Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brave, Stupid, Both?

Guys. I've been slacking. Ideally my goal is to get a post a week. Maybe two if I'm feeling chatty. Here's the problem: I hate editing pictures. And pictures are important. I bet most people have never seen a cat being groomed. Most people still don't know cats *can* be groomed! Besides, who wants to read a blog without pictures? 'Whoo boy. I groomed this cat that was so matted! Then I shaved 'n bathed it and it looked great! No, really, it was awesome. You shoulda been there!'


So, yes, I have tons of pictures that only need a few clicks to edit and watermark before they're ready to entertain you. Last week I caught a head cold, which wasn't too bad, but it dragged on and I didn't really feel like doing much. I tried a few times to catch up on the pictures, but quickly realized I didn't feel like being vertical. Or awake.

Anyway, I'm almost over it. Not quite, but I think this evening I'm going to try going to yoga class. If I can handle that, then I have no excuse not to edit those pics!

Of course, I didn't write all this up to elicit sympathy, whine or make excuses. Honest. Ok, maybe a little. No, I really wrote this because I have to share something. Something that surprised me so much that it would have knocked me on my ass if I hadn't been sitting already. Something that made me laugh and brightened my whole day.

I'm shamelessly taking this from the National Cat Groomers Institute of America's e-newsletter:

Diary of a Student. Where is she now? 

Beth Rex, CFMG, CFCG was one of the first four brave souls to invest in a 2-week cat grooming school course when everyone else thought it was a bit weird. That makes Beth brave or stupid or both. (We prefer to think BRAVE!). As it turned out, Beth was not only extremely brave to embark on this new venture into unknown territory, but she was also brave when it came to wrangling mean, feisty kitties with 18 claws and very sharp teeth. Beth, we quickly learned, is also very talented and very smart. The making of an excellent cat groomer, to be sure!

Since graduating from the NCGIA in January 2010, Beth sold her dog grooming business and set out to become a feline-exclusive groomer. In April of 2010, Beth, being the brave soul that she is, took a stab at the Feline Fantasy Creative Cat Grooming Competition held at Intergroom. She placed first with her creative rendition of a cat being eaten by a shark.  

"Diary of a Student"* is a blog on the NCGIA website that is authored by Beth and details her experiences while at the cat grooming school. To get an idea of what it's like during those two weeks, please read her blog. Both humorous and informational, the blog is an easy read.

Also, check out Beth's own blog, entitled "The Finical Feline" which contains lots of photographs of cats before and after they are groomed as well as dialogue between her and her many clients.

Beth was also featured recently on PetEdge's own blog simply because they thought her entry was interesting, entertaining, and unique. Check it out here.

It is truly amazing to see so many CFMGs be successful at growing their businesses and finding themselves with a great deal of positive media buzz! This makes us proud!

I absolutely adore the folks at the NCGIA. They're incredible, talented, strong and opinionated! And every once in a while they surprise me with something like this. Thank you ladies!

*Just thought I'd mention, The Diary of a Student blog is only semi factual. Danelle asked me to write somewhat generically, so that it could have been written by any one of the students in the current class, or in any class at all, really. Apparently the current (at the time) class had some fun trying to figure out who it was! Heehee, it was a fun little project, and the secrecy made it even more enjoyable for me! To my knowledge, this is the first time I've been named as a real author of the blog. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gettin' Creative

Thanks to the power of the internetz, specifically Facebook, I've become friends with a local woman that is working towards becoming a Certified Feline Master Groomer. She's been studying hard and recently attended the NCGIA's Cat Grooming School, but since she doesn't have a grooming background, she needs more hands on experience.

Remember Sara?

Since I hadn't actually met Anne in person and had no idea of her comfort level, I invited her up to get some practice with Sara. Because...it's Sara and she's kinda like grooming a stuffed toy. Except better, because she gives snuggles. 

Anyway, Anne came up and we had some fun, I got to ramble and tell stories, which I always like, and I was pleased with how well Anne handled the kitty. She has a very gentle, soothing way about her. Get some cat wranglin' mileage on her and we'll have another great CFMG here in Maryland!

I had some free time after she left, so I decided to have a little bit of fun and do some creative grooming. (Now, this is how you can tell how you really love what you do. Your idea of having a good time is doing more work.)

My apologies to Denna

It took me a few tries to get going. Clipping in little details and artwork is different than doing regular clipping. Originally I was thinking of doing an all over swirly pattern, but didn't really 'see' it. After a few minutes of thought, I decided to go with the fancy rose.

I happen to dislike "Magic Eye" creative grooms. You know, the ones that you stare and stare and squint and tilt your head at and still can't figure out what it's supposed to be? Then someone tells you and you're like "Of course! I totally saw it!" My flower was feeling a little vague to me, so I added some color.

you knew it was a flower all along, right?

It's Really Important to remember that cats are extremely delicate creatures that can have fatal reactions to a lot of fairly common things. That means most coloring agents are dangerous to felines. I checked with the manufacturer and my vet prior to trying this product. Still, I use it infrequently and sparingly. Do not go out and start slapping dyes on your cat! It could be harmful to your kitty. And possibly harmful to you, if your cat objects to your grooming efforts.

Despite the fact that Sara got used as a teaching tool in addition to having a full groom done and then had the extra time to add creative clipping and color done, she didn't mind at all. She lounged on the table, snuggled with the groomers, and watched birds through the window. Not a bad way to pass the afternoon!

loving her Spa Day!