|Before the Trim|
And the cotton hair is awful. It mats in hours. Literally--I could cut off all the mats I could find and two hours later there'd be just as many. I had to do something. Mats aren't just uncomfortable for the cat; they can cause skin problems and so on and so forth if you leave them to multiply. And like dust bunnies, they multiply.
Sigh. I should be grateful that Thimble grooms himself so immaculately I don't have to worry about him (or even comb him!) and Apricot, also a good groomer, has shorter hair that is not prone to mats. At least only one cat is a problem.
And since poor Colby sucks at grooming himself, it was up to me.
Only ... there was no way I could do what needed to be done. It wasn't like he just needed a bath. I can do that. It's a long process and I hate doing it but I can wash cats. I washed Pippin quite regularly (if you call every 6 months regularly). But Colby needed to become a short haired cat, and that requires the use of clippers, and more accurately, that requires the use of clippers by someone who knows what they're doing. Which isn't me.
Yet I don't want to take him just anywhere. There's the asthma, for one thing. I wanted to take him to someone who I knew had the training and the experience to deal with a cat who might have an asthma attack; and a cat who wasn't quite as strong as his size would lead you to expect (I now think this is directly related to his asthma; he got short of breath when running around as a kitten so he didn't do as much of it, thus not developing his muscles as much as, say, Thimble, who I swear lifts weights when I'm not around).
I was talking about this problem to a friend at work, who chirps up that her sister takes her cats to this one groomer that she really likes, and she (my friend) could get her (the sister) to give her the contact information should I want it.
Last year (like at the end of 2016) I'd asked my vet for recommendations but she'd given me just a phone number and I hate calling when I have no clue who is at the other end. I prefer to do some web searching as well.
My friend at work got me the contact information and the phone number was the same as the vet had given me (so this person was doubly recommended), only now I had more to go on. There was even a website, so I went there and perused. I liked what I saw, so since I could make an appointment online (all right! No cold-calling phone call required!), I did so.
Since Colby absolutely loves his new hairdo, and came back completely okay both emotionally and physically, I can highly recommend this person / business should you also live in my area and need a groomer. It's Livie's Loft Cat Grooming.
On the one hand, the prices are expensive. On the other hand, they aren't, not really. Colby took two hours to do; and just how much would you want to be paid per hour to wash and blow-dry and comb out and clip or shave a cat? Remember there's overhead you'll have to pay (rent, etc) on top of that hourly wage.
Last Friday he had an 8:30 am appointment. I took the day off and brought him in. He was not pleased to be in the (small) cat carrier in the car and told me so at random intervals all the way there. It wasn't the strident meows Tiger (cat long time ago) was capable of. This was more conversational. Basically he was telling me this wasn't something he wanted to have happen and where were we going and could we go home now please?
He doesn't talk after you take him out of the car though.
Livie's Loft really is on the second floor but you don't go up there. You get stopped at the first landing by a heavy wooden countertop. You can pass cat carriers (with, presumably, cats in them) under the counter and fill out paperwork and pay and stuff on top. I filled out the form and looked around, wondering if I just leave him?
About that time another customer came in, this one a repeat customer. I asked her if I was just supposed to leave Colby. I said I kind of wanted to talk to someone before I left him. She asked if I'd rung the bell.
Me: What bell?
Yeah, there's this huge white button on the wall to my right, (it's about an inch or more square with a surrounding probably five inch square total installation white rim) with an equally huge sign above it that says "ring bell". In bright red, if I recall correctly.
I was so on edge that I could do nothing but laugh hysterically at myself while I pushed the button. So much for me being observant.
The groomer, a woman, comes down the stairs quite promptly. I tell her about Colby's paw (if you've read Colby the Nine Fingered Cat you know what I'm talking about); his asthma, and his strength issues. And she was very nice and reassuring and all, but I still felt like the worst kind of betrayer as I left him there, with a stranger, to be bathed and have a hair cut.
While I waited for the two hours to be up I needed something to do. Go home? Are you kidding me? You expect me to go home without Colby? Colby the baby? Colby that both Thimble and Apricot consider to be theirs, and Thimble would probably have a thousand fits if I came home without him.
Yeah, no, not going home.
|Colby proves that anime eyes are real.|
But I usually go grocery shopping on Saturday (the next day) and it's supposed to rain on Saturday but not today, and grocery shopping takes about an hour and a half, and I'm sure I can make it take two hours simply by strolling through the grocery store and perusing the shelves instead of my normal mad rush.
Pro tip: don't do this. Don't try to "waste time" grocery shopping. I spent way too much money. "Ooh, they have this? I didn't know they had this!" Multiple times.
When I came back to get him, he was in his carrier. I had asked her if she could take a few photos for the blog so that's where the "getting bathed" pictures are from. (He looks so much smaller wet!)
She seemed a little startled when I said I wouldn't know if I liked it or not until I saw how he reacted. I guess maybe to most people their opinion matters more than their pet's opinion, but quite honestly, I don't understand that view. To me, it doesn't matter if I like the way Colby looks. If he likes it, that's enough for me.
And he does like it. He loves it. I've seen him groom more in the past few days than I have in the past few months. His only complaint is that he's colder than he was, but he has solved that problem by sleeping with me. (And I'm certainly not complaining about that result.)
She had to shave his tummy due to the number of mats (I am such a bad cat mom. I should have had this done earlier!). And now I believe that cats really do have a natural body temperature of 99-102 degrees (F). His tummy radiates heat.
The rest of him, save his head and his legs--the part that had short hair to begin with--and his tail, which doesn't mat, was done in a "comb clip" or a teddybear clip. It's about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. And he's so incredibly soft and fun to pet. Before my fingers would always hang up on a mat and I'd end up picking at it and he'd leave in irritation. Now we both enjoy me petting him so much more.
I think I will like the visual look better when his tummy's in a teddybear clip too. He does look awfully funny now, though. His head still looks huge but his body definitely shows he's too thin. Perhaps he will eat more now that he's not so uncomfortable? We can but hope.
So if I want to keep him in a teddybear clip, I have to do this every 8 weeks. Let's hope Apricot learns to deal with it better.
|Thimble! I haven't even let him out yet!|
When I brought him home, Thimble was absolutely fascinated with the way the outside of the carrier smelled. I let Colby out and then had to walk after him trying to get the harness off him for a few minutes, but I succeeded in that and put the harness away.
I looked back and Thimble was sniffing Colby's neck. Although she used all un-fragranced products on him, he still smelled very different and not at all like Colby. And if I could tell (even though I do have that ultra-sensitive nose) you know Thimble and Apricot had it even worse.
Thimble, however, gave Colby a few licks, as if to say, "yup, you're you." and was fine with him after that.
|Thimble still loves you, Colby!|
|Apricot's checking out this stranger.|
He seems awfully familiar ...
It's a good thing Colby doesn't get his feelings hurt easily.
|Using his tail to keep his tummy warm.|