If you’re a cat lover, you may prefer skipping this post. Then again, you may also really appreciate it.
Nine years ago, our two loyal pets, a dear 18 year old Golden Retriever and a loyal 17 year old cat, both died within six months of each other. No surprise really, they were the very best of friends. Having adjusted to an empty kid nest, I thought I would also adjust to an empty pet nest. I did, for about six months when one morning, I just couldn’t stand it any more … I had to have a four legged furry friend.
It was January and wet and there were NO kittens in this entire country … except for one. The shelter described her as a “sweet black and white delight, looking for a good home.” (Who writes these things?) We raced to the shelter and met her – a kitten with ears the size of small tee-pees and an affectionate manner that hooked me from the minute I laid eyes on her. My only reservation? She had long fur. “Oh. no” the kind shelter worker reassured me, “it will only be mid-length.”
Fortunately, as Rita matured, she grew into her ears. Unfortunately, it became very clear that her fur was anything but “mid-length.” No, it’s long, so long she can’t even fully groom the fur under her neck. And it’s everywhere. I mean, absolutely everywhere.
I contemplated what I wanted to do for a very long time, thinking, she’d be more comfortable less furry. Maybe there would be less fur all over my house. We live in the country, who would see her? No, cats don’t care about how they look, just how groomed they feel, right?
And so, the other morning, as Rita was having her breakfast, I have her a haircut … er,furcut. That’s right, while she looked at me out of the corner of her eye, I snipped away. Handful after handful of fur came off.
She looks a little ‘punky’ now. (There are definitely some rough edges.) The first time she licked under her neck was comical – her fur ran out long before her tongue, a first. But it was also somehow reassuring. She mastered the job in nothing flat and now I’m only finding shorter hairs.
Is she the laugh of the neighborhood? Probably not – she’s always avoided every cat at this end of the road. Am I a happier cat owner? Definitely! So much happier that I just may take a little more off the edges some morning.