Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cat tale

One thing I swore that I would never do was cut my cat's fur — especially into a poodle cut.

But Halo turned out to be something different.

Halo, you see, is a Ragdoll, and Ragdolls are, by nature, docile, blue-eyed, long-haired cats.

The devil cat, with fire in her eyes, pre-grooming...
We had a Ragdoll once before, Do-Little, who was as sweet as they come. When you picked her up, she'd go limp in your arms (like a ragdoll, hence the name of the breed). She'd brush against your legs as you walked by, and purr contentedly when you stroked her fur.

After Do-Little passed away, we thought we'd get another Ragdoll. And in anticipation of similar Do-Little attributes, we named her Halo.


Turns out, Halo has yet to read the Ragdoll manual. Now a year old, she still nips at your ankles, swipes bare-clawed at your hands and wriggles out of your arms if you try to hold her  for more than 15 seconds.

We've considered renaming her Pitchfork.

One of the things Halo/Pitchfork won't let you do is groom her. If you approach her with a comb, she takes a defensive karate stance and dares you to even think about combing her.

So we don't.

Consequently, her incredibly fine silk-like fur gets easily matted, especially on her belly and haunches. We tried to comb them out — even cut them off with scissors — only to have Halo disagree.

So we decided to have her professionally groomed to have the mats removed.

We took her to the vet where I dropped her off, but within the hour we got a phone call telling us to get our cat because she was hissing and scratching and generally making a nuisance of herself. The only solution was to try again, but they'd have to sedate her first.

So a week later, we tried again. I'm not a fan of sedating pets, but something had to be done. We suggested a lion cut for Halo and wondered how that would work out.

Halo shows off her new lion cut, which we think she likes. We think.
 A few hours later, the vet called and said Halo had done fine. My wife picked her up after work, and when I got home from my job, I was eager to see the results.

And, you know, it wasn't half bad.

Halo was still a little groggy from the sedation. She had been given a buzz cut all along her torso, from tail to neck, but the mats were gone. Fur still remained on her legs below the knees (making her look like she was wearing boots) and her fluffy tail was untouched. I think her new lion cut somehow appeals to her feline DNA.

She looked, well, kinda cute.

And there seemed to be another benefit from all of this. I'm not going to say that she'd gone through a personality change — you still can't hold her for more than 15 seconds — but she does seem to be a little more personable. She gets underfoot and loyally follows us everywhere through the house. She purrs when you stroke her. As the heat of summer descends upon us, I think she somehow appreciates her new look.

We figure it'll take about three months for her fur to grow back — just in time for winter. In the meantime, we plan to comb her buzz cut daily, just to get her used to the idea. So far, she hasn't resisted.

We'll see.

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