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A Farmer and a Chainsaw - Henry and Scissors
18th April 2003
You know what they say about farmers and chainsaws, especially in the bush in Queensland? They can never stop. I understand that impulse.
Recently, a number of events came together and caused a Farmer and a Chainsaw type of reaction in me. Anne went home to Australia, leaving me to my own devices. The cats finally adjusted to the seasons over here and grew a thick fur coat in winter. Winter ended, and static electricity in the house made the cats' thick winter coat matt and tangle. I sat at home in the evenings, alone, bored, with a pair of scissors in my hand. What else could I do?
It started with me just cutting a few knots and tangles out of Redrum's fur. She has really fine fur, super-fine fur. The static electricity makes it clump together, then she licks the clumps, and before you know it, she's got a matted coat of armour. So I trimmed a few knots and tangles, and then trimmed a bit of fur away that looked like it might matt and tangle, and then I trimmed a few potential clumps in between the trimmed patches. And Redrum started to look very patchy and lopsided and clumsy. So I seriously took the scissors to her sides and back and I trimmed and trimmed. I eventually cleared her back and both sides and a bit of her belly, and her chest. I left the tail untouched, and the leggings, and her neck ruff.
She kept looking at me reproachfully, and looking as if she was very self-conscious, but I noticed a marked decrease if her furball barfing incidence, and a marked increase in friskiness. Then she got used to it and I forgot about it. Until Anne got home. There's always that moment when you've forgotten all about potential problems, and Anne takes one look at Redrum and her jaw drops and there's silence, and in that moment of silence I suddenly think "Oh yeah, I really hacked Redrum's undergrowth back and I hope Anne isn't too angry." and in the next heartbeat, I think "Uh-oh" and in the next heartbeat I spin around and start walking somewehere else.
Anyway, after a short period of unpleasantness, everyone adjusted to the situation. It was a very short period of unpleasantness, because now that I come to think of it, when Anne went home in 2002, I did the same thing to Redrum. So this time, it wasn't such a shock to her. I think if I had trimmed Redrum's fur so that it was even and short and neat, it wouldn't have been a problem. But I just hack at it and it's clumpy and lumpy and untidy and looks like a mad barber experienced Nirvana in the middle of a haircut.
Here's a full-furred photo of Redrum from June 2002.
Here's the end result after the March 2003 hack job. You can't quite see how short I had the fur, as these photos are two weeks after the trim. Her fur is growing back so quickly, and it's starting to smooth out. It's actually quite nice to pat a short-haired cat again.