Thursday, May 7, 2009


This is Hairy, she's our oldest cat. We think she's around 16 or 17, James got her when she was already an adult cat and he's had her for about 15-16 years. Before I met James and Hairy, I was a dog person. Never even gave a thought to having a cat. When I started dating James, and would go to his house for the weekend, it took Hairy a little while to warm up to me. She would usually go run and hide downstairs. After a few visits she decided I was okay, and would cuddle up in my lap or sleep on my back at night. I'd never been around cats before, and Hairy changed my attitude towards them. I thought of cats as snobby little standoffish critters, not all sloppy, warm, and lovable like a big Lab, which is what I was used to. When I would go visit friends who had cats, all I would ever see was a furry streak running by as they went to hide. But of course, after having a houseful of my own now, I know that's normal behavior when there is a knock at the door. Hairy was so sweet and charming and friendly, I decided that cats weren't so bad after all. Then I adopted Spider as a stray kitten the following year. If not for Hairy, I'm not sure I would have taken Spider in.

Despite her age, Hairy is in perfect health and is very active. She has a little bit of arthritis, and you can hear her coming because her joints pop as she walks. But she still runs around, jumps up on furniture, and plays and chases her tail just like the youngsters. If one of the younger cats messes with her and she's not in the mood, she will smack them and give them a good what-for. We used to have her shaved down twice a year, because her coat is so long (hence her name), and not only was she getting hairballs but she would leave clumps of hair everywhere. Her coat is still growing back from the last shave, and I've decided not to get it done again. I will just be more vigorous with brushing her, and more diligent about vacuuming the house. She's lost maybe 1-2 pounds over the last few years, I'm sure due to her age, and I don't want her to be cold. She shivers even in the summer when the AC is on, she has such little fat on her body (wish I could say the same, I sweat even with the AC on!!!), so I am going to let her keep her hairiness from now on. (photo taken yesterday on the back deck)

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