(This post follows ‘Kitnap’ posted on 15 Jun 2017)
Grooming Mr. KitCat is never easy. It involves a lot of preparation, patience and tactics. A typical routine to groom Kittu includes clipping his nails every month and trimming his fur every six months.
For clipping nails, we close all escape opportunities, keep chew treats and toys handy, open the scissors and divert his attention. Vinod holds his paws with one hand and clears his fur and presses his paw pad with the other. I quickly seize his digit, spot the quick, slide the arms of the scissors with his claws in between and bring them together as swiftly as possible. Snip! That’s one nail clipped. We have 17 more to clip.It takes Kittu a while to realise what indeed is happening. When he does, he resists. We give him a break and treat him to some chew food. We continue this process until all 18 weapons are rendered useless.
Earlier, we used to take him to a salon to get his nails clipped. However, it is expensive and time-consuming. We decided to learn to do it ourselves. Vinod went through rigorous sessions of online training in how to hold a cat’s paw and I in how to clip his nails. We practised a lot with Kittu; sometimes while he was sleeping. Now, we are quite fast. Yet, Kittu is never short of creating drama. Sometimes, he starts growling even before we have held his paw and pressed his pad.
We even trim his fur at home. Why not at a salon? Here’s the story. One day, we walked into a salon and asked if they could accommodate Kittu. They asked us to wait for a short time. However, the wait got longer.
Finally, when Kittu was placed on the service table, he hissed and spat at the attendant. We were all very shocked. He had been to a salon before, but hadn’t behaved like this. The attendant couldn’t control Kittu. I tried to handle him; he scratched me deeply. We didn’t want to force fur cut on Kittu. We brought him home that day. Later, we realised that the smell of dogs had made him feel threatened.
Kittu has long and thick fur. He needs at least regular trimming; if not full shaving. Salons recommended giving him anaesthesia so they could cut his fur conveniently. Vinod and I are against that. We want Kittu to get used to his fur being touched and cut by salon attendants. Anaesthesia cannot be the solution every time.
Again, we started our rigorous online sessions on training in how to cut, trim or shave a cat’s fur. The first time I tried, the result was disappointing. Kittu looked like a hut! My Mom said he looked like a monkey! I gathered I didn’t have the right tools. This was enough motivation for Vinod to resume his favourite hobbies of online shopping and shopping for Kittu. He ordered the Maxshop Low Noise Rechargeable Cordless Pet Dogs and Cats Electric Clippers Grooming Trimming Kit Set (Gold + Black) from Amazon.com.
We have used it once yet to trim his fur. Kittu seems to enjoy the combing, but gets angry when he sees his fur falling down. He behaves as if we are strangulating him or taking his kidney. Hence, we immediately hide the fur that falls on the floor. Mostly, we trim his fur when he is asleep.
I try to brush his fur once in a while, but he enjoys it as long as he doesn’t see the comb. Then, he hits it as if it is the fault of the comb. Although his fur is long, he doesn’t usually develop mats or knots except in the fur around his neck. That is because he puts his whole neck in the bowl while drinking water or milk!
As far as his daily grooming habits are concerned, Kittu keeps himself very clean. I used to wipe him every alternate day. He didn’t like that. To sort of counterpoise, he would lick himself clean after every such wipe. Now, I wipe him only once in a while. We have never bathed him. I don’t even want to try considering the pandemonium that arises during every regular grooming session. His shampoo bottle which Vinod bought when Kittu was a baby, lies unopened.
I clean Kittu’s eyes and nose every day. He willingly cooperates, although only for a few seconds. I must finish my job within that time or face his wrath. He also needs his litter tray to be clean and smell fresh. He undertakes a strict scrutiny of the tray before using it. Phew! That’s being a typical clean cat. 🙂
We have started spa facilities too in his highness’ service. For relaxation and unwinding, Kittu likes head massages. He closes his eyes and seems to be in a state of blissful oblivion. He fell asleep once when I was stroking his small round head. These days, he calls out to me to go to him and massage him! Kittu has a keen interest in our other spa services too. He enjoys pretend laser therapies as well for which we are treated with a generous scoop of scorn with a topping of attitude.