the wrong way, at just the wrong time and get a nick. With training, the right tools and experience, we keep this type of accident to the minimum. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

This Year I'm Thankful For...

for soft, snuggly kitties

the sleek and sassy 

the grumpy

torties, calicos and patched tabbies 
(oh my)

the overly enthusiastic

the remarkably relaxed

my wonderful customers

and my very own 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Kittens are adorable. They're cute and snuggly and silly and sweet. They make me so happy, but I don't get to groom enough of them, so please, for the sake of my continued happiness, bring me kittens!!!!!!!!!!

oh hai! I'm ADORABLE!

chin scritches for kitten kisses

There's another kitten in the table!

wait. Where'd it go???

checkin' out the Catty Shack Vac

This little cutie got a bubble bath, gentle blow dry, comb through and mini sanitary clip. Of course her nails were trimmed and her ears wiped as well. She also got tons of cuddles. While I put in her the Catty Shack Vac for a few minutes to practice drying, I did *not* turn on the vacuum. You know...just in case. She was a wee little mitten! Mostly she was dried while sitting on my lap, with the dryer on the lowest setting with no diffuser nozzle. The goal for kitten grooms is to get them used to grooming in the most low key and least threatening way possible. This little girl did great! She was curious and feisty, but able to be groomed in less 45 minutes, going slowly and quietly, with lots of mini play or cuddle breaks. That's the way we like it!

grooming's done, let's go explore!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Everypony Loves Creative Grooming!

This has almost nothing to do with cats. Last week I was watching the new episode of My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic. Since I was a little girl in the 80s, My Little Ponies was the crux of my childhood and I'm thrilled at how fantastic MLP:FiM is.

What does this little tidbit have to do with anything, and how does it relate to cats? Good question!

I spotted this pony, whose costume reminds me of...

Mr Toes!!!!

Oh noes, Mr do these things happen to you?

Why one should wait to swim after eating

The Mr Toes/Shark groom was my first attempt at creative grooming, ever. I had never tried my hand at creative styling, I had never clipped Mr Toes and I definitely didn't practice this groom at all before driving up to Intergroom and competing. I had less than a week to come up with an idea, find a cat and gather materials. I'm happy to say my skills have increased substantially since then! I'd like to redo this and have my shark more like a shark and less like a sting ray...

Anyway. I was pretty excited when I saw the random background pony costume. I'm sure they didn't do it was tribute to Mr Toes, but I'm going to pretend they did. If you all would like to pretend too, that's ok with me. Mr Toes just wants some catnip and some feet to rub against.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mischief Managed

Remember the calico cat from this post? I had no idea who it was. Didn't remember her at all. Couldn't think of her name, or when I groomed her. A big blank. Well, the other day I had a cat on my schedule that I had apparently groomed a few months ago. Mischief? Who's that? Drew a huge blank. Didn't remember grooming it. No idea what it was like. Now, my memory is like Swiss cheese, but I usually remember pets I've groomed.

I bet you've figured it out. That cat was the same cat I couldn't remember from last post! Hee hee hee. It amused me. I still don't remember grooming her though.

I can't *believe* you don't remember me!

When her owner dropped her off, she said to me, "You must have given her a brain transplant in addition to grooming her last time!"

This statement concerned me greatly and I was afraid of what psychological changes my grooming had created for her cat. 

Then she continued, "She's gotten so friendly! I know you told me it could happen, but I didn't believe you. She jumps up on the sofa to sit next to us, she lets us pet her more and she comes up for affection. We've had this cat 10 years and she's never been like this! I guess she likes her hair short. Let's do that always."

Being in a Lion Clip makes me snuggley

While I don't remember any of this, it is totally true! Even though a few cats make appear 'embarrassed' or unhappy with a haircut, the majority of them really enjoy, if not the grooming itself, the effects of being groomed. And why not? Animals (including people!) feel and act better when they are clean and tangle free. Some cats really enjoy being in short coat. I guess it feels more comfortable for them. Sara is one of those cats, by the way.

Never professionally groomed at 10 years old
Mischief is clumpy, greasy, uncomfortable
and prefers to hide in the corner

Now, I don't remember grooming this cat. I don't remember if she was good for her grooming or not. Her owner indicated that I had told her Mischief was grouchy at first, but once clipped down, had gotten considerably better. This seems logical and like something I would tell the owner. 

Mischief 'yelled' at me the entire time she was groomed

I was surprised by how good she was for her grooming. Now, she did 'yell' at me the entire time I groomed her! A fairly constant, loud meowing that reminded me of an irritated person saying "Hey! Hey you! Hey! Heeeey!". Some cats will 'talk' to me. "Meow?" And I'll say something, and they'll meow back. This was different. She was mrowing AT me, not TO me. She didn't seem upset at all though. In fact, she seemed to really enjoy being clipped! She lounged on the table and laid contentedly when I moved her around. Her bath was quick and easy. She was perfectly placid for her blow dry. 

a rare moment of quiet
Doesn't she look kinda smug, like yeah, I'm so pretty!

I really enjoyed grooming this cat. She was so good and so easy to work with. I knew she would continue to be a happier cat, and in turn, her owner would get more enjoyment from her. Such a wonderful feeling! When I put her away to wait for her owner, one of the other groomers asked sympathetically, "bad cat, huh? I could hear her carrying on!" I just laughed and told her that despite the yelling, this was the best cat I'd groomed in awhile!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How They REALLY Feel

Sometimes I take weird pictures that I can't really use. It's hard to show people that most cats accept grooming, and some even really enjoy it, with a picture of a cat making a grumpy, strange or wacky face.  But I have the pictures, and they make me laugh. All the cats shown are really good kitties that like being groomed. Honest. I've just managed to capture them having some private thoughts. Hope you enjoy!


can I just give myself a bath...?

I wanna go HOME!!!

Ughn. I'd hate you, but it would be 
too much effort.

catnip hangover

Yarr! Where has all the rum gone?

I haz a flavor...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Back to Work

I had a plan. It was glorious. It would have taken care of my blogging problems, made me feel useful and been a good use of my time. Recently my husband got sent to Chicago for a conference. I got to go with him. Apparently this is how my family vacations. Anyway, my plan was to go to Chicago, hang out in a fancy hotel, watch tv, edit all those pictures I have and write a bunch of blog posts.

this cat is totally correct

While I managed to watch tv (we don't have tv at home, so this was exciting for me) and hang out in a nice hotel (a Westin, snazzy!), I didn't edit one picture. I didn't write anything. I didn't even really think about it. Being productive got ditched as soon as I realized that our hotel was right next to the Des Plaines River Trail. And that's where I spent most of my time. The weather was gorgeous. Sunny, warm, perfect for being outside. I ended up with some blisters and a bit of sunburn. I got to see ducks, snakes, a bunch of dogs and even a couple of horses!

Of course, after 3 days of perfect early fall weather in Illinois, I came back to Maryland, where we're having a series of perfect, early fall days. So instead of coming home and getting some work done, I've been walking on the equestrian trails, visiting my horses (who are already fuzzy for winter) and generally reveling in my
favorite season.

Fall is fun!

Today I did manage to get some editing done and soon I'll have a real post about cat grooming for you. Promise!

so halp me Ceiling Cat!