Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's Not Easy Being Fuzzy

Poor Duchess.

Born to a feral mother, taken at a very young age (with her mother) to a county shelter...and...born fuzzy.

All eyes and hair the day we brought her home.

Really, her story isn't so bad. She and her sister were adopted by an awesome, cat-loving family (that would be my parents and I) in August 2005.

But the fuzz has created some drama.

You see,  it's not exactly easy being fuzzy. Stand aside, Kermit, we'd take green any day over some of the indignities that occur when one has supremely fuzzy buns.

While Duchess' sister, Bella, has very similar (though slightly darker overall) markings, she is also blessed with an easy, hassle-free coat of short, glossy fur. While Duchess--fondly nicknamed at a very young age "Duckie" by my dad--has a coat that needs constant attention.

Those first few months with these two clowns were so much fun.

She does love getting attention.

But just look at that toe floof!! 
The problem with having long hair, whether you're me, or Duchess, is...tangling.

I have the advantage of daily conditioner application. Duchess has a tongue. And there's only so much a girl can do with that much hair. Add to the mix that she's a wee bit on the...portly...side, and eventually, you're going to have some trouble with matting.

In those lovely, fuzzy buns.

"Yeah, what of it?" 
See, Duchess loves getting brushed--on her back, on her sides, even her tummy!--but if you get near her buns, she lets you know her displeasure.

And that's the most hilarious part--Duchess is, without a doubt, the gentlest soul I've ever met, in human or animal. The only time I've ever heard her growl was at Harley, and let's face it, he was a twerp. Besides, before he came, she was the lowest in the Cooper Cat Hierarchy (Millie is Queen, Bella her second, and then Duchess). She had a spot to protect, because no plant-eating, purrverted little moron was going to usurp her.

But back to her gentleness. Duckie is a quick-to-purr, quick to roll onto her back for tummy rubs, cuddling sweetheart of a cat. When she is petted, she lets out these little half-meow, half-moan sounds that indicate she approves of being shown affection. For her to get snippy with any of us (especially Mom, who she adores), is hilarious, coming from this goofy, wide-eyed, fuzz-dripping tortoiseshell lady.

Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.

Sadly, the matting around her bottom is a problem right now, and Duckie has two choices--let us do a bit of snipping and a lot of brushing, or get dunked in the sink. This is all to explain how, for the last couple of evenings, Duchess has ended up surrounded by three people. Dad holds her in his arms, Mom snips away at the worst of the matting, and I follow up with a heavy-duty brush to get the worst of the excess out. It's all very humiliating for Lady Fuzz, Duchess of Lincoln, and she can only take a few minutes of it before the wriggling begins and the sounds she makes go from "soft whine" to "outraged howl."

But we are determined. So every night, we snip and brush a little more of the mess away, and every night, we offer the poor, traumatized girl some catnip-flavored cat treats (as you can see in the pictures, Duckie loves cookies more than she even loves being petted). Within a few minutes of tonight's humiliation, Duchess was munching on two cookies, her tail was rising into the air, and she was even letting me touch her again.

"I do not appreciate you messing with my fuzzy buns." 
You're a good girl, Duckie.

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