Selective Shedding

I stood in the middle of the kitchen munching on apple slices and sipping a cup of tea. “This will have to do for my breakfast.” I told my daughter, Tammie. “I’m in a hurry because I didn’t allow enough time to get ready for my appointment.”

The sound of a cat pawing at the entry door prompted Tammie to get up from the dining room table to open the door. My sleek white and black cat Louie, slipped quickly into the room and made a bee-line toward me.

Taking one step backward, I said, “No. Louie, stay away…ach!” Although I didn’t want it to happen, Louie rubbed his entire silky body from nose to tail against my left leg. I looked down at my black slacks now half covered with white cat hair. He turned around to make a second swipe, this time against my right leg. I pushed him away.

Tammie said, “Mom, he’s just trying to tell you how much he loves you.”

“Yes, I know how much he loves me.” I snapped. “He loves me so much that he wants his scent to be all over me! My problem is that I’m leaving the house and don’t want to look like an unkempt fur-ball.”

Tammie cleared her throat and said, “Um! You mean like me?”

Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I answered, “You wear it better than I do.” To change the topic, I babbled, “I’ve thought about getting rid of black slacks and only wearing white ones. Then Louie’s white hair wouldn’t be noticed when he rubs against me.  Unfortunately, since he’s a white and black cat, I’m sure he’d shed his black hair if I wore white slacks.”

Giggling, Tammie chortled, “Mom, Louie doesn’t selectively shed according to the color of your clothing. He constantly sheds both black and white hair. You just don’t see the black hair on your black slacks!’

I love kitties, but hate how much hair they shed. Tammie, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care. She has two kitty-children whom she loves dearly.

When I visit Tammie, I like to help out around the house. The last time I was there, I swept her house.

Tammie was in the kitchen putting together a treat. I walked out of the bathroom holding the dustpan. I said, “I found an entire kitten behind the bathroom door.”

She said, “I’m not surprised. The cats spend a lot of time in there with me while I’m getting ready for work and when I’m getting ready for bed.”

Moments later, after I swept her living room and dining room, I carried the dust pan to the waste basket in the kitchen again. I said, “I found two more kittens.”

Tami said, “You’ll probably find another two in my bedroom.”

It’s too bad there isn’t a market for cat hair. In one-month, Tammie’s cats shed a mat of hair equivalent to what could be sheared from a one-year old lamb.

I want to get a cat that doesn’t shed. Online research supplied me with a list of non-shedding felines; the Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Bengal, Russian blue, Bombay, Siberian, Burmese and Siamese. The sphynx cat doesn’t shed because it’s hairless! Since my pocket book can only afford barn cats, it is unlikely that I will ever own any fancy breeds.

When I told Tammie what I’d discovered, she said, “Mom, for years I’ve wanted to pet a sphynx cat! There’s going to be a cat convention in Saint Paul as part of their winter festival. Will you go with me? Maybe I’d be able to fulfill that desire!”

We went to the festival and thoroughly enjoyed it. With over 300 cats registered, we managed to see each of the breeds my online research had mentioned. There were even common, but extra-ordinarily beautiful barn cats attending!

The sphynx we saw looked overly thin and angular of face with eyes that seemed far too big. Their tails were skinny, hairless affairs as well. Each movement they made showed off how skin wrinkles and muscles flex under fur. It was easy to tell their genders. Their owners granted us permission to pet them.

When we stopped for lunch, I asked Tammie, “What did you learn in petting a sphynx?”

My daughter confessed, “That they are surprisingly firm to the touch…and warm. I think my house would be too chilly for one.”

I nodded. “I thought petting one was sort of like touching a warm suede shoe. They certainly aren’t cute and fluffy!” With a smirk I added, “But…if I owned a sphinx, I could wear whatever color of slacks I wanted.”


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