Cat Sanctuary

Quarantine Coiffures

During this time of social distancing, we have had fewer people around at the Sanctuary.

Big floofy Ruff needs careful grooming – MW

Many of the regular volunteers are obeying the stay-home instructions, and in the interests of everyone’s safety, there are clear instructions about staying in one area at a time. The med-staff, of course, have to bustle around everywhere, but the other staff and volunteers no longer visit as freely as we used to, and the Kitty Comforters were put on hiatus, to keep everyone safe.

Dell The Lion Sleeps Tonight – LBF

A lot of Kitty-Comforting is about working with new caged cats, or in the pens with the shyer ones. And most of the KCs carry little tidbits around with them to tempt wary cats a little closer.  But many of them also carry grooming tools, and they take the opportunity while visiting to tease out some of the mats that inevitably form on some long-haired and older cats.

Smithy having (another) bad hair day – BC

The mat-King is Smithy. Smithy is part of the feral bunch from Pen 8, and although many of the Pen 8 cats have tamed down quite a bit, Smithy still hisses when he sees us.  He’s also curious about us, though – he will quite often hang around while I’m scooping, and listen while I talk to him.  Smithy has never been good at grooming himself, but, to be fair, he is the stocky sort of cat who would probably find it very hard to get at the back bits.

That was quite a mat! good work, Smithy!  – BC

Some weeks ago we noticed that Smithy was developing a major dreadlock on his chest – the hair had matted solidly and was hanging down in front of him, attached only by a few clumps. Smithy had tried to be his own barber, but the chest beard he’d created left much to be desired. Had he been a tame cat, it would have involved a simple fix, but Smithy defied every attempt by volunteers and staff to help get it off. Several days later, much to our amusement, the dreadlock was found, lying on the ground like a strange, furry creature.

Lying in the sun is OJ’s favourite thing.  Grooming? not so much….  KN

Mr Mat in Pen 4 is OJ.  OJ is definitely getting on these days, and with his stubby little legs and stocky body, self-grooming is not in his vocabulary – and he doesn’t much enjoy it when delivered by humans either.  The only time OJ makes a real effort to do anything, is when he bites the hand holding a brush.

Dell in last summer’s haircut – MW

Dell, in the pen opposite, is not a fan of grooming either, though he’s pretty good-natured about tolerating it for just a little while.  Dell’s problem is that he has very fine fur that mats very easily – and because he’s had fewer visitors than usual, his grooming has definitely got behind (in more ways than one!)
Once the hot summer weather finally settles in, some of these cats will be treated to a professional lion cut (or some approximation of it), and they will appreciate not carrying a weighty coat around with them.  Like them, I can’t wait to get rid of some of my shaggy (but not matted) fur!

Blog by Brigid Coult


Photos by Lisa Brill-Friesen, Brigid Coult, Karen Nicholson, Michele Wright