Fifty shades of grey fluff

Needless to say, I love my little dude Jack.

He’s loyal, snuggly, and only bites once or twice a day. I call these “love bites” even though they occasionally bleed, which Jack believes will get me out of bed before 6 in the morning. We won’t talk about how the daggers hidden within his fluffy grey paws make me look like a cutter. (And those scars on my arm are not the relics of a suicide attempt.)

Pet ownership (and I mean this as in Jack owns me, I don’t own him) comes with a few pitfalls even though I adore him bracing against my leg at night as he tries to get comfortable. I also love having him meet me at the door; cats can do this as well as dogs, minus a little tail wagging, just a look of anticipation for a head pat.

If you have ever had a long-haired cat, you can guess where the pitfalls are located.

The bum.

I’m not obsessed with bums even though I wrote about bums the other day. And even included a picture of a wooden bum with a cleverly added rectum. But I digress.

Yes, long-haired cats, when faced with a too-small litter box, occasionally have assidents. (As opposed to accidents, these assidents involve the bum.)

Jack is a big cat. He’s not too heavy (he usually weighs about 11 on the vet’s scales) but very long.

And fluffy.

And so, sometimes, if his poop isn’t so well-formed, you get assidents.

The fix involves scissors and a hasty haircut.

This is a two person job. Any time you give a cat a nail trim, bath, or haircut, it’s advisable to have a team in place: one person to convince the cat that staying still is preferable to doing the Tazmanian devil freak out, and another to do the task itself.

Jack is surprisingly patient during his haircuts. For awhile. Nail trims are impossible unless you’re the vet and can do them so fast, Jack doesn’t have time to swat.

And baths… well. We haven’t tried that one yet. The haircuts seem to suffice.

I get to pick him up.

The trick is to hold him down enough he doesn’t get at the person doing the cutting. However, holding him with too much force freaks him out because he shows signs of former abuse and trauma, and does not brook with any kind of shenanigans.

Any kind.

Once the haircut is over (and this is signalled by love bites on the arm), Jack gets a handful of treats. This is also to help pacify the guilt over holding him down in order to snip the poop off his bum. Since this is an awkward moment for all parties involved, it’s a nice transition time.

Even though Jack isn’t a fan of haircuts, I’m sure he’s happy to have less you-know-what to lick. I don’t know how cats or dogs clean themselves with their tongues. I guess I’m just too much of a princess, needing a facecloth and soap. But I’m sure Jack appreciates the help.

Wouldn’t you, if you looked like this?

You’d be surprised how much of that cat is fur.

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