Reach Out and Touch Someone
Emily Rupe, GroomWise Blogger, The Divine Ms Em (blog)
Throughout my life there have been very few things that make me cringe or recoil in absolute revulsion; middle school gym class, Justin Bieber, skinny jeans….but nothing comes close to my distain for cats. I truly find those felines fowl! How could one love such a creature that carries a general indifference to your affections/needs while only considering their own self absorbed desires? Isn’t that just like a bad boyfriend or an abusive relationship? If I’ve got to clean your sandbox of buried treasures, spend money to sustain and entertain, the least you could do is adore me…that goes men as well. Sorry, but their limp carcasses, covered in skin that resembles the chicken flab on my arms, holds no love or warmth for me. I’ll stick with my neurotic, codependent dogs, thank you very much! Despite these indisputable truths, clients still cling to these vermin and request grooming services from our resident glutton for punishment, pardon I meant cat groomer.
Each time one of those little plastic Pandora’s boxes find itself on our shop counter, I glare skeptically from across the room as the cat lady reaches in and grabs the beast from its dark lair. The entire groom I merely shake my head and keep a safe distance, all the while ready to grab the first aid kit or call in the Marines should the groom go south. So it was not shocking in the least, that I was less than enthused about my co-workers 16 yr old feline client booked for a shearing, on this particular day.
As I went about my noble dog beautification, in waltzed a younger gent, probably in his twenties, with a lump wrapped in a towel, named Oreo. Instantly, I called the glutton for punishment to inform them that their nemesis has arrived minus the traditional pet taxi of terror. Without missing a beat, she swooped Oreo up and on top her table. Throughout his shearing this fat, old, black and white senior feline needed the table and purred. I was convinced he suffered from dementia. With a skeptical eye and a sigh of relief I watched as the groomer completed the task at hand and then placed him in a kennel in the back of the shop. As soon, as that kennel door slammed shut, Oreo was out of my thoughts.
A few hours past, grooming for the day was completed and now the waiting game for pick up. I decided to pass the time by cleaning some kennels in the back or as I call it the Groom Mile. Much like the Green Mile, the kennels are arranged into a narrow hallway and there are many a pitiful face pressed against the bars awaiting owners to post bail. As I started to wipe down cells alone in the back, something reached out and touched me from behind. I did what any sensible soul would do; I screamed bloody Mary and hit the deck.
Hearing the cry of terror, my co-worker rushed to my aid. After recovering my wits and assuring my rescuer I had not injured myself, we both turned around to see what had assaulted me. There he was, mewing innocently and sticking his de-clawed mitt through the kennel bars…..Oreo. I thought my hero was going to die of laughter, upon realizing that her client had almost killed me. Issuing an indignant huff and a few mumbled words I went about the cleaning at hand. The cat groomer then returned to the front of shop to check out a client whom had sneaked in during this crisis.
Alone, in the quiet, I turned to glance at this nervy cat. There he sat, this pathetic old lump, looking
at me with eyes like saucers and still his little paw stuck through the grate. While, I might a tad grumpy and stubborn, I’m not heartless. Surveying the entire back room, double checking I was truly alone, I gingerly opened Oreo’s kennel and petted the sad creature. He rubbed naked up against my hand and purred. My three sizes too small, heart melted a tad. Suddenly, I heard voice’s coming my way. Quickly, I shut the kennel door and my comrade was none the wiser as she fetched the latest parolee. As she took Oreo out to his owner, she giggled, “See he’s not that evil!” As not to ruin my image my snorted back, “damn cat” and winked at my forbidden feline encounter. ♦