getting ready for summer

Once again this spring we decided to preemptively have Sophie clipped in anticipation of another hot and humid Boston summer; her long, cottony fur will be matted within the first week of consistently warmer weather. We decided this time, since we were going to the trouble of taking one cat in, to have Xander groomed as well. He doesn't mat at all, really, but he does seem to shed endlessly, all summer long. And not that cats need baths all that often, but it's been a long, long while for him.

So this year we took them to another local vet's office, one that has a handful of groomers who offer more than just an uneven clipping. Both cats were bathed, nails clipped, ears cleaned, and Xander received a thorough comb-through and "sanitary clip" (like a bikini wax for the boys), while Sophie got the works. We let them give her the full-on "lion clip" this time, blending into the fur around her face and tail (rather than the more extreme version of the popular style that results in a creature that looks more like a poodle than the feline you dropped off).

Here are the results:

Sophie looks like an entirely different cat. Initially I feel kind of sad to see her like this, but I really think it makes her feel much better, even before the heat and humidity kick in. And I think it would look more extreme if she hadn't put on so much weight over the past year, since we transitioned from controlled feedings (healthy weight, neurotic cats, but crazed owners) to self regulating (much happier owners, with fat cats). She looks slimmer without all that fluff, certainly, but it also reveals how much flab she's accumulated, which is bad for a cat, no matter what, but it appears to be interfering with her ability to keep her nether regions clean.

Here she is at the source of our problems:

It had been six or seven hours since she'd last eaten...Anyway, Xander's transformation was not nearly as dramatic.

His coat does feel a little thinned out (I haven't checked yet to see how his "sanitary clip" went...he's such a metrosexual), but he looks more or less the same.

Anyway, I feel like we did the right thing having them groomed and clipped, but it has revealed that perhaps the self feeding is not going so well. We recently cut out all wet food, but I'm just not sure it's enough to whip these cats back into shape. On the other hand, I really dread going back to controlled feedings. Man, if it's not one cat, it's the other.


(If you're curious, here's how she looked after a rather choppy clipping last year. And here's an image of Sophie in lighter days; this post also recounts the crazy food chronicles, if you're interested. Ironically, Xander, the cat seemingly the most obsessed with feedings, plateaued after a couple of months of self-regulating, while Sophie has continued to pack on the ounces.)

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