Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sometimes Cats can Hate Their Owners

Summers in Toronto are always fun occasions, from the refreshing garbage strike of last summer to this year's romp of a G20 . This summer we're experiencing a bit of a heat wave, which kind of sucks for humans, but really, really sucks for pets. Velvet and I have been sweating it out in our second story old house with no AC and have grown accustomed to the sight of returning home and finding our two cats, Money and Marley, splayed on the floor belly up, panting with their tongues hanging out. And I find cats panting to be a very freaky sight.

Velvet and I were so concerned about our cats that we took to the internet to do some research on how to keep them cool in the summer. We went to Yahoo Answers, because that's the only place you need to go if you ever need any kind of solid advice on ANYTHING. And sure enough, we received all kinds of great advice, such as building them a kitty pool for swimming (because cats love being in water so much) to how to clean ice cream off of your cat's head (thank god someone else asked this question; I was way too embarrassed and poor Money's had a few rough summers. You can clean it with a wet cloth, imagine that!). I was also highly reassured to learn that just because our cats pant, it does not mean that they're mutants. After considering all of these great tips, we decided to go with the logical choice.

TIME FOR CAT HAIRCUTS!!!


I've done a cat gallery of Money and Marley before, so you may be familiar with these two. If not, Money has long, luxurious black hair which she likes to groom and then throw up on our floor. See Money below.


She looks like she weighs about 30 pounds but is actually very scrawny and has no sense of balance. Her hair gives the illusion of power. Velvet and I decided to strip Money of this.



Marley, on the other hand, is all cat, no illusion. He's a short hair who probably weighs close to 20 pounds and he carries it all in his belly. But he carries it well, and we wanted his haircut to highlight this. Zak, who's no stranger to fancy haircuts himself, was nice enough to lend his razor and grooming skills and join me for an afternoon of sweaty fur, meowing cats and minimal bloodshed.



Here's Money, pre-haircut and exuding dignity, as usual. She really looks like she wants to pile in the bathtub and lose half her body weight, right? So that's what we did.




This isn't even all of the fur that we cut off, just a small hint. Money behaved very well and tolerated the razor until it came anywhere close to her bum area, which is when the minimal bloodshed occurred by way of her knife-like claws. This resulted in Money's tail and back area looking pretty wonky and uneven, but whatever, if her answer to everything is violence then she's just going to have to deal with the shame of looking like a homeless cat outside the liquor store. That's just how things go.




Money was shy after her haircut and hesitant to pose for pictures. I'd like to think that she was reflecting on her poor behavior. Or maybe wondering why we didn't clean the rest of our ice cream off of her head during the haircut. We managed to lure her out with false promises of kitty pools.

MONEY'S NEW SUMMER 'DO





Notice her new slim abdomen area for maximum cooling purposes. We took off the first few glossy top coats of her fur, so now the exposed fur is kinda dingy and it looks like she has a bad case of dandruff or like she's perpetually covered in dust. Despite all of this, Money loves her new 'do and you can really see her newfound confidence as she shakily parades down our halls. Even with the dandruff and dust, she's still Best in Show to me.

Onto Marley, the man of the house. Here's Marley's "before" shot.


We knew Marley would be more of a challenge to groom, as he doesn't really like to be held and can become easily stressed. However, we had high hopes for him and wanted to try some kind of mohawk or zig-zag pattern. We knew with a body like that, he could pull off anything, and that's rare in a cat.

Ready for Marley's "after"??!?

MARLEY'S NEW SUMMER 'DO



WOW!! He looks amazing, huh?

Wait, you're confused and think that nothing changed? Allow me to clarify.

MARLEY'S NEW SUMMER 'DO


Ahh, there you have it. Notice the very obvious thinning of the one (1) spot. This thinning will work well as an exterior cooling mechanism, allowing heat to leave the body when it would have been previously trapped by the fur. Mid-cut, Zak and I decided that this was the best option for Marley's hair, rather than the mohawk or zig-zags. Marley also decided this was his best option quite early on and howled so loudly at first sight of the razor that we were afraid the neighbors would call Child Services on us. Marley's haircut lasted approximately 45 seconds. 30 were spent with Velvet and me restraining Marley and trying in vain to convince him that we weren't trying to do a weird cat sacrifice again and 15 were spent with Zak actually shaving the fur.


I thought it would be nice to have a picture of the cats together post-haircut, so I arranged them on the kitchen table for a mini-photoshoot. I learned that along with water, haircuts and loud razors, cats ADORE photoshoots.


Out of the 10 or so shoots that I took, this one was the most adequate. Thanks, Money and Marley. This is a great picture of you two. Really frame-worthy. Shows your appreciation for your new haircuts that we labored and shed blood over. Yeah. You're welcome.


We'll probably be framing this one instead. Everyone's in agreement; summer cat haircuts are the best!


PS--If you're thinking of giving your own cat a summer haircut, I hope this didn't dissuade you! There are many, many options for cat haircuts and one day I hope to attempt more challenging ones. Here are a few shots for inspiration:

"The Mohawk"




"The Dust Mite"


"The Punishment"


You know I love cat pictures, so if you have any good (ie, horrible) cat haircut pics, send them and they will be posted!

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