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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kitty Scarlett Gets a Buzz Cut

I love it when a good plan comes together. On the other hand, every plan has a flaw. As one who takes joy in the detail of planning, I just hate those flaws.

When we were preparing for our sojourn in CA, we truly thought we had everything in order. I unsubscribed from the email newsletters that would clog the inbox. I notified all those who needed notification and referred them to my cell phone in case of need. Got traveling money and packed clothes for a variety of CA temperatures. Mike got a sub for an upcoming music gig and had his associate cover the tax office. Done. My son and I departed.

Mike joined us about a week later and had wrapped up the final details. His son moved in as our house sitter and kitty sitter. James is a quiet, gentle guy and, on his visits to our home, Miss Scarlett had shown as much acceptance of him as she does for anyone who’s not Mike or me. Mike showed James everything he needed to know about the house and explained kitty’s food and litter box needs. Ahh, but then there’s that fatal flaw.

As you can see from the above left photo, Kitty Scarlett is a longhaired beauty. It didn’t occur to me to think about her decreased ability to groom herself since she’s reached the age of 17. I comb her and occasionally clip a knot of hair that can’t be combed. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to attempt combing her. She wouldn’t stand for it. So I never thought about what would happen to her coat.

When we finally returned home and I picked Scarlett up to hug her, I was horrified to find that most of her coat was matted down to the skin. There was actually a ridge down her backbone that designated the place hardest for her to reach.

We took the pitiful girl to the vet’s assistant who is a friend. She cooed over Scarlett, but referred us to a considerate groomer because she lacked the tools to address such heavy matting. The groomer gently took her time and shaved most of Kitty Scarlett’s once-beautiful hair. That’s the skinny picture you see. Kitty was left with a mane of hair on her head and neck which made Mike say that she looked like a little lion. She also had hair from her “knees” to her toes that reminded me of 1960’s Cher in tight jeans and fur boots.

Scarlett’s trauma wasn’t over. An inadvertent knick by the groomer, unseen by us, tore into a more serious wound. It came to my attention one day when Kitty Scarlett stayed in bed all day refusing to get up for food or water. I lifted her from bed and she yowled with pain. Mike then noticed her limp. Trip to the vet, antibiotics, pain medication and a few days of TLC got her back on track.

Her buzz cut has now grown into a pixie hairdo and she’s not quite so embarrassed about her appearance. Without her long hair for warmth, Scarlett has turned into a lap baby to stay cozy in her nearly naked state. Mike says that her winter coat went into storage.

I’ll add the coat issue onto future checklists.

1 comment:

Willow Goldentree said...

Aww! Poor Miss Scarlett. :( Pandora, Bandit, and Ashy send their love and the extra fur they left on the bed this morning. ;)