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A Cat Called Avalanche: what I learned

So living with a Maine Coon – for four months and change now – has been a learning experience… let me count a couple of ways…

1) FUR. ohmigod, fur. I was warned that I will never own a piece of “black” clothing again after Ava moved in but dear god I had no idea. That fine silky floaty fur fluff gets everybloodywhere – and we won’t even talk about the times when she parks next to me in bed at night and just floomps that tail onto my face and into my nose and mouth. I’ve been cleaning up, picking off, vaccuming, brushing, unknotting and dematting, deshedding off of clothes and upholstery and carpets and everywhere else, cleaning cat brushes, and generally coming up with enough shed fur to make two normal sized cats out of. I think I should start spinning it into thread or something and selling CoonYarn…

2) related to fur – her britches are FLUFFY and why did nobody warn me about poop boogers in that fur? The first time I had to extract one was a nasty surprise for both me and the cat – the cat objected to having her butt fur pulled and yanked but there was no other way to dislodge the bit of caught up poop that was lodged in there GOOD and I really didn’t want her spreading the scent around the house. I am considering the indignity of shaving her butt area…

3) this is a dog in cat clothing. I swear. She just acts doggish – plays fetch, does that puppy head incline at things she finds perplexing, and follows me around everywhere just like said puppy. I mean, there is no going to the bathroom by myself any more, she’s always in there either ahead of me as I start making a purposeful move in that direction or right behind me as I walk in. In some ways this cat is CLINGY. But I kinda love it.

4) I mean, I know this is a big cat and she needs sustenance but are Maine Coons really starving ALL THE TIME? If I am in the kitchen for any reason there she is by her bowl going “merp? MERP? MERRRRRP?” like she hadn’t been fed in the last week. If I just obeyed the feed-me signals I would spend my life shoveling food down her gullet. And it isn’t just wet food – the kibble has been disappearing at an alarming rate and I know how the Little Emperor consumed it for ten years, and it ISN’T him. This cat is a walking stomach…

5) She is a goof. She doesn’t FIT in places she tries to sit, and she’ll fall off the edge of my recliner; or she’s going to blindly chase a cat toy off a cliff… er, off the bed, anyway. She has a nightly rendezvous with my slippers when I kick them off before climbing into bed – she wraps her paws around them, bats them around like oversized cat toys, and lies there with her entire head stuffed into  a slipper for minutes at a time. One time she was sitting on the back of my computer chair and I sneezed and Ava whacked me on top of my head with an imperious “stop that” paw. She makes me smile. A LOT.

6) Maine Coons. Are. Not. Quiet. Cats. This one starts telling me important things at four in the morning sometimes. Do Maine Coon humans ever sleep through the night again…? EVER?

7) Did I mention the FUR???

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5 thoughts on “A Cat Called Avalanche: what I learned”

  1. What a doll! I recommend a dedicated pair of scissors to snip out foreign objects. Do you use clumping litter? If so, be prepared to remove a concrete-like substance from the hair between her toes. Warm (not hot) water helps.

    1. haven’t faced the toe issue yet, but cutting out stuff I cannot otherwise deal with? that, I’ve done, and the most astonishing thing is that THERE IS SO MUCH FUR THAT YOU CAN’T TELL….

  2. If you want to go to shows with her, my experience won’t be useful; but if you want to make her life as a pet a bit easier it might work for you too.
    Maybe your Avalanche’s fur is sleek enough that such extra care isn’t necessary, and combing and brushing once a day is enough, or maybe she really doesn’t like scissars.
    But just in case it might be useful, I’ll put it out here.

    I’ve had (rescue) Persian cats for a few decades now, and the present one has very fluffy, very thick and very long white underfur that is incredibly prone to tangling and matting. It’s very fine but also frizzy, in contrast to my first rescue Persian who’se fur was both thinner and much sleeker, and hence much less prone to tangling.

    With this one I’ve found that thinning scissars are really useful, especially to use on his belly fur, in the armpits and on the front inside and the rear of his hind legs.
    You can both thin out and shorten the excessive floof that creates tangles in a day in the places where leg & body rub together or where he sits on it a lot, so it’s easier for him and me to keep his fur untangled and clean.

    I do use ordinary round-tipped pet scissars to cut the floof around the anus really short, so he can mostly keep himself clean (don’t forget the underside of the base of the tail)- my vet says this is something practically all owners of very floofy cats do.
    The floofy “baggy trousers” effect from the rest of the fur on his haunches and hindlegs means it’s not noticeable, but it helps him considerably in keeping clean and not accidentally carrying any dingleberries around.

    Separate from that, thinning and shortening the most matting-prone areas really helps keep the daily combing and brushing pleasant, and doing so with thinning scissars means it won’t look as if he’s been nibbled by rats. Also, I get the impression that straight-cut areas growing out are more prone to getting matted than thinning-cut areas that are growing out.

    When his bib and sideburns get so long that he can’t get the hair out of his mouth anymore when he licks his own chest fur, I also carefully shorten that fur with the thinning scissars (being very careful not to cut any of his whiskers) – he much prefers being able to groom his own chest without getting stuck with hair in his mouth that he has to chew off.

    1. no her show career is well over – she is my beloved pet now, and not a show queen any more. But I would love to hear more about the thinning scissors (including what precisely they ARE…) 🙂

  3. I am sure you know this, but be very careful not to let the cat over-eat. You do not want an obese cat.

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