Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Than Looking Good

Of course one of the main reasons for having a pet groomed is so that it looks good. That's an undeniable fact. People bring me their cats so I can make them look and smell pretty. But there's plenty of other reasons that regular grooming with the same groomer (or the same salon) is important. And that's because we know your pet. And if something is wrong, it's often very obvious to us.

Maybelline is one of my favorite cats ever. I love her. I love grooming her. And I love how she snuggles up under my chin when I carry her around. I also love how flopsy and grumpy she looks when I groom her. She came in recently and I knew right away something was wrong. She had peed in her carrier. Not like her at all, but not uncommon for cats in general. But then she peed in the tub. That's normal for her. But then...She peed twice while I was drying her. She wasn't stressed out in any way, but when I moved her, there would be a pee spot on the towel. HMMMMMMMMM. The clincher was how apathetic she was. She didn't snuggle. She didn't look grouchy. She wasn't Maybelline. And since I've been grooming her every 4 - 8 weeks for over 8 months, I knew this was a radical change. 

Turns out Maybelline had a UTI. Right after I finished with her she visited the vet for a check up and tests. She's on antibiotics and doing great. We're all so happy she came in for her regular grooming and her illness was detected right away. 

Old, Blind, and Matted

This super sweet little cat came in a week or two before Maybelline. The grooming instructions were "old blind and matted". I was feeling grouchy so I complained to no one in particular that "old blind and matted" weren't instructions, unless I was supposed to make the cat old, blind, and matted. I try to avoid doing all of those things, so I called the owner and we decided a good bath, comb out and sanitary clip was the way to go. 

Soooo soft and silky!

She was wonderful for her bath and blow dry, relaxed and just a joy to work with. I set her in a cage to let her face dry a bit. While she was there the vet came by to give her some vaccinations. Later, when I took her out for her final comb through I saw a couple specks of blood on the cage wall. I checked her but didn't see any injury. I figured it may have been from the injection, or perhaps she had some blood drawn too. During the finish work I noticed a few drops of blood on the wall. I checked her over again. Nothing. Hmmmm...then she shook her head and blood went everywhere. Yuck! We went right over to the treatment area and had a vet check her out. Turns out she had ruptured her ear drum. Ouch! During the examination she rolled onto her back so we could rub her tummy and purred and purred. What a happy cat! 

Hard to take a picture, all she wanted to do was cuddle.

Her owner mentioned she had seemed a bit withdrawn, but as an indoor/outdoor cat she assumed she was just spending more time outside. She went home with some medicine and a treatment plan. 

I love making cats pretty, shiny and silky. But more than that, I like helping them be happy and healthy. Often I do that best by taking care of their hair, skin and nails. But sometimes I do it by noticing a change in their behavior that could signify illness and alerting their owners or their doctor. It makes me feel good to know that I was able to help these cats and I'll be able to enjoy some fuzzy cuddles again soon!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Crown Princess of Pretty

This lovely little doll faced Himalayan is Tiara. Tiara gives me pause because she has a bright orange CAUTION sticker on her medical chart. And those stickers aren't handed out lightly! While Tiara can be quite the fighter, for grooming she's pretty good. A bit grumpy now and again, but hey, who isn't?

bathed, blown dry and combed out

The first time I groomed Tiara she was a mess. Matted, dirty and had a nasty case of stud tail. I gave my normal recommendation of a 6 to 8 grooming schedule to keep her clean, healthy and tangle free, and to try and help minimize that stud tail. Noting that she'd been a once-a-year groom her entire life, I was pleasantly surprised to have her back in for grooming about 5 months later. Hey, it's a start!


I was happy to see that her coat had almost fully grown in from the Lion Clip and was in very good condition, just a few little tangles. Easy-peasy to comb out. Also, her stud tail had lessened and was not much more than  a little extra grungy build up, easily washed out. I love when a cats condition improves!

oh, hello there...

In between her comb out and clipping, I had to do...something, I can't remember what, so I tucked Tiara into the Catty Shack Vac to wait. I came back to find her perfectly relaxed, head sticking out and just looking around. She was completely unconcerned about being in there, and had no intention of escaping. She just wanted to look around. Too cute! 

"e" comb clip 
approximately 1 inch long

Despite the fact that winter hasn't really happened here in Maryland, Tiara's owner didn't want her usual Lion Clip, but he didn't want to leave her in full coat. He wanted 'just a little off all over', which for cats means a Comb Clip. The longest I can do is about 1 inch. Thanks to good prep work and good coat condition, I was able to do a nice, smooth clip. Often a Comb Clip (especially the shorter lengths) will leave lines. They tend to soften and disappear in a few days, as the coat begins to grow out, but it drives the perfectionist in me up the wall! Scissors being a huge NO-NO when grooming cats means I can't scissor out those lines like one could do while grooming dogs. Safety first, always!

Anyway, the longer Comb Clips tend to be smoother, and Tiara turned out gorgeous. I apparently didn't have any pictures of her last groom, nor any 'before' pictures of this one. I have a few more folders to check through, and if I find them I'll be sure to add to this post, it's always fun to compare! 

lucky for me you're a better 
cat groomer

Aw, thanks Tiara. I guess one should always expect at least a little snark from a Himmie!