Monday, July 18, 2011

There's more than one way to shave a cat

If a guy offers to shave your kitty, he doesn't necessarily deserve to be slapped.

As it turns out, not everyone has a filthy mind. As it also turns out, it takes more than one person to groom an ill-tempered cat.
Blue Cat before the big shave.

For months, I've been meaning to give Blue Cat a summer haircut. Besides having extremely long fur that's prone to matting, he has a fondness for rolling in dirt and cheatgrass. We reached a point that I felt like I was holding a filthy hippie with foul-smelling dreadlocks, only this hippie drools when he purrs. I knew something needed to be done, but the idea of doing it by myself was as appealing as rubbing wasabi in my eye.

A good friend who's either exceptionally kind or mildly suicidal offered to lend a hand, so we corralled Blue Cat in my downstairs bathroom and gathered all the necessary supplies. For the first thirty seconds, Blue Cat just thought he was being petted by someone with a vibrating hand.

Then he looked back and saw his fur coming off in clumps. That's when I lost the first layer of skin off my forearm.

As Blue Cat yowled, the dog whined on the other side of the bathroom door. When I slipped out to grab a pair of scissors, one of the other cats went skittering under the guest bed, convinced his turn was next.

Blue Cat took a swipe at me as I came back in the room. I wrestled him to the ground again and tried to make him see reason.

"You'll feel so much better when it's done," I told him.

He hissed and bit my hand.

In a way, I could relate. How many times have I tackled a set of revisions the same way? I know it's for the best. I know how great it will feel when the whole thing is over. Even so, I approach the endeavor with so much snarling and spitting you'd think someone was removing my kidney with a pair of pliers.

Are there tasks you undertake like this? How do you move past the shrieking and hissing and into a realm of acceptance? Please share.

And while we're sharing, here are some photos from the great cat shave of 2011. It'll be just like you were there (minus the claws embedded in your shoulder).
It takes several hands to subdue the vicious beast.

Blue Cat escapes mid-way through the shave and sulks in the bathtub.
Almost done...

A big old pile of Blue Cat.
Purring happily on my lap now that the trauma is over.

20 comments :

Teri Anne Stanley said...

And I thought trimming the nails of the worlds grumpiest dog as fun!

Sarah W said...

Three words: toddler toenail trauma.

Joyce said...

I can't even trim my cat's nails. I can't imagine trying to shave her!

Matthew MacNish said...

He doesn't look nearly as pissed as I would've expected. But then maybe he's just plotting.

Linda G. said...

I can't believe there isn't blood dripping off of you in that last pic. Blue Cat must be one tolerant feline!

Patty Blount said...

I STILL have a tiny scar over a boob the last time I attempted to trim a cat's fur.

I was a teenager. "Friskie" was part Angora. Black, white and gray long hair. He was an indoor cat but escaped outside one day and came home with all kinds of fun stuff matted to his fur. *shudders*

Danica Avet said...

I hope you sleep with your door closed and locked and several things blocking it for a few weeks. *shudders*

I gave my 15 year old cat her first bath a month ago and to my surprise, she didn't kill me. I'd always assumed she would go for the throat, but she was good and even jumped in my lap afterwards to purr as though she actually loved me. It was a special moment.

lora96 said...

Ah the joys of pet care...my puppy can enthusiastically dig his claws into my upper arm even WHILE my husband is holding him so I can put ear drops in the puppy's ears. He also twists around impossibly and flails as though we're trying to strap him onto the rack for questioning.

Steph Schmidt said...

Wow, I honestly didn't know you could shave cats like you do a horse. What does shaved cat feel like?

Dawn Alexander said...

He is definitely plotting. Check your shoes, check your purse, pull back the covers before you get in bed. Cats never go down that easily.

Sierra said...

When we have to bathe one of our (longhaired) cats, we have to bathe both. If one doesn't have to suffer, they inevitably rub it into the other's face and then there's a huge kerfuffle.

So they both get bathed, making sounds equivalent to those of a cat being killed slowly. There's not a lot of clawing, but dear God...the sounds that come out of those critters. I'm sure the upstairs neighbors love us.

Delia said...

Ohmydearlord. That is the funniest thing I Have. Ever. Seen.

I love how you left the bottom fringe as if he's a cocker spaniel. *snort* I'll be giggling about this all day, so thanks for that.

Mary Kate Leahy said...

One day... maybe tomorrow, maybe years from now...you are going to wake up with a shaved head and a cat, with a razor in his mouth.

Summer Frey said...

Haha, oh the joys of cat shaving! I used to work for a cat clinic where grooming was a primary source of business. We did many, many lion cuts--but always with the cat sedated. :)

dianehenders said...

Any episode of cat-grooming that *doesn't* leave you in need of a blood transfusion is a success. :-)

Patrick Alan said...

I suspect that you shaved your kitty just so you could blog it. I have no problem with this, I just wanted to share my belief and say that you shaved your kitty. 'Cause you did. Your kitty looks cute shaved like that.

Kimberly Sabatini said...

The almost done pic and Patrick Alan's comments are my favorite part of this post LOL!

urthalun.com said...

Umm, kinda stopped reading this the second you said "dirty hippie" because, well, that was pretty mean, wrong and completely uninformed. It really really bothered me. At what point did those two words become okay to use together as a hurtful and derogatory term? Also, the words "foul smelling" and "dreadlocks" do NOT mean the same thing.... my daughter's were very clean and nicely kept, she washed her hair regularly, THAT is how dreadlocks are actually created, in the shower!

Sorry Tawna, ya lost my respect on this one big time.
Julie
A former on-line (hippie) friend.

Xandra James said...

You are so recruited to cut Mean Cat's claws! She's possessed so any other hands for her to bite are greatly appreciated :D

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You are one super brave lady. I clip my cats' nails frequently, and that is bad enough. But shave 'em? No thanks! I'd rather pay somebody, and let the pros wither under my kitties' you-are-killing-me screams.