The Perils of Long-Haired Cats
Should you happen to have your eye on an oh-so-cute long-haired cat and are considering allowing said cat to move in and share your house, I have one little piece of advice for you.
For the benefit of the more squeamish among my readers, I will do my best not to get too graphic. Suffice to say that yesterday found Peter and I chasing and desperately trying to pin down a squirming, scratchy, smelly, unwilling-to-be-pinned-down Felix Fluffypants, for the purposes of cleaning his extremely furry hindquarters which were considerably the worse for wear after a fateful trip to the litterbox.
We have a four-floor house, and every last inch - from the cubby under the basement stairs, to a circuit around the living room-dining room-kitchen-hallway, to the offices on the second level, to the very hardest part to reach under the bed in the attic - was utilized in the chase by our darling Felix.
Attempting to catch and clean was a tag-team effort: I'd grab Felix, Peter would wipe Felix, and Felix would squirm and scratch and claw my shirt until he was able to wriggle away and the chase would begin again. Then Peter caught and pinned him while I took wiping duty... but when I went to get fresh supplies and said, "OK, don't let him go!" Peter happened to miss one crucial word in my sentence, thought I was finished, and... let him go.
I lost track of how much time we spent chasing that cat around the house, the two of us getting more and more frustrated and Felix getting more and more terrified. In retrospect it must have been a hilarious sight - a small, agile, strong young cat tearing around the house, successfully and repeatedly evading two out of shape adults - but at the time, it was utterly crazy-making for all concerned!
Finally, lured out from under the stairs by a couple of treats, I was able to scoop him up and confine him to the cat carrier, at which point Peter transported him to the groomer for a much-needed "sanitary trim" (a phrase I'm not sure I ever thought I'd utter). Based on the scrabbling to get out and angry yowling emanating from the carrier, the sound of which carried from outside the house, through the closed window, and into my second floor office, I am grateful beyond belief that I didn't have to join them in that car.
We are far too old for this!
I'm honestly not sure who was more exhausted when the whole messy, tiring, frustrating ordeal was over, but it all had a happy ending - Felix charmed the groomers and is now slightly less fluffy in his nether regions... our scratches are starting to heal... and our dear cat has (almost) forgiven us for having the audacity to try to keep him clean.
All I can say is, it's a good thing he's so cute.
(Original post in Alphabet Salad.)
~ Laurel Regan (pen name Dawn Storey) @ Dawn Storey Publications
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