Menifee Mom: More Than One Way to Skin (Shave) a Cat

By Karen Thomas

Ah, the end of the school year. A sure sign that summer is here ... and a glaring reminder that I have yet to do my spring cleaning!

I've lived a few places in my life, but I must say that here in Menifee we get the dirtiest windows out of anywhere. I'm sure I'm not the only one to open my blinds on a beautiful sunny morning and find I can't see out! Thankfully, we are also enjoying "June Gloom" season, so perhaps these cloudy mornings will allow me to put off that unpleasant task just a little bit longer?

Unfortunately, this week there was one spring task I just couldn't delay any more: shaving the cat. "Why shave a cat?" you ask. Well, let's just say it is one way to avoid hairballs and their accompanying cat vomit as well as rid my house of cat hair and pokey burrs from that noxious clover weed we all love in Menifee.

Yes, I could just brush the cat every day, but what mom has time for that? Besides, it's a great way to make your cat look like a dork.

For all you cat lovers out there, in my defense, I didn't actually set out to get a long-haired cat. He actually showed up at our door several years ago. We tried to find his owners, but failed. He was friendly and housebroken, so we figure he was a casualty of the housing market crash and abandoned when his owners vacated. It just so happened that my kids had been praying for a cat (go figure... it was the only way they could think of getting one since mom and dad kept saying "no"). Needless to say, that week our kids' prayers were answered.

If you've never had the opportunity to shave a cat, I must say you are missing out. I used to take him to the groomers, but who can afford the $80 they charge? And besides ... it is such fun! (Apparently there is a "special handling fee" for uncooperative pets. Seriously? Are there really any cats that cooperate?!?)

This is not a one-person task, which is one reason it has taken me so long to get to it. I have to find a spare hour in between homework, soccer, piano, and church activities to bribe my children into helping me. Now that homework is a thing of the past (wahoo!), it is much easier. So, once donning all the victims/children with leather gloves and ensuring I've got the sharpest animal clippers around, we get to working as fast as possible.

It seems the youngest two are the only ones willing to help this year. (The older ones are on to my scheme.) It starts peacefully, but once we move to the belly ... game's on! Not only are we getting hissed and scratched at, but he has managed to stink things up pretty good.

I soon notice the youngest has found the bicycle pump and is now using it to blow in her sister's face. She starts laughing, the cat manages to get away from us, and the older child finds great pleasure in screaming "get the cat!" as she chases him around the garage.

As she chases the cat, I get a moment to survey the scene. Not only have we managed to cover the entire floor in cat hair, but due to the running and screaming, cat hair is getting spread around even more.

Eventually, we do finish and I'm pleased that I've only missed a few spots and received only a few scratches in the process. Somehow, the kids have declared the event "great fun," the cat is now in hiding, and I'm pleased to have crossed a task off my list. Now if only I can figure out how to make window washing just as exciting, I might get my kids to help me get that task done too!

Karen Thomas is a stay at home mom of four daughters, has been on the PTA board at her kids' school for four years, and is a volunteer at her church, in addition to her activities as a volunteer soccer referee, a piano teacher, and a runner. Her column will appear here every Thursday. Comments are welcome.


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