Loup-Garou is slowly discovering one of the major drawbacks of growing old for a kitty: he’s having more and more difficulty grooming himself. For a cat, this is disaster ! From his earliest days, when Momma Cat spent hours and hours grooming her tiny tykes to immaculate perfection whilst they were doing anything they could to become immaculate, then during his prime, when he would wash and scratch and shake himself into a masterpiece of feline sartorial splendour, he has now entered his waning years and finds himself stymied by his ageing bones and shrinking tendons. And so his once lustrous and glorious pelt has become more dishevelled by the day, losing the usual glimmer and costing him his glamour. With ugly tufts of hair sticking out at random and quickly threatening to felt up he’s not a happy kitty.
Enter The Brush.
Despite his initial misgivings, that this strange contraption wielded by The Mistress would actually harm his most prized looks, our black-and-slightly-white feline companion didn’t waste much time in starting to fall in love with The Brush. The first strokes were… well… tolerated. Then, sensuous pleasure jumped in.
You should understand that a cat is a most sensitive animal, with oodles and oodles of nerve-endings scattered generously all over his body. And likewise that the act of grooming which was first begun by his dam and spoke of comfort, warmth, a loving home, will during the rest of his life ever remain the most effective way of calming himself down and at the same time allowing him to just luxuriate in the sheer pleasure of rasping tongue over soon-to-be clean pelt.
The stiff hairs of The Brush have the same effect. Loup-Garou was initially intending to undulate his way around me for treats, as usual, but soon learned that just standing still would allow The Mistress to reach all of the difficult spots and relieve the pressures of all this down and hairs which had started to clot together.
When a cat can’t groom his pelt it becomes a serious problem. For one thing, the down under the upper layer of hair can entangle. Strands of hair that have for some reason become loose can add to these entanglements. As this process goes on in the end the poor animal is covered with ugly threads of matted fibres and this is called “felt”. There are some breeds of dogs where this is actually a desired feature as the matted fur is quite waterproof and insulating which for a working dog in some climates can be a great boon. There are even some simians who regard it as a certain statement in human grooming or even don this kind of fur-feature because of religious feelings. Go figure.
But for the average domesticated feline it’s plain bad for their health and for the feral feline even a death sentence.
Because the entanglements also contain hair that is still firmly stuck to the skin this can cause a constant tugging feeling which can be rather unpleasant. All kinds of parasites will find these matted regions nice and comfortable because the tongue and claws of the kitty can’t reach the deepest spots there. Likewise a seemingly innocuous irritation or scratch can cause infection. Add a generous sprinkling of dirt, moisture, all kinds of organic matter like twigs and decaying leaves, and couple this with the poor animal’s natural body heat and you have the prefect breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. In the end our poor feline friend may harbour all kinds of nasty health-threatening conditions under all that felted fur and succumb to the effects.
Luckily Loup-Garou has The Mistress and The Brush to help avoid this grisly fate. And now that he has grown to know and love The Brush grooming him has become a real pleasure indeed ! You can see the expression on his little furry face just starting at joy, going from sensuous pleasure to sheer bliss, and then soaring straight into all-out Nirvana. The unseemly tufts slowly disappear and once again his shiny pelt is a sight to behold and adore. There reclines a distinguished ageing gentleman, and don’t you know it !
Loup-Garou in Halloween mode. He just loves the attention…
You can clearly see the tufts on his hindquarters. He’s in need of The Brush again !!
PS. We must however impart some very sad news… since the latest posting our gorgeous sweet little Gorgor has disappeared and never been seen again. As some other lovely cats have disappeared in the neighbourhood around the same period I fear he has been taken by strangers for some reason. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. We miss you, Gorgor !!