shaggy no more

I manage a disciplined grooming schedule for the boys, for good reasons. No one likes to give a cat a bath. Two cats needing baths is a nightmare realized. If the two cats have poop balls [AKA “dingleberries” for you squeamish readers] hanging tight on their buttocks, that bath business becomes one of “well, the sooner I get them in, soaking, then plucked and worked out, the sooner those poop balls will be gone, and the sooner the cats can forget the indignity they are just about to endure”.

Believe me. Once you’ve washed poop off two cat butts, you feel like Lady Macbeth trying to clean her hands of blood and guilt: The memory of cat poop squishing in your fingers, under your fingernails blocks out all efforts to sterilize those appendages adequately, no matter how hot the water and abundant the soap applied. Ew! I mean, you’ll toss your toothbrush if it falls in the wash basin after a poop bath, no matter how long after the deed.

[This old video of Dougy after a poop bath makes the business seem fun, a jolly good time. What it doesn’t show, since filming and bathing a cat at the same time is impossible, is the cat attack and hissy fit Dougy put on for the bath time!]

Geez. How did I get on that subject? Oh, the grooming schedule for the boys!

While the boys are on a rigid grooming schedule to assure mats and hair that traps poop are dealt with before they are a problem, I do a poor job of managing my grooming.

Just two weeks ago, I cut my beard from Taliban length to a less provocative tightly trimmed length. The shorter beard accentuated the next deferred grooming need: the hair on the top of my head extended well beyond my collar, something I hadn’t noticed. I made an appointment, which I had yesterday afternoon. Finally! You know how it is. The moment you make the appointment, you hair starts to bother you for its length, the same length you hadn’t noticed for weeks, months!

I like the woman who cuts my hair. She asks me how I’d like it. I tell her to cut it as short as she wants. She cuts it how she thinks it looks just right, and I’ve never been disappointed. Every other person I had cut my hair I gave extensive instructions, and the haircuts almost always were tolerable but not what I wanted: I thought I knew what was best for me and didn’t trust their judgement.

[This video has nothing to do with this post, but it is a hilarious look at cattitude!]

Let this be a lesson. If you go to a professional for a service, let him or her decide what’s needed. If they blow it the first time, go back to giving instructions. Most times, however, they know their job better than you give them credit for, and the finished result will be pleasing, even better than you wanted. In the case of a rare bad haircut, it will grow out. A good haircut feels good and requires little maintenance till it gets long again. I like that!

I even let her trim my beard to deal with some small messes I made of it with scissors two weeks ago. She did a bang up job of it! Like my cats when they get grooming, I was a good boy. Unlike my boys, though. I gave the woman who cuts my hair a generous tip. I always do!

(Maybe I should tip the boys’ groomer, too. I never thought about that till just now.)