There are many ways, I suspect, to describe the glorious pelt that Bean Sidhe is sporting during these chilly winter days. His are not the magnificent manes of the full-breed Maine Coon, but rather the healthy and thick luxurious pelt of a cross-breed animal who feels perfectly at home in the freezing temperatures of a winter’s night. His is also the compact furry coat that should be perfectly capable of warding off the rain with great success, unless our poor feline baby has gotten himself caught outside by a sudden downpour of Biblical proportions (as he did last week and boy! was he drenched).
With the onset of winter we always scrutinize our feline denizens for signs of a thickening coat, as we know full well that this can predict how harsh the coming season could become. But both Bean Sidhe and Hrimnir may prove to be false prophets since their mixed ancestries involved opulently furred dams. Their coats may not sport the typical look of a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat, but they are certainly thicker and far more grand than the genes their respective fathers must have endowed them with could provide for.
So, with the onset of winter, Bannikins becomes the giant fluffy white-&-ginger purring teddy-bear that we fondly remember from last year’s winter. And Hrimmikins hasn’t disappointed us by coming into his own, albeit his own luxurious pelt has retained its silky-smooth softness, it just became more… well… fluffy silky-smooth softness. There’s just huge tufts of fur, fluffing out at all angles and bends in a kind of soft cloud-like downy extravagance. It’s pure sumptuousness.
Therefore it’s a joy to pick up and cuddle one of these fluff-balls. But the opulence comes with a price, one that we hadn’t expected.
You see… both hate to be stroked against the direction of their fur. Ruffle Bean Sidhe a bit and he’ll protest at the top of his voice, insisting that this kind of barbarous behaviour cannot be tolerated by civilized kitties like yours truly and that he expects a more regal approach to the petting matter. Stroke Hrimnir from tail to head and he’ll yowl at you with intense indignation about how such an offensive act of heinous depravity could have been committed to his august little person. Both kitties somehow are hurt when you stroke the hairs against their growth-direction, but whether it is their pride, or a real physical discomfort, we cannot say.
We do suspect, however, that the occurrence of such a lavish fur-endowment comes with its own perils and that one of those must be the huge maintenance effort that is required on a daily basis. We have observed before how Bean Sidhe struggles every day with his massive form and the sheer volume of the acreage that must be groomed, but Hrimnir is petite, and not as lazy as His Behemothness about his hygienic duties. Hence it really must be a physical discomfort that prompts the umbrageous outcries.
The brothers, typical European Shorthairs, have nothing that comes even close to the opulent pelage that the kittens sport. Granted, when winter comes, their fur becomes a tad more thick -softer even- but that is all there is and all we can expect to happen. Not for them the voluptuous tufts of down cascading down the neck-line in huge ridges. Not for them the glory of a thick coat framing their not-so-insignificant bodies. But what baffles us tremendously is the occurrence of hairballs.
You’d think that with their splendiferous pelts the kittens would fall prey to this most obnoxious by-product of proper fur-maintenance instead of the more modestly endowed Shorthairs, but it is rather the opposite that happens: whenever we hear that terrible GACK-GACK sound which heralds the dreaded impending arrival of yet another squishy trichobezoar our eyes automatically wander about in order to make a quick tally and identify the possible culprit. But what we see are a beatific Bean Sidhe gently roaring his way through a petting session with Grumpy Man and an angelic Hrimnir sleeping the undisturbed sleep of the innocent on the Couch of Chaos. That leaves either Zorro or Loup-Garou, and usually we can soon witness one of the poor dears slouching his way over from where the “accident” happened. They have less hair yet produce the messier hairballs. Weird.
With the added winter-fur our kittens look a bit more impressive now. The extra fur tends to puff them up and make them look a bit bigger. We are not fooled though, because when you pick the kitty up you’ll know immediately that there may appear to be more mass but in fact there hasn’t been added much substance. Except for Bannikins that is.
Grumpy Man weighed Bean Sidhe last week: 5,6 kilos. He’s now officially larger than Loup-Garou. And -as far as we know- he’s still growing.
Picture below: Here you can see clearly how fluffy the kittens have become. But the picture cannot convey the incredible softness of their pelts, or the massive behemoth that Bean Sidhe has become. You’ll have to use your imagination for that I guess…
Bean Sidhe is only 1,5 years old and Hrimnir 8 months.