a little surprise

Anyone with a long-haired critter knows what it’s like. You’re walking barefoot through the house, usually, typically in the dark, and your foot comes on something wet and squishy…!

Well, this morning, after smelling a strong smell of poop while seated at my computer and thinking “someone” laid a minefield in the litter box a few feet over, I noticed a small, roundish object under my desk.

“Hmm!” I thought, “Looks like a ball of hair.” (I know! I know! Twenty-twenty hindsight suggests I was goofy to think “hairball” when 2 + 2 = ….)

I examined it with my big toe: It felt wettish, not particularly squishy, so I pressed a little harder and drew my foot toward me….

Yep! A poopball, beyond doubt, not that there was any doubt of that to any sentient being before I put my big toe on it, eh?!

I’m no virgin to poopballs, having had long-haired cats two years and four months, only now it was a squished, smeared poopball – in the carpet, on my big toe (it curled over the tip and smeared onto my toenail as well)….

May I be forgiven if I then spoke my favorite word, ironically, loudly at the precise moment 2 + 2 =’d “poopball”?


There was a used paper towel on my desk for some reason, fortuitously, so I wiped up the poopball smeared on my big toe, and tossed it. I found a sponge I’d used last to clean up hairball and cat vomit (every cat household has one…), wet it, and finished cleaning the carpet of the smear.

Because Thanksgiving in America is a week from tomorrow, the boys regular visit to their cat groomer was moved from the usual Thursday to next Monday, November 25th. Good! Once I start finding poopballs with my bare feet, I can’t wait till grooming day.

I’d toyed with letting the boys wear their hair long instead of in a teddy bear cut because they are especially pretty now with longish hair. The shorter hair, though, corrects the one thing that is unpleasant about having long-haired cats. Well, three: mats, hairballs, and poopballs hanging off their little butts to be carried into the house to fall off – always! – on the carpet.

Mats and hairballs are easily controlled with brushing and diet. Poopballs…! Yes, I’ve decided to let the boys wear a bit longer hair, but their little butts, underside of the base of their tails, and the hair that traps poop on their hind legs will get the hygienic trim job.

16 thoughts on “a little surprise

  1. Those are definitely outstanding cat trees! I suspect they are priced like regular furniture, but a person (or cat!) can dream, eh!?

    A friend’s father had a home decoration store, featuring carpet. The tubes carpet come on are heavy duty, and the little brother of my friend used to make cat poles out of these for friends of his who had cats. He’d create platforms high on the pole for the cats, and the whole business was covered with remnants of carpet, one of the things his father’s store had plenty of since peoples’ floors come in all sizes and shapes. He did a good job of it, too, and cats enjoyed ceiling-high perches since the tubes were about three meters long, as I recall.

    Seeing the treat toy reminds me I still need to make a video of the boys playing with the Ba-Da-Beam toy. Dougy gets into it with little prompting. If Andy doesn’t have his brother hogging the fun, he gets really wound up playing! I don’t just set it down, though, I direct the light, add motion to it after they start to show interest. That might make making a video interesting: camera in one hand, toy in the other…! We’ll see. They DO interact more with it when I add more motion to it that going in a circle, though.

  2. It sounds like you don’t have the frequent problems with call centres that we do? “They” – that is government departments, courts, utilities, etc – ridiculously frequently mess things up and lose things – then when you phone them you get to speak to a robot with so many options and then you usually get to the one where they say “Goodbye.” Then if you do get through to someone, it is about 4/5 a call centre where the people are trained to think like robots. They make you repeat everything and when you ask a question they don’t want to answer they just keep responding with the same response or another question. They are so annoying that eventually you lose your patience and even if you show any annoyance at all, even without raising your voice (difficult) then THEY call YOU abusive!

    Apparently they even train the late bill ones to be intimidating. I got one of those in the morning a few weeks ago and it made me feel ill for hours and that’s when I found out they are trained to have a strong – hardly positive if they are trying to aggressively get money out of you – impact on people. Some of the call centres like with British Telecom which is a massive greedy and much disliked company in spite of the huge amounts they spend on advertising and PR -who make obscene profits – have their call centre in India so that often their employees hardly speak English.

    I have learned the hard way to avoid companies like this like the plague – but every now and then inevitably one gets caught off guard.

    I think you’ll like this:

    • Actually, they are very similar to that here. If the speaker isn’t from India, they have strong Spanish accents. Though I generally understand them, if the call is to get me to “upgrade” my credit card or some other commercial activity, I go into my “What? What? I’m sorry I can’t understand a word you’re saying.” act, then hang up.

      We have a “do not call law” in the US where you can register your name and number so you don’t get these calls, BUT, if you’ve ever done business with a company in any way (phone, computer, mail, anything), they are a charity, or they are a political candidate or a political campaign, they can call you. Guess which of the last three decided who gets to call you!

      As for debt collection, there is a law in the USA to protect citizens from abusive practices:


      They can play dirty tricks, of course, but the consumer, at least has recourse, thanks to the law.

      I actually went to a cell phone instead of a landline because of the excessive commercial sales calls I got. The worst are the robocalls, where if you don’t answer before three rings, it cuts off. In the meantime, you’ve rushed to the phone only to hear a >clickclick< If I hadn't been polite, it would have been the f-bomb because that's how strongly I felt about a stranger representing a candidate asking that question. Balls!

      Anyway, the video was very entertaining! Thanks! Turns out she's a groomer where my sister used to live (Edmonds, Washington, which is in the Seattle metro area). I'll share it with her to see if she's familiar with it. The prices she charged actually are similar to what I pay in the center of the country, though for both cats…! Of course, my cats' groomer isn't giving hot oil treatments to the boys. One thing I found odd is she used clippers that are fairly noisy. I have a pair designed for pets that make virtually no noise. (I don't feel adequately qualified to do the grooming, however, so the boys don't get bad haircuts from me as long as there's a professional – the lovely Sarah, who thinks my boys are wonderful kitties, very well-behaved (???) – who can do the job.

      • I was a bit surprised by the oil treatment. It was my understanding that cats don’t need them and aromatherapy oils could potentially be quite harmful which makes sense to me.

      • The oil and aromatherapy business struck me as excessive, too, but I guess you expect something special for $90 an appointment. The oil, additionally, might be harmful to the cat, depending on what it is.

  3. Usually you get an automated service, which is worse as far as I’m concerned. Maybe the companies or agencies that use these make them nasty so when you finally get a human (all you wanted from the start!) the human seems like a miracle of help and service.

    One particularly maddening experience I had was waiting on hold for half an hour so I could let the Social Security Administration know my mother and father changed addresses. (I took care of such things for them later in their lives.) After the long wait, the system automatically hung up.

    I was so mad by the second time, I drove an hour to the SS office, the closest one in a town an hour’s drive away, and resolved I’d be there till them dealt with my address change or the cows came home.

    There was an armed guard at the door (!) who gruffly asked me why I was there. I managed not to get smart with him, explained why I was there. His tone softened, and he pointed to a lady on a telephone in a cubicle, saying she’d take care of me as soon as she was available.

    A short time later, the very pleasant lady asked me a few questions to verify she’d pulled up the correct files, and the addresses were changed in short order.

    Who knows how long it would have taken me to change the addresses on phone, the method that seemed most logical, but it cost me a round trip of two hours plus maybe 10 minutes of waiting plus a few moments at the office to take care of something that should have been simple. I don’t know who the dingleberries were in that situation, but there certainly was something wrong with that system.

  4. Dingleberries sound so much nice than poop balls.

    I wondered about that word and guess what:

    Vulgar Slang. 1. A piece of dried feces caught in the hair around the anus.
    2. An incompetent, foolish, or stupid person.

    So if you wanted to be very rude without the person knowing, as in talking to one of those horrendous government offiicials.

    Do you get call centres in the USA? Yuk! You know where they make you repeat questions over and over and if you have a question they won’t answer they just keep repeating what they told you in the first place which you already knew anyway, or at least knew after the first time they told you.

    Well there you have the perfect insult – call them a dingleberry! “You sir, are a dingleberry.”

    They’ll never be able to work out which definition you meant (actually both),

    Can you imagine them complaining to someone “He called me a dingleberry” then seeing the person trying their best to keep a straight face, or worse crumpling up with laughter.

    Thank you!

  5. A friend of mine called these little cat gifts “dingleberries,” and that’s what I call them now, too. It puts a positive, almost festive spin on turdballs — which is what I used to call them. πŸ™‚

    • LOL! I call them that, too, though my greater experience with them since adopting Andy and Dougy lead to calling a poopball a poopball. (Dingleberries are cute; poopballs require clean up. I guess that’s one possibility of how one might sort them out.)

  6. Oh I have had my share of hair balls & popp balls.
    Kitties we had in the past were all short haired and light colors.
    Ali is our first long haired, black kitty and the first hair ball was a sight that scared the royal crap out of me.
    Since then I am an expert but she is on food that has a hair ball formula from the vet and it is only once in a great while.
    We also have had our share of poop balls and now we trim her fluffy butt hairs and down the back of her legs.
    You and the boys have a great Thursday and week end that is getting here way to fast.

    • Yes, Monday is the big day they have their appointment with their groomer, and I’m emphasizing the hygienic trim most of all! Hairballs, like you noted, can be minimized with special formula cat food from the veterinarian, and that’s what we do here, too!

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