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The bad thing about a longhair cat is the brushing. Griswald, whom you see above, is a fairly handsome kitty with grooming requirements. Because I let him go out in the yard for a little while on Saturday (supervised) he got a bunch of little tangly burr/seed things stuck in his belly-fluff. I spent probably 20 minutes on Saturday picking debris out of his belly-fluff, and another 20 or so minutes yesterday (20 minutes is pretty much more than he can handle, but tough luck) and this morning, I discovered two fur-dreadlocks, one on his chest, one near one of his back legs, which I'm going to have to take after with the de-matting comb tonight. It's too damn early in the day to be risking bloodshed.

My mom, wonderful woman that she is, took in a stray kitten a couple of months ago. It was so little that she had to bottle-feed it for about a month, though now, it's thriving, on solid food (okay, into EVERY food it can get, apparently) and just as ornery as the day is long. This kitten, when it was so tiny, didn't know how to clean its butt, so mom took to wiping it down with a damp cloth. Nothing quite like fur-bound dingleberries, so it's best to take care of matters quickly. When mom took her kitten in to the vet's office for a once-over, the vet told her that it was going to grow up to be a longhaired cat. Much like I didn't believe that Griz was going to end up a longhair, she had her doubts, too, but Ivy (whose name seems to change every time I talk to my mom) is now becoming shaggy.

Ivy has been trained to take a weekly bath. On Sundays, the dog gets her weekly bath, because the dog is a peke-poo and gets pretty musty and grody. She goes outside and plays and wallows around in the dirt, as a dog will do. For whatever reason, mom saw fit to include the cat in the weekly ablutory fiesta, and so the dog gets a bath, while the kitten sits in the sink, looking down on the proceedings, then, after the dog has been blow-dried, primped, and released, the cat gets her turn. Mom says the cat takes the bathing pretty well, but isn't a large fan of the hair-dryer. However, nobody can argue against silky, tangle-free long-haired cat fur.

Ivy's a kitty anomaly. When my folks made their most recent trip to California to visit my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, they took the dog and the kitten. The kitten is too rambunctious to trust to leave at home. A neighbor lady looked in on William, their 15-year-old cat-of-the-house, and he was just fine, but the tiny Tasmanian-Devil style kitten would probably have knocked down every plant, burrowed through the sofa, and caused eighty five different flavors of havoc, so they decided to take her on the road trip.

Apparently, this went quite well. Years ago, Dad constructed a little bench for the dog to ride on in the back of the pickup, under the camper-shell. There is one of those slider windows in the back, so they can open that, and the dog can come into the cab, or just poke her head in if it so pleases her. So the dog was set, and the kitten mostly slept under the seat of the truck, though she did venture up to share the dog's bench as well.

Now, whenever Mom and Dad go to town, and it's going to be a short trip with not too much waiting, she'll call the dog, saying “Wanna go bye-bye,” to which the dog will dance around and make near-silent “arf-arf” noises, and the kitten will come running, meeping, as excited kittens will do. So now she has to take the both of them with her if she is going to take one of them.

I challenge you to top that!

Oh, and one more weird thing about my mom's pets. They like bananas, and when mom's having her breakfast banana, she has to have two, because the dog and cat mooch so much banana from her that she wouldn't be getting her own share from just one banana.

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