Archive for the ‘Grooming’ Category

2012 in review

December 30, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Peachy’s Problem Personality

October 24, 2012

Peachy is the cat that lives at Sugar’s grooming business, out back behind the building, because he’s a soft feral cat.

Sugar made a dandy hay house with a plywood penthouse at the edge of the woods for the Peach.

A few days ago, Sugar and I went over to the grooming business to do a little fence repair.  As we rounded the corner, there was adorable Peachy on the penthouse.


A few weeks ago, Peachy caught a squirrel, and proceeded to take the squirrel into the woods and consume the whole thing.  BabyBoy gave a report that Peachy ate it ALL.  He and Sugar’s BabyDaughter could not get the squirrel from the jaws of death.  Peach danced out of their reach, and headed into the underbrush, where he could not be found, until he showed up later that afternoon at dinnertime, burping and belching and patting his engorged tummy.


So this day in particular, when we were getting ready to work on the fence by reinforcing the bottom of the chain link, there’s Peachy looking all mellow.

We started working on the fence, and Sugar commented that he heard distress sounds.  I heard them, too, the squirrels chirruping and the mockingbirds calling, and I thought that they were warning the others that Peach was out and about.

Suddenly, Peachy walked out of the underbrush to bring us a present.  He had a squirrel in his mouth.  Sugar sprang up after him, Peach took off, and I ran inside to get a towel and cat crate, just in case Peachy dropped the squirrel and I could scoop it up.

Peachy melted away into the underbrush.   We couldn’t find him, and he must have had some secret hiding place nearby, perhaps under a shed or a house.

He showed up again later that day, right in time for dinner.

We Interrupt This LawtonFest Due to Thievery!

June 8, 2012

We’ve been a bit busy lately, what with the long Memorial Day weekend, I had a job interview, and we were planning for the upcoming LawtonFest.  Suddenly it came to our attention that ALL the downspouts from the gutters at the grooming & boarding business were gone.  Ripped right off the building, brackets and all.

That’s right.  Gone.  Missing.  AWOL.

This is a poor county.  We all know that our economy is struggling right now.  Folks have resorted to making extra income by selling scrap metal.  Copper is especially valuable, which means that air-conditioning units are being stolen at record rates. 

Here’s the weird part:  the spay/neuter clinic next door still has their downspouts intact.  And none of these are copper.  They are ordinary, run-of-the-mill metal downspouts. 

I really have nothing more to comment about this except *WOW*.  Just wow.

Peachy the Cat, Part Three

May 14, 2012

Peachy the Cat, who lives behind the grooming business, has become so comfortable with his situation that he comes inside the fenced play yard, even when there are dogs in the yard.  He’s a typical clever outdoor cat, and he knows who is hostile and who isn’t. 

Peachy is *inside* the yard playing with a Wubba toy. Apparently, he thinks he is a dog because a Wubba is a dog toy.

When I step through the gate…

The feeding station is on the other side of the fence.

And he’s up on the rail, over the fence, and waiting on room service.

Precious Paisley the Problem Cat, Final Chapter

April 24, 2012

Paisley went to the vet yesterday for observation.

Sugar and I were concerned that her motor skills and behavior had changed.  She still continued to pee and poop in and out of the litter box, in spite of the high-powered antibiotic, which usually makes a dent in a urinary tract infection.

Her behavior was so erratic that I made two short youtube videos two evenings ago, which can be seen here and here.  She was clearly declining, but why?  The vet had no clear answers.

Paisley had presented with one basic issue:  inappropriate litterbox habits, which usually means not urinating in the box, but with Paisley the issue was bigger than that.  She would not consistently use the litterbox for either urination or defecation.  A secondary issue was a flea infestation, and I thought once the fleas were resolved, the litterbox issue would resolve.  A third issue was severe skin allergies to flea bites.  It seemed clear to me that the underlying cause of her issues were flea-related.

We did these things for Paisley:

  • A flea bath (following the CapStar that was given at the shelter).
  • A test for feline aids and feline leukemia, both negative.
  • A rabies vaccination.
  • An FVRCP vaccination.
  • A leukemia vaccination.
  • An AdvantageMulti flea, heartworm, and intestinal parasite monthly prevention.
  • A Profender treatment to kill tapeworms (fleas are the intermediate host).
  • A professional exam.
  • A CBC (complete blood count).
  • A GHP (general health profile blood test).
  • Urinary health food.
  • A urinalysis (showed an infection of unknown source).
  • A pH test (normal).
  • A round of Baytril, an antibiotic.

Also included was constant monitoring and cleaning-up-after, brushing, petting, and general running and fetching for the Paisley.  Her beds were soaked with urine and sometimes feces, even though she might have also used the litterbox. 

We could have opted for an x-ray, and then possible surgery if she had stones, or a possible ultrasound if stones were not apparent, but.  Her behavior seemed neurological, and she seemed miserable.  The veterinary professionals could offer no clear path, but rather one of trial and error. 

What if she had a brain tumor or neurological disorder?  We opted to let her go. 

Good night, sweet Paisley. 


Precious Paisley the Problem Cat, Part 3

April 12, 2012

Paisley has issues.

Sugar’s BabyDaughter, a/k/a the Boarding Specialist at the Grooming Salon, decided that Paisley was much too cramped in her quarters in the cat condo.  So she made a little play area for the Pais.

A playpen for Paisley.

Paisley: "Halt! Whoeth goeth thereth?"

You will notice the choice of litter boxes, one with pine pellets on the left, and one with ordinary clumping clay litter on the right.  It looks encouraging, doesn’t it, those little footprints left in the clay litter?  There’s also a bowl full of food, and a colorful water bowl.  The crowning touch was the bed in the foreground, draped with the prerequisite pink blankie. Boarding specialist.  You got that right. 

What really cracks me up is that this little exercise pen arrangement is only two feet high.  That’s right, *TWO* feet high.  What cat is going to stay contained in this, when all she has to do is leap out and go sit in the windowsill? The correct answer is, yes indeedy, the Princess Paisley. 

Paisley proceeded to take a bath during this entire photo shoot.  She did not pee on her blankie or on the floor, but she has been doing just that for the last 5 days.  She’s even peeing in her bed and lying in it.  I say that we need to give her a chance to detox from the fleas that she’s been infested with for the last two years so that she can clear her feeble little mind.  Sugar says she needs to go to the vet.  I think Sugar’s going to win this round, especially since he offered to pay. 

My feeble attempt to hold the camera over Paisley at a different angle equals a sad focus, but you can still see how rough and patchy her fur is.

Lady Macbeth would be impressed.

This cat is just not right.

Paisley the Problem Child.

So is she insane? 

Precious Paisley The Problem Cat, Waitforit, Part TWO

April 10, 2012

So many cats, so little time.

Yup, you heard it here first.  BabyBoy got a phone call on Thursday, April 5, 2012, from Mrs. PaisleyOwner, offering up her cat Precious Paisley, who still poops and pees outside the litter box.  He called me, I called Sugar, Sugar said call the boarding specialist (his BabyDaughter who is the latest addition to the boarding extravaganza), BabyDaughter agreed that we could give it the old village college try, and I called Mrs. PaisleyOwner to say that we will take the Precious. 

By the time the village was all in agreement over the Paisley matter, several hours had passed.  When I called Mrs. PaisleyOwner in the early afternoon, she informed me that the cat had already been picked up.  By the county.  By animal control. 

I called the shelter, and they thought they had the Precious Paisley there, but the paperwork wasn’t completed, so they couldn’t say for sure, but they could confirm that animal control had indeed picked up several cats in the general area where Mrs. PaisleyOwner lives.  They agreed that they could hold her for the evening, and that I would pick her up the following day.

Upon arrival at the shelter, I was led to an area of quarantine, and Paisley was hunched up in the back of the lowest cage.  The vet tech offered up that the cat had so many fleas, that when Paisley was given a CapStar for a quick flea kill, the towel that she was sitting on turned red.  That’s a lot of dead flea blood.  I was grateful for the CapStar.

I took the precious one back to work with me at the vet’s office, because *SURPRISE*!  Paisley’s vaccinations were overdue, plus she needed an Advantage Multi for a long-term flea kill.  After work, I took her to the grooming salon and got her settled into a cage. 

Her skin was worse than before.  She purred when I scratched her head.  It was quite sad.  She was contained in a little cage with a bed, a litter box, a food bowl, a water bowl, and her skin was a mess, and she purred with happiness.  The fleas were dead.

The next day was the same.  She lay in her little bed, and she purred. 

Sunday she started peeing outside the box.  She also started that OCD licking behavior.  There were two large bald spots on each side. 

Today, the boarding specialist moved her into her former room, and she peed on the floor.  She had licked off the hair in several more spots, and I noticed that underneath her tail she had developed a raw-looking area, and I bent over to investigate it further, and blech.  Tapeworm segments on her hiney.

I immediately popped her back into her cage until I can get a dose of Profender on her for parasite prevention.  She in turn immediately pooped on the cage floor. 

I had gotten so wrapped up in the skin condition and the fleas that I completely forgot that fleas are the intermediary host for tapeworm.  How could she NOT have tapeworm?

So, Precious Paisley has been kicked out of her home because, in my opinion, her weird behavior has been caused by owner neglect, ignorance, and/or refusal to admit that fleas are no fun. 

I’ll keep you posted.

Peachy the Cat

March 13, 2012

I have a confession to make.  I relocated a “soft feral” cat from a place where he was living and was unwanted, and I moved him to the back of the grooming business.  I had offered to trap him and get him fixed and vaccinated, and the woman said she didn’t want him around anymore, so would I just take him to the shelter and have him euthanized?

Ummmm.  How ’bout no?

I did trap him, get him fixed and vaccinated, and then I released him at the back of the grooming business which has a nice tree-line and underbrush back boundary.  I didn’t tell anyone.

Sugar commented about this nice cat that just showed up one day at the back of the grooming business.  The cat couldn’t be touched but he liked to hang around, sometimes brushing up against our cars if we had parked in the back.  When you park behind the business, you can go through the gate into the play yard and then into the back side door into the building.  Sugar decided that this nice cat needed a feeding station.  So he proceeded to make one because he’s just clever like that.

This electrical cart has been reborn as a feral cat feeding station.

Then we started having a problem with ants in the dry cat food, so we took a big metal bowl, put some water in the bottom, and set the smaller bowl inside the bigger bowl.  The water made a little moat, and the ants would not cross the moat to overtake the castle food. 

This boarder is confused about all the fuss over a *cat*.

BabyBoy thinks we should call him “Beige-y”.  I suppose he has a point, but I think he just wants to make fun of us old folks.  

See the Peach at the tree line? Click on the image if you need help.

Recently I fessed up to Sugar about the Peach. 

Sugar:  “I still wonder where that cat came from?  Do you suppose that someone just put him out?”

YoursTruly:  “Hmm.  I wonder.  Oh, look his left ear is ear-tipped.  That means he’s fixed and vaccinated.  Now, who would do that?”

Sugar:  “Do you suppose that the folks at the Spay/Neuter clinic next door did that?”

YoursTruly:  “Are you kidding me?  Why would they do that?  Who would do something like that?  I repeat, Who. Would. Do. Something. Like. That.?”

Sugar:  “Yes, it’s odd, isn’t it?”

YoursTruly:  (exhaling)  “Sugar.  Really.  Think hard.”  (Taking his head in my hands and staring into his eyes.)

Sugar:  “Ohhhhh.”


Peachy has become so comfortable that he’s out and about in the daytime, sometimes within 5 feet of us, but never allowing us to touch him.  Recently, he was captured, photo-style, visiting the dogs in the play yard.

Sophie the Christmas Puppy (yes, she lives there at the grooming business now – that’s another story) watches the Peach make an exit.

Peachy: "Hey, Soph! What's shakin'?"

Sophie: "Wait, Peachy! Come back!"

 Then Sugar decided that, what with the recent heavy rains, that Peachy needed a shelter.  He took an unused dog crate, put it under the trees, and put hay in it.

We weren’t sure if Peachy was using the hay house, until one day I drove around the building and caught him in the act.

High and dry.

And when I adjust the photo and crop it… 

Precious Paisley the Problem Cat

February 3, 2012

It doesn’t take long for the word to get out. 

A few weeks ago, the BabyBoy, who is a groomer at the local dog grooming salon owned by Sugar, got a phone call from a woman about her problem with her cat.  It seems that the cat didn’t want to use the litter box.  Why she called him, I don’t know, but perhaps the word was out that he’s a friendly, helpful sort, and she was clearly desperate.  When he told me about the desperate woman, he also said that she was old.

Now, BabyBoy is young, so “old” can have a different meaning for him than it does for me.  Heh. 

He made some suggestions about what to do about the cat and the problem.  The woman called him again the next day, with the same problem, and he made the same suggestions, and then she did the unthinkable. 

She showed up at the grooming salon with the cat, and gave. her. up.  BabyBoy called me, a bit rattled and confused, because, really, why would you just show up somewhere with your cat and say, “here you go”, or something along those lines?  After I finished work at the vet’s office, I went to the grooming salon to meet the cat. 

O.  No.  It was Paisley. 

I’ve been worried about Paisley and her owner, the purported old woman, who is indeed old.  I know them both from where I work at the vet’s office.  I was surprised last year when ancient Mrs. PaisleyOwner got a kitten.  The kitten turned into Paisley, actually a very nice cat, but she has skin allergies.

More importantly, Paisley is allergic to fleas.  Mrs. PaisleyOwner would call the vet’s office from time to time to report that Paisley was losing her hair, and sure enough, when Paisley would come in for a visit, she would have fleas, and her skin would be scabby and flaky and dry, and her hair was falling out.  She generally would get an allergy shot, and by the time the office visit was over, there was no money left for flea prevention.  So the cycle of flea reproduction would continue, and Paisley never really got better.

Cats that do not use the litterbox are not doing it to piss off their owners, although folks will call our office to report that their cat is messing with them, and just peeing and pooping outside the box to make the owner mad.  Well, not really, but inappropriate litterbox behavior generally indicates to a medical issue, like a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes, etc.  If a medical issue is not found, then perhaps your cat really is trying to drive you insane.  In my mind, if I were crawling with fleas, I’d pee outside the box, too.  Now there’s a desperate cry for help.

So anyway, here was precious Paisley, dropped off by her owner, an ancient lady with a cane.  I asked the BabyBoy if he got her to sign off that she was relinquishing the cat, and he said that he couldn’t talk to her because she was crying.  The owner, not the cat.

After the crying owner left, the BabyBoy found fleas on Paisley, so he gave her a bath, dried her, and settled her into the former cat room where Errol the Feral, Gerald, and Car E. used to live and had since graduated to a larger room.  She ate well, drank well, and USED THE LITTERBOX well.  She looked really content in her bed on the wide windowsill in the afternoon sun.  I used a tube of Advantage Multi on her to make sure that she continued to be flea-free for a month.

Believe it or not, she is actually contented, no matter what her expression might tell you.

The next morning, BabyBoy called me to report that Paisley had licked a raw spot on her left side about the size of half your palm.  I’d had such faith in Paisley, because I was convinced that she had temporary insanity caused by fleas, and now she was doing some kind of OCD Lady Macbeth behavior. 

Two days went by, Paisley was still doing okay and still using the litterbox, and had stopped the OCD stuff, and then her owners showed up.  (Insert ominous movie-music here.  Or a drumroll.  Or whatever works for you to show imminent doom.)  I have not mentioned yet that Mrs. PaisleyOwner has a traveling companion, a male counterpart who I believe is not Mr. PaisleyOwner, but is Mr. MainSqueeze.  Heh.  Life is funny like that.  So.  They had actually come to pick up Paisley’s crate, which had been left behind in the tearful aftermath of dropping her off, and they had gotten their senses together enough to visit Paisley and pick up the crate.  They petted her, and oohed and aahed over her, and then they put the open crate in the floor and said, “Do you want to get into your box and go home?”  And Precious Paisley walked right up to the crate, and BabyBoy thought, *she’s going to go in the crate*, and Paisley looked in the crate, and turned her head and walked away, turning a cold shoulder.  She had things pretty good the way they were going. 

After five days, Paisley stopped using the litterbox.  So I gave her another litterbox, this one filled with traditional clumping litter, and put it next to the original litterbox with pine pellets (which break down when wet and turn into mulch and is purely awesome).  She started using the box with the clumping litter, plus I sprayed the room with a pheromone spray which helps to calm cats.  (The pheromone spray is completely odorless, and comes in a spray mist or a plug-in diffuser and is the answer to a lot of problems that cats have.  Google it, really.  It’s a fascinating concept that actually works.)

Sugar wanted to take Problem Paisley to the vet for an exam, and I argued with him – ohyesIdid – that Paisley needed time at the cat spa and sabbatical resort to unwind and regroup.  Leave her alone with some benign neglect since her fleas were gone.  He wanted the licky spot on her side to be examined, but I argued that it was not infected, so let’s don’t throw money at the problem.  Then he wanted to know what the plan was for Paisley, although clearly I didn’t have a plan past eat/drink/pee/poop. 

After ten days, Paisley’s owners showed up to reclaim her.  They paid her bill.  And lived mostly happily ever after.  I suppose I should go see them with a monthly flea treatment, because flea eggs hatch out in less than a month, and I feel like I should reach out to these folks who just wanted a nice cat, and we all could use a little love and support from time to time.

Because really?  That cat’s gonna ix-nay on the itterbox-lay if she gets infested with fleas again.   


Different Strokes for Different Fokes

December 19, 2011

Here’s a little post about grooming.  I’m not talking about your daily grooming, like brushing your teeth and washing your face.  I’m talking about PET grooming.

So the BabyBoy had a client call last week in the middle of the day about having his standard poodle groomed.  Sure, he said, bring him on by.

It turned out that the dog had not been groomed since April, a good eight months ago.  And the dog lives outside.  All the time.  The owners decided that they’d get him cleaned up a bit so that he could come into the house for Christmas.

This guy had felted fur right down to the skin, so of course he had to be shaved.

Nice-looking hairy beast.


Preliminary shaving of the back results in this.

Notice the clock.  The dog was dropped off in the early afternoon.  He’s already had his bath, which included two sudsings (Is that a word?  I’ll ask google later.) of flea shampoo.  Of course.  Flea infestation.

My goodness, I love this photo. Children, when your mama taught you to comb your hair, it was for a reason. Either comb your hair or the barber will peel it off like an onion layer, right down to the scalp using scary vibrating razors.

His skin is still damp, even after drying for a long time.  The felted hair trapped the moisture (and a lot of the fleas) against his skin.  Sometimes the trapped moisture can cause problematic skin conditions and/or infections, not to mention having to limit oneself to online dating and chat rooms.

Can I get enough of this visual? I think not.

And suddenly, a dog appears.

In actuality, this took hours to achieve.  That BabyBoy is one good groomer.

And you kids out there?  Comb your hair.