Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

not the kind of surprise one hopes for

My cat, Angel, is three years old, practically a grown up in cat years, and has never hoiked up a hairball, in spite of having a lush and lovely longish coat.

look at that beautiful tail! 
So when I got home from the shop this morning to find a large, vomit covered hair sausage on my freshly washed tablecloth I wasn't pleased at all. 

He eats a grain free dry food that says it improves digestion and reduces (or eliminates, I can't remember) hairballs and so far it has been remarkably effective.

So what has changed?  Angel has been over-grooming because he has a lot (dozens) of prickly grass seed heads caught in his coat and most of them are in that beautiful tail.

He has been quite good about letting me snip out as many as I can while he is relaxed beside the computer or while he is crunching down his food. Then of course he does the extra grooming to clean up and smooth the newly snipped sections of his coat. And this morning it all came up. Poor Angel, I can't imagine anything worse than hoiking up something that size.
I haven't been able to cut many off his tail, so tomorrow morning he is off to the vet for a shave. This is done under anaesthetic, so he'll be nicely groggy when I bring him home again.

On the same night he collected all those prickles, he also lost his collar and that's unusual too. He sleeps in those grass beds all the time, sometimes all day, and has never caught the prickles. I found his collar the next morning in the middle of the road where it had been run over by a car, with the little bell being squashed completely flat. Angel himself isn't injured, so he wasn't hit by a car.

Here's what I think happened: on one of his forays into the dark, I think someone called him over and tried to grab (steal?) him by grabbing his collar. It's elastic so he would have been able to get out of it as the someone stretched it trying to maybe drag him away; then he might have panicked and run headlong through the yards here collecting prickly seed heads as he went.  Or he ran into the grass bushes and someone dragged him out, (most of the prickles are from mid back to the tip of the tail,) and threw away the collar when that's all they got? I can't think of any other way his collar would get into the middle of the road. If this is what happened, I hope he scratched them.

I've noticed that since then, he looks around a few seconds before heading down into the garden, each time I let him outside and he spends more time inside sleeping under my quilt. He doesn't go out as often either. Which is a good thing.

28 comments:

  1. Your cat looks fluffy. It is very lucky to get a owner like you.

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    1. Weekend-Windup; he is very fluffy, the tail hairs are four inches long.

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  2. A cat collar should never be lose enough to come off, as I am sure you know. They risk getting caught and hanging themselves, but I don't know about ones with elastic. What you suggest about cat-napping is quite possible.

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    1. Andrew; his collar isn't loose, but it is elastic so if he gets caught on anything it will stretch and he can pull his head out and be freed; that's the whole point of elastic collars. Even leather collars these days have a small elastic section to enable cats to free themselves if necessary.

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  3. Fur balls, yuk. We tried the special food too, but it isn't always a cure-all. Poor guy, what does he think of being shaved?

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    1. S.J.Qualls; the special food worked well for Angel right up until the over-grooming. The shave happens tomorrow morning; I'll take photos once he gets home from it.

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  4. My two, Remy and Shama never go outside. They're indoor cats, 24/7.

    They bring up the odd fur-ball, but that doesn't worry me...it's natural for them to do so. I brush them a couple of times a day....they love being brushed...and that helps rid a lot of their loose fur.

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  5. Lee; I tried to keep Angel an indoor cat, but he was born outside and spent four months outside being neglected and half starved by the people who owned his mum and after almost a year of going crazy, Angel and me, I let him out. We're both less stressed, but I don't want to be cleaning up any more furballs. My daughter's old cat Missy is now on the same dry food and no more fur balls from her now either.

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  6. Finding the collar on the road makes your suspicion more plausible. Is cat napping a thing when so many kittens need a home? Maybe someone just wanted to play a bit, if not I hope he got scratched real good.

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    1. joeh; he's a very pretty male and I wonder if maybe someone wanted him to breed from. Bad luck for them, he was neutered at six months. Cats do get stolen when they are very nice looking, unscrupulous breeders will do anything to get the kittens that picky people are demanding. He's at the vet right now, getting shaved and microchipped.

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  7. Whoa, cat stealing?? People are such jerks. You know there was a series of mysterious almost epileptic cat deaths nearby a few years back. Turns out some guy was leaving antifreeze out in a pan on purpose, and the cats don't know better but to lap some of it up. :/

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    1. Happy Elf Christine; yep, cat stealing. It happens, although it isn't rife and we don't hear constant news stories, but good looking friendly natured cats are easy targets I suppose. He's getting microchipped today, so will be more easily identified if he gets picked up as a stray. There are new laws set to come in here and there are official people going around(or they will be soon) to check on strays and have them picked up in an effort to curb the expanding stray population.

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    2. P.S. the anti-freeze is worse than cruel :( :(

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  8. My cat is an extreme long hair, too. The vet compliments him on his handsome appearance. He eats a similar food, and seldom leaves me a present. It seems Angel has another chapter of life under his belt, and will be more cautious.

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    1. Joanne; Angel is not classed as long hair, his coat is just that little bit too short I suppose, but I call him long hair anyway.
      I'm glad Angel is now being more cautious and hope he doesn't forget a few months from now.
      I'm always pleased when the vet tells me he rarely sees a cat with such a long thick coat that is in good condition.

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  9. Isn't it dreadful what some people may do - cat-napping not nice at all.
    If he doesn't go out so often now ... perhaps that may be a good thing.

    Hope the visit to the vet goes well.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member; I'm pleased that he isn't demanding to go out as often too. Not that I mind him being out, but for a long while now he's been getting me to open the door a dozen times an evening before he finally settles. My fault of course, I should have put my foot down when he began this caper.
      He'll be fine at the vet, he likes the doctor, I know because he has licked his hand and Angel only does that for people he trusts.

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  10. Maybe after he is shaved he will be back to normal with the 'no hairball' thing. If not...there is something you can get from the vet. It's been years of course since we had cats so I can't remember the name but it comes in a tube, is blackish, cats love it and you give them a little bit on your finger every day. Smear it under their nose if they won't take it off your finger. Poor little guy, it does sound as though e has had some kind of a scare doesn't it? Do you have any neighbours who object to cats digging in their gardens? Perhaps one of the has decided to send Angel to the pound.

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    1. only slightly confused; he will go back to being hairball free, because that's the cat food he eats. Next time I buy a packet I'll take a photo and post it. It probably has in it something similar to what you've described.
      I think he did have a scare, he's been much more cuddly to me since that day, it was last Saturday, late at night when he came in all grassy and full of prickles and I didn't notice because I was half asleep and found out early Sunday when he left grass all over my pillow.
      All the grounds here are communal, and while people have claimed parts as their own, almost everyone has a cat, so can't complain about any digging. I'm pretty sure no neighbour here would want him sent to the pound, he's so friendly and everyone likes him.

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  11. You made me stop and think. We always had cats, many years ago and I was trying to remember what the heck we fed them. I don't even know if there was commercial cat food back then. But then I remembered, they were farm working cats and supplied their own food. LOL

    That is strange how Angel's collar came off in the middle of the road.

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    1. Belva; that's how cats lived when I was a child too. They caught mice and other small things, crickets etc and got table scraps. I remember there was commercial cat food then, I'm a bit younger than you, so pet food was becoming big business, but I don't remember us buying any. Now, Angel's food costs me about $30 a week. I'm not sure if Angel's collar came off in the middle of the road or if someone threw it there when they couldn't hold him. He likes to be patted but he's not a lap cat and doesn't like being picked up or carried.

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  12. Such a pretty kitty. Our cats are both indoor and outdoor.
    Our older cat Ziggy now spend more time indoor. Then our younger cat Abner likes the great outdoor and once the snow is gone will be out hunting.

    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora; he is pretty isn't he? I'll post a photo of his mum soon and you can see how gorgeous she was. she was a pedigree animal and being sadly neglected by her young male owner; Angel is from her first litter of kittens and after that she had three more litters very quickly, from any roaming tom cat. They just didn't look after her and she was always very hungry. I don't know what happened to her, a big vicious dog lives in that yard now.
      Cats here in Australia aren't supposed to go hunting, people are worried about our native wildlife, birds and lizards etc getting killed by cats, so if one is caught killing the owner gets fined.

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  13. Replies
    1. grave; yes, worrisome, but I believe Angel will be more cautious now and I will too. I'll keep him inside more in the evening. He's usually inside to sleep by midnight anyway, he just likes to be out and lie in the cool of the garden after dark. He doesn't roam very far at all, down to the corner of the block sometimes, or within the grounds he'll go up as far as the visitor parking area, less than one minute walk from my home.

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    2. Oops, that should read Grace, sorry.

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  14. I can't wait to see a picture of bald (shaved) Angel!!

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  15. That is quite scary to think that someone would try to grab Angel. He is awfully cute.

    3 years and no hairballs. WOW. My long hair cat usually coughs up a hair ball once or twice a year. It is more prone when she is over-grooming as well. She isn't well behaved like Angel though. She hates for me to brush her.

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