Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Daring To Wear Black: Confessions From A Cathouse

Let's face it:  A good deal of my day now includes The Cats.  (Whether I like it or not.)  Especially this winter, when I am not so much Out And About due to cooler weather, we are indoors together for hours on end, and if I am inert, one of them is often on my lap or trying to get on my lap, making meaningfully sinister and baleful glances at the laptop desk which is in His Or Her Spot. 

Most definitely NOT allowed here
 I don't mind the Idea Of It so much as I mind the hair.  Good Heavens, The Hair.

I know, I know:  I signed up for this when I brought them home, as my mother, St. Patsy reminded me not too long ago, but holy crap!  Not only are they covered with it, but they spread it all over.  Constantly.

And it does not matter how often I brush and comb them--and that is an ordeal, let me tell you, because they walk all over the goddam place and will not sit still--they shed and shed and shed.  These cats shed like...oh, I don't know...like they simply cannot help it and they must do it.

And will someone please tell me why Cat Beds are made of polar fleece, which is the single most cat-hair clutching material known to mankind, second only to sticky tape?  I spent approximately eleventy hours last weekend vacuuming the cat beds--with my Dyson--and even then could not get all the cat hair out of/off of them.

It's abusive.

My bathrobe (also made of fleece) looks like I am trying to make a Halloween costume in order to be either A) a very large cat or B) a sad old hoarder. 

Here is Rick's Helpful Suggestion!  "Nance.  Did you ever try vacuuming the cats with that brush attachment?"

I kept my Helpful Suggestion for him to myself because I am still on my personal path of Continuous Improvement which includes Patience and The Thumper Rule.

Finally, in a related conversation:

Nance:  (reading from newspaper aloud)  Rick, there is a cat show ad in the paper.  Can you imagine?  It says there will be "vendors selling cat toys, cat trees, and other cat accessories."
Rick:  Oh, I bet.
Nance:  Will there be a booth with crumpled paper balls, milk jug lids, and twist ties?
Rick:  And wine corks?
Nance:  Or one with Amazon.com boxes and clothes baskets?
Rick:  Had we known, we could have rented a space and made a little extra money.


  1. Oh but I think we need a video of you vacuuming the cats. Really - it's in my head now & the only humane thing to do is Make It Happen.

  2. On an unrelated matter, how often do you update the bunny on your sidebar? I'm afraid I miss out because I don't check often enough :)

  3. There. Is. No. Cure. For. Cat. Hair. Except for not having cats, which is not an option for you.

    Not only do they shed, and shed, and shed... but, when frightened, as you have no doubt experienced at some point, they will shed buckets in seconds. I once put a kitty in a sports bag as a way of transporting him to the vet. The vet recommended this method to keep the cat from bouncing off every surface of the car, and shredding me to ribbons during the drive, and also for actually getting the cat TO the car. Just moving towards him with the keys in my hand sent him diving under the furniture. But the most fun was when I removed him from the sports bag upon arrival. Along with something very unpleasant I will refrain from describing in detail, that bag had 10 pounds of cat hair in it after the car trip. Holy crap! That cat should have been BALD with that amount of hair loss. And yet... he looked just as furry, and still had plenty to shed for the rest of his days. No wonder they get those hair balls from licking themselves. Sheesh.

  4. Mikey G.9:49 PM

    I am so lucky with my living situation. My housemate has a small dog named Prancer who doesn't shed, is well-trained, doesn't bark much at all, and has white hair that we dye different colors. And since it's her dog, it's her responsibility. So I get to enjoy Prancer's company and play with her, but I don't have to deal with any of the annoying parts.

  5. You and Rick deserve a little vacation from the cats..

    May I suggest a weekend at a lovely Five Star hotel in Cleveland where you can get away from it all?

    Anyplace but the "FUR SEASONS"

  6. Nancy--Hee hee. A weekend getaway sounds lovely, but I was thinking more of a solo, and to someplace very warm and sunny. Where in FL are you, exactly??

    Mikey--I want to come back as you in another life: all the travel, adventure, a responsibility-free pet, and no cat hair.

    Ortizzle--That story is a HUGE reason why I do not do carriers. All four of my cats are leash cats. Piper and Marlowe lie together in an open crate and complain at intervals when being transported by car now, but no Unpleasant Luggages. The flurries of released hair are incredible, though, and I'm also unceasingly amused by their sweaty pads which leave actual tiny pools of kittysweat on the examining table.

    Bug--Oh, ha ha. Never been a Cat Person, have you? Even wheeling the Dyson out of its closet sends the Cattens into mild panic mode. If I even pretended to hold a hose toward them, I would not see them for days and days, let alone WHILE IT WAS TURNED ON.

    RE: The sidebar bunnies. I change all my sidebar content each time I do a new post. So the bunnies, Off The Hook quote, Raise The Glass article, Dept. of Cattens pic, and in this case, my sign for World Nutella Day are all new. If I've finished up a book, I'll change What I'm Reading. I know lots of people don't look at the sidebar, but once in a while, I like to think a New Reader might stumble upon the Dept. and check things out.

  7. Ortizzle--Erm...when I said, "all four of my cats..." I hope you, and any other readers, know I was talking about my previous two cats, now deceased, and my current two AND ONLY CATS. Sigh. I could never have FOUR CATS AT ONCE. AAARRRGGGHHHHH.

  8. Holly, the petite tabby, is a meticulous groomer and less of a shed problem than Pete, the big black cat with the big shedding problem. They are not lap cats and I don't even bother vacuuming their beds. The sofas and chairs are another story.

    However the real Shedzilla in the house is my dog, an adorable Jack Russell mix who loves to be held and to sleep with me. Year round he dumps copious quantities of white hair onto every surface. These quickly bond with dust and follow me down the hardwood hallway and congregate in menacing ways in corners and under cabinets. *Sigh* It is the price we pay for So Much Love.

  9. OMG! We have a metal bucket where the used wine corks go and every morning our youngest cat stands on his hind legs and reaches in to retrieve a "fresh" cork to bat round the house. I thought we were the only ones!

  10. TTR--You are far more "organized" than we are. We just toss the latest Corky to the cats. Then, once Rick steps on one in his bare or stockinged feet someplace and explodes with a good Goddamit or the Eff Word, I start rounding them up and leave only one or two for them to play with.

    V--Both Piper and Marlowe are snugglers in their own way, and since I spend the entire winter encased in polar fleece, I am bristling with cat hair when I am not dressed in street clothes for the main part of the day. I love the idea that "It is the price we pay for So Much Love" but in practice...hard to pay. So Hard. Argh.

  11. Nance, are you sure that that photo didn't come from Crazy Aunt Purl? She would knit the hair and I'll bet she's tried; she just hasn't said so. Maybe you should get a spinning wheel. But then the cats would go insane over the machine and its product. Then you'd have a REAL mess . . .

  12. sputnik--that photo was my fave result from typing in "I hate cat hair" or "cat hair sucks" in the query box of Google Image Search. I know I've groused about this before, but the thinkers over there at Google Central really ruined the metrics or whatever of their image search. I used to get really great results--much more relevant and specific. Now I get hits on any part of the search no matter how I limit it, word it, Boolean...you name it. I guess I could try another search engine, but you know how we old people are, so set in our ways.


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