Every spring Herman and I have a date with a clipper blade. I have a masters in dog grooming. That doesn't mean I have much success giving Herm a decent haircut.
Herman is a Turkish Van. His hair is baby fine and smears across furniture and clothes. It has been known to weave into eyelashes, so a haircut is necessary.
Our date always begins the same. He's thick and bushy with a winter growth, seeking the cool tile floor for comfort. I set up my tools and without notice whisk him into the laundry room. I place him on a towel and remove his collar. With the first swipe of my blade his hair melts off his skinny body. Soon, a pile grows around him. He starts to twitch and whine. The vibration tickles. Herm doesn't like to be tickled. I work as fast as I can, knowing he will soon reach the end of his patience. I don't want this to be torture for him. It's necessary, but not dire. He isn't a show cat. Its for his comfort that I shave him.
Herm has a high intelligence and his ability to communicate has always impressed me. He looks me direct in the eye and meows. He has a tiny sissy voice. It's soft and whispery. I tell him to be patient. I go for his arm pits. He has thick hair in his pits often snarled and curly. He hates the vibration on his back, but on his tummy and pits, well... His scowl alerts me his patience is at an end. He raises his voice, looking stern. I work a little faster. He makes a threat by raising his paw to my cheek. It rests there. I mean it, his eyes seem to say. Just one more minute, I assure. Sorry, time over! He smacks my cheek, without claws. Okay! We'll take a break.
Herm jumps off the washer. I open the door to release him. He runs through the house with loose hair flying behind him. Without the heavy weight of fur it is clear he feels lighter, cooler. He thinks he looks great. To me he looks like he's been run through a blender. I give him thirty minutes to an hour to calm down before grabbing him for Round Two.
If it wasn't for my husband's rude remarks I might consider leaving Herman with his punk-like haircut. But I can't. He's a handsome cat, and seeing his body marred by uneven blade tracks drives me insane.
Round Two didn't produce my professional expectations, and so this Saturday Round Three is scheduled.
In the meantime, I have a pile of baby fine Herman hair ready to distribute to nesting birds as soon as this stormy weather dries up.