Zelda was depressed.
She wasn’t moving magazines, laptops, and dinner off my lap so she could lay there. She wasn’t gazing at her pretty kitty reflection in the hallway mirror. She wasn’t jumping out from behind the waste basket to attach her claws to my calves like a fly to fly paper when I passed the threshold of the bedroom. Not going to bed with bloody bumps and scratches on my ankles? That’s how I knew she was depressed.
She barely let me pet her and at first I credited this to the annual Seattle Heat Wave– the one week a year when it gets above 85 and the entire city bursts into flames. Our only saving grace is the extinguishing effects of our tears. I am no exception. While I love my cat (and I’m only saying that here because I know she doesn’t read my website) sleeping next to Zelda is like sleeping in a brick oven. No thank you.
But still, this was weird and uncharacteristic of Zelda. As much as I hated the cat drool and fur she left on my clothes and the near bouts of cat scratch fever I was forced to fight off, I kind of missed the mean, hostile, unpredictable feline I adopted officially a year ago.
After not seeing her for hours, which is quite the feat in a one-bedroom condo, I went looking and found her sitting in the dark, staring at the wall.
“Zelda!” I shouted. “What is going on with you?”
Normally she’d be humiliated to be caught in such a plebeian pose but instead she just sighed loudly and returned to the nothingness on the wall as if to say, “Just leave me alone. There’s nothing left for me here.”
“Don’t you want to bite me?” I asked. “A little nibble? Maybe just a nice, long slash across my shin?”
That was the last straw. If she wouldn’t come to me, I would go to her. I picked her up (and she let me. See? DEPRESSED!) and plopped her on my lap. It was then I noticed what I later found out was likely the root of her issues. Mats. Lots of them right above her tail.
“Oh poor kitty,” I cooed. “You’re dreading up!”
I got the scissors and went to work.
When I told my cat-loving friend about Zelda’s probable depression she said I was likely on to something.
“There’s a reason they have Prozac for cats,” she said.
I knew that actually and found out the hard way when I fostered a cat whose previous owner didn’t mention poor Starlett’s co-dependency. That cat hid from me all day and came out at night to bang the cupboard doors open and closed while wailing in an eerily human tone, “Whhhhhhhhhyyyyyyy?”
Ugh. I shudder to think why indeed. But back to Zelda.
Karen went on to explain that when cats can’t groom themselves properly, which is obviously happening with Miss Z as evidenced by the matting, they become depressed.
“But why can’t she groom properly?” I asked. It’s not like she ran out of conditioner or styling cream. That’s my excuse.
“Maybe she’s too fat,” Karen said matter-of-factly.
Oh no she didn’t! No one calls my baby fat! Well, except the vet. And several other friends. Okay, maybe she was carrying a little excess weight around the middle, but who wasn’t? Perhaps I had to look at this objectively. Zelda’s weight gain was obviously affecting more than just her waistline. If I didn’t want Starlett Redux, I needed to do something.
Enter The Furminator. The name says it all but anything it might have left off was added by the perky, overzealous sales girl at the pet store.
Seriously, the girl makes what? $7/hour? Even if she worked on commission this sale would net her about $.30. Unless she secretly hated Zelda and wanted her to suffer why would she lie? So I believed her. And now I love her.
To make what’s looking like a potentially long story short(er), I’ll tell you this. She didn’t lie. This thing is freakin’ amazing. I brushed enough fur off of Zelda to make 85 more Zeldas.
And Zelda loved it too! She flopped around like a fish out of water ensuring I got every nook and cranny. And those mats? Gone. (I wasn’t supposed to use it on the mats but I read the instructions after the fact. Oh well. It worked.) Zelda was happy, shiny, and mat free. She even bit me to show her appreciation. Seeing drops of blood bead up on my thumb nearly brought me to tears.
I warn you: Furminating is addicting. Not just for your pet but for you too. It’s like peeling off sunburned skin. And don’t “ew” me! You love it! You know you do!
Just look at what I furminated off Zelda after only 3 minutes of brushing.
See? You want one. You know you do. Go do something nice for your pets and Furminator them. Now, what else can I furminate? Here, neighborhood kitties kitties kitties…