On my way home I stopped at a pet store. Not my usual place, but one I’d been meaning to go out of my way to visit because I knew they stocked this supposedly amazing pet-grooming tool. As I pulled out my credit card, I thought, “It had better be amazing because for $40 I’m going to be pissed if it doesn’t make any difference!”
I have two cats. One, Tristan, is a regular cat. He and I live together in much the same way I’ve lived with every other cat I’ve ever had. I comb him, I brush his fur off my black wardrobe, I throw my clothes and sheets in the laundry and they come back hair free. Totally normal existence.
And then there’s Beau:
Before bringing this pretty boy into my home, I had no idea that life with a long-haired cat was any different from life with a regular cat. In the four years we’ve lived together, Beau has transformed my home into a giant fur ball. No matter what I do, I can’t keep up with his hair. No matter how much I comb him, there’s still so much shedding. No matter how many times I wash things, I’m still finding his long silky locks on them. I’ve spent a fortune on tape rollers, spent hours checking my hair for his hair. Nothing has been strong enough to beat back the wafting clouds of fur that have become standard in my rooms.
On top of the fur-cloud trauma is the fact that Beau hates to be combed. Grooming your cat is supposed to be a nice, loving, bonding time, like a fancy kind of petting. Tristan loves being combed. Beau, not so much. I have to clip his nails before I get out the comb so that my scratches won’t be so bad. Combing is an ears-flat-back, growling-deep-in-his-throat time for Beau. Instead of a sweet bonding moment I get the promise that he’d take my face off if I’d just let him get at me.
But then I heard about this comb. It was supposed to be a miracle product, able to make grooming a boy like Beau not only easier but a quintillion times more effective. I wasn’t sure I believed it, but I’d tried everything else, why not this?
Let me just say: that picture above? Taken after I combed him tonight. Notice how not crazed and enraged he looks. Notice how he’s sitting somewhere near me and not hiding behind the bed or in the window to escape my ministrations. And notice this:
That hair in the front? I separated it to show how much fur I might have gotten using the old comb in the same amount of time (we would have lasted about 15 or 20 minutes and lasting that long would have included at least one scratch and several carefully-evaded bites). The picture barely does it justice. I think I have enough fur to create a whole other cat … to start spinning cat-fur yarn … to stuff a pillow … to circumnavigate the globe if I lay out each strand end to end.
Just as importantly, I have not one scratch. I could have kept combing and gotten more hair, but Beau was reaching the end of his patience, and I was starting to sneeze (yes, because on top of everything else, I’m allergic to my cats!), so it was time to stop. Can’t wait to comb him a little more tomorrow. My relationship with my plush boy is moving into new territory!
Check out the rest of today’s slices over at Two Writing Teachers (Stacey’s back!)