Currently Reading: What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
Last week I had a rather interesting pair come through the clinic. We'd gotten a call from one of the animal rescue places here in Nashville asking if we did cats. Why yes, I do cats.
What they brought in were two Persians, one white, one tortoise shell. To say that they hadn't been groomed in a while would be putting it mildly.
I took before and after shots of the white one. This is what she looked like when she came in.
Didn't exactly give me a lot to work with. In general, when cats come in, my options are limited. You don't really STYLE cats so much as you clean them up a bit. A trim here, a snip there. Clip the claws, maybe shorten the whiskers, something like that. And then there's the other extreme, usually reserved for long-haired cats. I'm not a cat owner and I've never had one with long hair, but from working in the clinics, I know a few reasons why they get so messy. Most of the time it's a simple matter of owners not brushing/combing them out regularly. The cat will groom itself as best it can up to a point but if there are knots in the coat, it's up to the owner to remove them. Of course, sometimes the cat gets sick and they stop grooming themselves. In the case of the white one, it was a bit of both.
Clearly she wasn't a very happy kitty when she plopped down on my table. She wasn't mean and never tried to bite me. She was pretty tolerant for the most part, except for the belly. Cats, unlike dogs, really don't get thrilled with the whole belly rub concept. Their loss.
Anyway, after several hours of work, both before and after her bath, this is what she looked like when she left.
Yes, I will admit, she's a little rough around the edges but there really wasn't any way around that. Her coat was in such bad shape I was actually surprised it came out THAT smooth.
Over time, it'll grow back out and assuming the new owner takes care of her, she'll be a happy, fluffy, CLEAN kitty from now on.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, people do bring their cats in to have that done on purpose. Quite a few long-haired cat owners like to have them shaved for the summer. The most common cut is a lion pattern. You save the mane and the tip of the tail. Makes them look like a lion. Me, I prefer the bobcat instead. It fits the hair on most long-haired cats better and it's something different. I mean, EVERYONE gets the lion cut. Having a bobcat cut makes you stand out.