Monday, June 27, 2011

More'n One Way to Skin a Cat

As the temperatures start creeping into the upper 90s (with 100s right around the corner), the weather has been on my mind lately. A lot. I'm not a huge fan of being hot and sticky and thirsty and unable to sleep due to hundred plus degree temperatures.

I can only imagine what it would be like for the poor critters that are cursed/blessed with tons of fur.

I used to have a cat named Tippy. She was a rescue cat and came with that name, not sure why. Maybe because she only had a tip of a tail? Who knows.

Tippy was freakin' awesome. She was super affectionate and would actually run to the door to meet me when I came home from work.

She was also a total brat.

And a little on the plump side.

Being that she was very furry and somewhat obese, I figured that the summer heat must be driving her more crazy than it was me. Often times I would find her on the bathroom tile floor, trying to find a bit of coolness to soak up in the otherwise roasting apartment.

I decided to take action and try and bring some relief to my poor rotund cat.

I'd heard of animals getting their fur shaved for the summer and figured it would help Tippy's situation. Also, the vet had someone on site that would do it. So one morning before work, after I'd hog-tied her and wrestled her into her carrier, (my coworkers wondered at my scratched and bleeding arms) I dropped Tippy off to get a "lion cut." This is a cut where most of the cat's hair is shaved off, but the head and paws are left long, perhaps looking like a lion's mane?

I had been a little apprehensive about the process, as Tippy is less than cooperative at the vet, but I signed off for her to have a light sedative and figured that would be all that was needed to get her through the "ordeal."

I had no idea what I had just signed her up for.

The vet told me when I came to pick her up that she yowled the ENTIRE TIME, even with the sedative. Plus it took two of them to hold her down while yet another shaved her.

I'm pretty sure they charged me extra.

One thing I learned upon picking her up (other than that she is a royal PITA and the vet never wanted to see her again) is that cat's skin is the same color as their hair. That doesn't sound bad, except when you have a cat with multi-colored fur. When their hair is removed, it looks like they have a skin disease.

Good God, maybe Tippy was yowling because she saw how wretched she looked.

Plus, without a tail, she looked like a plucked chicken. A diseased and rotting chicken.

She wouldn't acknowledge my presence for days. Not that I blame her.

I honestly don't know if it helped with the heat issue, as she looked pretty miserable regardless of the temperature. I never did that again, although I did have to get her a "panty shave" (yes, I swear that is a real term) every now and then because she was too roly-poly to be able to clean herself properly.

This tale of woe has been a PSA for any of you thinking about helping your pet through the summer months. All I'm asking is that you seriously consider the aftereffects.

Tippy's and my relationship was never the same.

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