Saturday, July 01, 2006

Grooming session

Not for me, but for Hobbes, my poor cat. He has suffered for a while from nasty matted chunks of fur that resisted all attempts to comb them out. In part, it happened because he is old, somewhat arthritic, and doesn't clean himself as he should any longer, and partly because I was using the wrong kind of brush on him. It didn't dig out the loose fur close to his skin.

So my friends D. and S. stopped by this afternoon to help me deal with it. S. worked in a veterinary hospitaql before becoming a nurse; she knows a great deal about animal-grooming. D. and I took turns holding the cat while S. worked on him.

It wasn't much fun for any of us. Though he was better-behaved than I expected, the cat did get enormously upset at times, lashing out to bite with snake-fast movements. While on his back -- his stomach was particularly covered in lumps of knotted-up fur -- he would cry out and kick, rabbit-style, and contort himself in an effort to get away.

I was very grateful to S. I'm a total wuss when it comes to doing anything to cause Hobbes any pain, even if it's for his own good; she was a little less moved by his unhappiness.

The whole procedure took more than an hour, and left all four of us -- S., D., the cat and me -- exhausted. We ended up with a small sack full of fur and one unhappy feline, who has spent the rest of the afternoon hiding in the bedroom closet.

The only real casualty was D., who got both a bite and a scratch on his arm. He didn't move quite fast enough when the cat-snake struck. And, even though we trimmed Hobbes's claws before starting in on the fur, even the sawed-off stickers can still leave a hefty scratch.

I'll have to vacuum the living room again; even though I ran the Hoover across the carpet just this morning, there's plenty of loose fur scattered around now.

But Hobbes looks much, much better. And will look better still when a few patches where S. had to trim close to the skin fill out again.

In fact, he has just come into this room, demanding dinner. I reached down to pet him. He's still shedding....

He just does that to be difficult, I'm sure.


Birdie said...

you guys can do my cat now... she has LONG black hair and try as I may, she won't let me comb her properly... oh, well.....

DAL said...

Fortunately, Barq has short hair, and most of his shedding somehow ends up on the stairs, which are bare wood.

At least with an indoor cat, you don't usually have to worry about getting xgpzpia from a bite or scratch.

MrScribbler said...

Hobbes has short hair too, dal...just too much of it. It would be easier to list the places he doesn't leave hair...if I could think of any.

He didn't hurt D. so much as scare the zfxqhse out of him....

HarpO'Fly said...

Cats don't take kindly to anything that isn't their idea to begin with, I don't think. My old cat back in the day was a bit deformed. Friends said it was birth defects, a malathion(sp?) baby. Anyway, he was in shock of something and bit right through both thumbnails. The first time didn't teach me so 10 minutes later we had a repeat. I had to have a lymph node removed from an area I hate to have withing a mile of a knife. Entertained the assisting nurses I suppose.
Cat scratch fever they said.
Glad you had enough personnel to do the job. Cats are fighters.

lovezao said...

Omigosh, my dog Zao is an Alaskan Malamute/wolf hybrid, he is classified as a massive shedder and he certainly is. I was cleaning the other day and I thought for a person who doesn't like housework I surely have a big hairy dog!
Bur i lovezao so much

He is totally worth it, and I have actually made a game of pulling chunks of hair from him! About the time he stops shedding he starts again. But I just put myarms around the big smelly guy and kiss him and say I love you, and pick up the brush!