The bad news is that her fur -- which can be as long as four inches -- got matted and tangled over the winter. She is not the sort of cat who permits anyone to brush her -- not without shoulder-length leather gauntlets and tranquilizers for two. Ordinarily she keeps it in good shape herself, but dry winters encourage matting. (Maybe I need to find a kitty-fur conditioner. Olive oil might work.) Once it starts to mat, that's it -- she'll need a shave.
So for the second time in her life, Gabriel is shaved down to the skin. She had to be tranquilized into sleep before the vet could do it. My poor sweet fuzzcat. Under the luxurious coat of black fur, she's a skinny pale-gray appaloosa spotted with black. And she is seriously embarrassed by her furless condition.
Last time this happened, about 10 years ago, her whole coat seized up at once into a solid piece of felt. The visiting groomer was able to cut it off like a blanket. The other cats sniffed the pelt with interest. Looked like poor Gabriel was gone, leaving only her fur behind. Then she appeared. Little Bit took one look and bolted. A ghost! Gabriel was a ghost!
So I have a question for other cat people and/or scientists. I know that Gabriel's long black fur is "smoke" -- black on the ends, pale next to the skin. What I don't understand is how that can be. Does the fur grow from the tip?
Any explanations? Thoughts? Similar experiences? Cat stories?
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