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Communicate with your Pet Groomer

Sometimes, realizing your lack of communication with your pet groomer can have its advantages (and disadvantages).

Having a cat with long, angora-like fur poses many obstacles. Thick dreadlocks accumulate under the legs and belly. It's a less than desirable appearance. Even with brushing, combing and liquid de-tangler, defeat is admitted. The battle is lost.

A longhaired cat with a happy colon also provides flashes of wonderment.

“What is that smell?”

Mac, our affectionate indoor/outdoor feline, loves to rub his body on any human, dog, tree, piece of furniture or appliance he can find. Like most cats, he has a tendency to poke his derriere directly in your face. A normal feline maintains, even prides themselves, with their private-part hygiene. Mac would rather keep everyone guessing, including our dog.

After a number of dreaded feline butt washes in the laundry room sink, I gave up. Balancing the sprayer, soap and sharp claws should be left to the professionals. After the last sink venture, Mac had an appointment with the groomer for an underbody, hindquarter shave.  

When I dropped him off, I explained his unfortunate natural habit.

Happily, the groomer piped, “Would you like me to give him ‘The Lion?’”

This should have been my cue to voice specifics.  

She can’t be serious. Who in their right mind would shave their cat to resemble a lion (and in the winter, no less)? I figured the disclosed information of him being an indoor and outdoor cat was sufficient.  

“Just make him look good,” I said.  

As I walked out the door, thoughts of a clean, fragrant, non-tangled cat eased my mind. No more 10 p.m. sink baths, no more scratched arms, no more leaky sprayer. The entire family will now have the freedom to work on laptops, read books and watch TV without fear of Mac’s affection and dangling surprises.

After four hours, the anticipated call from the groomer finally illuminated my smart phone’s screen. As the automatic doors opened, I glanced through the window hoping for a sneak preview. As I approached the counter, Mac sat patiently in utter humiliation.

He glared as if to say, “How could you?”

Mac resembled a domesticated, 10-pound, pathetic black lion.  His body was completely shaved. His face, neck and feet were spared. He had the tail of a rat, excepting a large billowy ball at the end. Apparently the groomer believed “The Lion” would make him “look good.”  

My hands covered my mouth while hard laughter filled my stomach. The more I laughed, the more he glared.

For the remainder of the day, I occasionally forgot our earlier expedition – only to be reminded when he swaggered into the kitchen or lingered at the door.  

The family’s mixed emotions and photo ops, as well as a pronounced sense of confusion visible in our dog, lingered for days. Friends and neighbors popped in for confirmation of Mac’s recent lionizing.

Granted, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but the experience was worth every penny.  If you suffer similar circumstances, make sure instructions to the groomer are specific, unless you prefer “The Lion.”  

Wanda Colman January 02, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Love the article! My poor little torti point Himalayan gets humiliated with the lion cut every spring. It helped to ask for less pom pom on the feet and tail last time. I think that helped her feel just naked and less foolish. She seems to understand fully when we all stare at her and say "poor Moon." Unfortunately this year she is matted already. I think I will ask for a long buzz cut. She does not go outside by choice.
Ron Peterson January 02, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Cami: Could you bring George to the groomer?
meowkats4 January 02, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I always took Mojo to the groomer every summer for the "Lyon" cut. He was funny the first time I brought him home with that cut. In a few days he played the part of "King Lyon" yes he would lay down on his stomach with legs in front and wait for one of the other cats to react and he would swat them. Yes, he played his part well as King of the house! So every summer I would take him to the groomers for the Lyon Cut. I lost him to cancer in October 2011 at the age of 16.
Pat Jennings January 02, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I think he looks dashing, although having a long haired cat I am sure he made you pay.!:)
Jessie Sawyer January 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Ha! I think the photo says it all. Jessie Sawyer Editor, Avon Patch

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