cats

Our poor Oscar the cat has been dealing with mats for the first time this summer.   He has never had this problem before so I was surprised when several pretty large mats showed up on his back (at the tail end) seemingly out of nowhere.

It could be that he is getting old or that  Henry is no longer here to lick his back (he regularly bathed Oscar) or it could simply be because he has been laying in the dirt all summer, although that is not so unusual so who knows.

Anyway, the thought of shaving the poor guy wasn’t something I was too fond of, but he was really uncomfortable so we were looking into that.  In the meantime, I set out on a search for any other ideas out there and came across someone recommending putting baby oil on the mats and they would just fall out.

Well, I was a little skeptical and didn’t think that baby oil was such a good idea when cats lick themselves so much.  But, without much to lose I tried a little olive oil, which wouldn’t hurt him should he lick it.  With the first one, I wasn’t even really sure whether it worked because I couldn’t find it or remember exactly where it was.  So I did the largest one next and within a few days it was gone.  Hmmm.

I wasn’t sure how this was working, whether it undid the mat or made it fall off, but they were gone so I did another one.  This time we actually found the mat on the floor so it appears that they are falling off.  Strange, but a few oily days and he is mat free and a whole heck of a lot more comfortable.

So, Here it is in a nutshell..

Remove Matted Fur in Cats and Dogs

  1. In a small dish, put a tablespoon or so of Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil.
  2. Get a cotton ball or cotton swab.  It needs to be something pretty absorbent and easily squeezed.   Softness is also a key as these are very tender for your animal and being gentle is really important.
  3. Dab the cotton ball in the oil and gently dab it at the base of the mat until fully coated.  Be very gentle, but you may have to gently hold your animal in place to get this done.  You do not need to get the underside of the mat, moving the mat that much could be very painful.
  4. Wait a couple of days and check to see if it is gone.
  5. Continue to be gentle in that area as the skin where the matted fur was will still be tender for a while.
  6. Once all the matted fur is gone and your animal has had ample time to heal, give them a good brushing and don’t forget to do it regularly to try to avoid this in the future.  This last step is something I am definitely going to need to work on.

Note: If there are multiple mats you may want to treat them one or two at a time.  This is only because this is oil that you are dealing with and it can be a little messy.  By only doing a small spot at a time you may minimize the mess.  I also found that if I applied the oil right before we went to bed, I could localize most of the oil spots to the place where he sleeps at night and not all over the house.  Another tip, rub a little dish soap into the stains before washing the item with the oil spots to help loosen the oil from the fabric.

There really nothing more to say…

I simply could not believe it, I had to take a picture.

CIMG3951

We are very lucky with our long haired cat in that he doesn’t require the same level of grooming of other long-haired cats that I know.  His hair doesn’t mat up and he is generally pretty good at keeping himself clean, not counting the occasional burr and a not so pleasant dingleberry every now and again.

But, a couple of times a year, he starts getting really antsy and kind of snickety.  He meows really loud all the time and is generally a real grumperpants.  I’m not sure why, but I aways spend at least a week, sometimes several weeks, wondering what the hell is wrong with him.  But inevitably it is always the same thing and I usually catch on as I notice the large balls of hair he leaves behind him whenever he gets up from a lounging spot.  Ohhh, he’s shedding.  Duh!

So out comes the nifty cat brush and away we go.  This is not really an uncommon result of this lengthy grooming process.  The amount of hair that comes off this animal is out of hand. What’s funny is if I were to brush him any other time of year, this would not be the result.  A much much smaller pile to say the least.

What nifty tool do I use to accomplish such amazing results you ask?  Hee hee, I make myself giggle sometimes, what a ridiculous thing to say…

But, it is true that this particular cat brush puts the rest of them to shame.  I have seen nothing work as well on long-haired cats.  My dog has really short coarse hair so I don’t know if it would work on dogs, but I assume so.  Maybe they even make a dog version.  Let’s take a look…

It’s called a Zoom Groom and I just found out they do make them for dogs as well.

It really is a brilliant little invention and he absolutely loves it more than anything.    He rolls around on the floor and butts his head up against anything in the vicinity and I just keep going until he tells me he’s had enough.  Amazing, really.

Last night the most horrific thing happened.  I still can’t believe it was real, that he is really gone, that it all happened the way that it did.  I don’t really know if I am even ready to tell the story.  I have been spending most of my time trying to pretend it didn’t happen or not to think about it too much as too avoid the return of the shock and horror.

Ok, I am going to give it a go…

Last night, Matt and Teresa came over for dinner as they do almost every weekend and for the duration of the evening, we ate and talked and laughed and carried on as we usually do.  Around 11:30 they left and Karli and I prepared to go to bed.  Karli went to call in the cats as he usually does before bed and he called me to the door. 

There was a coyote standing in the middle of the road under the street lamp.  Wow, I don’t know if I can do this…

We watched the coyote in awe, we couldn’t figure out what he was doing.  He would come to the shadows of our yard and then run across the street again.  Then one time he left our yard he carried the limp body of our dear Henry across the street and up the culdesac across from us.  

We just stood there, what the hell just happened.  Did we really just see that?  Was it really Henry?  And then it gets worse.  We can see the coyote in the road across the street and he is eating my cat.

We were torn and paralyzed.  Do we chase him off?   Do we really want to see our little Henry that way?  Eventually, Karli took a shovel and went out to take a closer look and yes it was Henry, but he was completely gutted and Karli couldn’t bring himself to get any closer.  

I can’t really describe to you how we felt at this moment.  We were frozen.  Then I was terrified for Oscar.  He still hadn’t come home.  I didn’t feel like I could just leave him out there.  We came inside to think for a minute and after a few minutes, we looked outside and coyote had come and taken Henry out of the street and off into the woods.  Maybe better that way?

Now it’s almost one in the morning.  What do we do?  I just laid there in bed and stared at the ceiling, my stomach churning.  Neither one of us has really knows how to feel and is somewhat alarmed and concerned about the lack of tears and deep sadness.

I almost wonder if it has something to do with the abrupt and shocking instant closure.  There was no wondering or worrying or trips to the vet.  It just was what it was.  Shocking, horrifying and so terribly awful that there is little left to feel.

We also struggle with what to tell Ada.  Henry stayed pretty clear of the kids, preferring our company to that of high energy and grabby though gentle kids.  I also didn’t really trust him with them as he has been known to get aggressive if he doesn’t like what you are doing so I didn’t encourage them with him the same way I did with Oscar and Pella.  So, she hasn’t asked about him or for him.  I don’t know how to handle this.  Do I say something now or wait for her to ask about him?  What story do I tell her?  Some toned down version of the truth I think is best, but is it better just to leave it be unless she asks?  I really just don’t know right now.

Our Henry was a wonderful cat.  He was our first pet together and was with us for over 12 years.  He loved to snuggle and was so happy for the love that he would forget to swallow and end up drooling all over you.  He slept right between us each night and couldn’t wait for someone to sit down so he could claim your lap as his own.   He had this way of smiling all the way to his eyes.  Henry and Karli had a great bond and he was really Karli’s cat in the way that pets usually choose one to attach to.  We miss him so much.

Click on the thumbnails below for full size images.

   Henry henryHenry with Nana and baby Ian

Goodbye my sweet boy.