Gizmo and Miko showing love in the afternoon.
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.
Ms. Phoebe Kitty and her housemates have the luxury of only having to be alone for about 3 hours every day because there is usually somebody around the house due to screwy schedules. Nonetheless, there is a rambunctious teenager in the house who was rescued from the wild but is totally ungrateful. He insists on terrorizing the two elderly ladies of the house which would be her highness Phoebe, and little Mala, who looks petite but has been known to murder and mutilate wildlife. That unruly teenager is known as Gizmo, who is sweet and cuddly when he is asleep, but the scourge of the universe when he is awake and wound up. In the effort to give him something to focus on beside trying to constantly piss off the other two cats, we bought him Cat TV DVD’s. These DVD’s are meant to provide endless entertainment for kitties, showing a constant stream of wildlife to keep the felines fixated on the television, therefore eliminating boredom and hopefully, the need to kill each other. Given that Mala has one bad eye, Phoebe is not totally deaf but partially hearing impaired and Gizmo is in desperate need of Ritalin, I was skeptical as to whether or not we should bother with this little experiment. But, to our surprise, the thing actually works.
Mala was the first to show some interest in the digital prey.
Phoebe, usually relying on visual aid, noticed that Mala was showing interest in the TV so she decided to check it out.
Eventually, Gizmo came in to see why the other two weren’t paying attention to him. Badass that he is, he stayed a safe distance from the TV on the floor between Mala and Phoebe.
However, as soon as the rats came on, Gizmo had the scare of his life and ran out of the room as fast as he could. The two ladies were left to reminisce about how they were killers in their heyday. The Kill Bill unit of the feline world if you will.
He did however return in time to watch Entourage. Should have known. I guess along with buying three kinds of food we’re also going to have television preferences to deal with. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.
Oye. I’m hoping I’m not the most pathetic traveler in the world and that others who have the wanderlust gene experience the same gut-wrenching feeling when you leave your pet(s) at home. The hardest part of travel for me is leaving Ms. Phoebe, my little princess I’ve had for seven years. Seriously. She’s in great hands but every time I start to pack a bag, even if it’s for just an overnight trip, I get that look. You know, that look. The look of, You irresponsible woman. How could you leave me here without any regard for the fact that I have a need to wake you at 5:00a.m. for my breakfast? It also interrupts her need to walk on my computer keyboard while I’m in the middle of using it. She is fortunate enough to have playmates and the most fantastic caregivers one could ever ask for but has developed a routine of hiding under my bed until I return and set the bag down on the floor. I guess you could say that she is a co-dependent kitty, making her unique in the world stereotypical, aloof cats. I always assumed that cats don’t really care about who is coming or going as long as somebody is providing dinner. But this cat? This cat can apply Catholic guilt more effectively than my old priests in catechism. It’s official, I have become one of those women with their cat. It’s an illness, and one that does not fare well with someone who has a need to get the hell out of Dodge once in a while.
So what’s the alternative? For God sakes, I’m not missing out on being a participant in the world for my precious feline. I have considered bringing her along on my little escapades in her tres chic travel bag but considering that she turns into one of the vampires from True Blood just going to the vet every few months, I don’t think it’s such a hot idea. So, I leave her highness at home concluding that it’s better for her to have access to her various sleeping spots, her little friends who hiss at her and let her hiss back without bloodshed, and her endless supply of toys that most children should be so lucky to own. But it’s always my one thing that makes me so hesitant to travel too extensively. When I was gone for two weeks last year, I was told that she had a cough which resulted in me not sleeping for the last two nights of my trip. Being a bit of a fatalist, I assumed the worst and tortured myself all the way back to California from Europe, hoping that it was nothing. Of course, it turned out to be a serious case of hairball-itus and she was as fit as a 12 year old cat can be. (She was five when I adopted her.) However, she spent almost the entire two weeks under my bed and wouldn’t come out until I got home. That’s loyalty.
Why God? Why couldn’t I have one of those aloof cats that doesn’t give a rat’s ass if I’m coming or going? Why must I endure that look every time I want go to the store much less on a flight?! I have plans,cat. One of these years I’m off to Paris for however long they will keep me. How am I going to escape to Paris with this animal and her co-dependency and list of demands?
Oh hell. I guess I’ll have to give her an herbal sedative and pack her up for the long trip. Maybe make multiple stops on the way to give her a break. Whatever she wants. What do you think? Mon chat Phoebe in Paris? Oui?