Oh God. I thought picking out hairstyles for myself was traumatizing. Anybody who knows me knows that I have ADD with my hair and change it constantly. Mine is enough to deal with but lately I’ve had to deal with getting into heavy-duty maintenance for my beloved Ms. Phoebe. She’s a princess. She’s the stuck up cheerleader of the feline community, with her long flowing hair and beautiful green eyes, she’s quite the looker. However, her locks have become a problem lately because she’s been yanking it out constantly in spite of constant grooming from both of us. Every winter she gets pretty woolly which I’m sure keeps her nice and toasty but I think she’s slowing down a bit and just can’t be bothered with high maintenance hair anymore. What’s a girl to do?
I had toyed with the idea of giving her a lion cut for some time now. Just once a year to give her a fresh start. After all, I hit the salon for maintenance at the first sign of one gray hair so why shouldn’t she have a trip to the spa? But I always got anxiety when it came down to actually having her shaved. Unfortunately, it’s a matter of her health and well-being so now it’s a necessity. I actually printed off photos of how I wanted her girly mane to look in the same manner I print off photos when going to my own hair stylist. I sat there, seriously considering what would best suit her and how we should maintain some of her locks so she wouldn’t feel totally naked and violated. (Oh yeah, she was scheduled to get a “panty shave” as well, thus all of the consideration for her dignity.) I actually experienced salon anxiety over a new style for the cat the way I would chopping off my own hair. What if she hates it? What if she’s too embarrassed to come out from under the bed for two weeks and hates me because she’s the laughing stock of the house? There’s a reason why I had been putting this off but I had to take the risk and wait and see if it was a relief to her or a case of humiliation due to a bad haircut initiated by the one person who is supposed to have her best interests at heart. Oh the agony. My vet said they do lion cuts even though they are not groomers and I figured her first shave should be in familiar hands so I chose safety over vanity. That’ll teach me.
So we did it. She looks like crap! They did a serious hack job but I had to remind myself that she was in capable hands and they didn’t have to give her drugs to get the job done. Their expert handling makes up for the less than salon-perfect cut but my little princess now looks like she either is wearing a sweater or is a homeless, mangy poodle. And what the hell happened to her legs? I noticed when she walked away that they didn’t shave all the way down the back of her legs because apparently she just wasn’t having it. She was therefore left with a poodle butt! Oh my God. Let the growing out process begin.
However, you’ve never seen a 12 year old cat act so young. She was rubbing herself all over the carpet and playing with toys she hasn’t played with for ages. The other cats looked at her like something wasn’t “quite right” with her but she didn’t seem to give a rip. She was just happy to be rid of that blasted fur. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have moments of vanity. I can tell that when we look at her and laugh hysterically, it pisses her off. That said, since she has proven that she can survive such an ordeal and experience total relief from the freedom of all that fur, maybe we’ll do this again in the summer and hopefully achieve a better look than that of a torn up poodle.