Friday, April 24, 2015

All Creatures Great And Small...



You’d have thought I had learned to keep my phone at-the-ready for our next April Vacation Adventure, but no. My next undocumented jaunt involved Bardeau The Cat and it began early Tuesday at Happy Pelts Day Spa. Our friends Lauren and Paul have a similarly-styled cat as our Bardeau, and they have him regularly fashioned at Happy Pelts. Their Facebook avatar depicts one happy feline, frolicking about in his own sculpted fur, looking chic to the point of snooty. I wanted our cat to feel similarly superior, so I booked him a grooming appointment at Happy Pelts.

Except I did not know it was a Multi-Species grooming facility.  They service all creatures great and small, which should be their name. You can bring in tropical fish to have them de-scaled. Or add fur to lizards for winter. 

I erroneously assumed it was a cat-exclusive spa when their receptionist said to me on the phone, "Drop off is between 9 and 10 am, so we have the whole morning to massage, pet, and talk to the cats.  We play them music in rooms infused with essential oils.  All of this LONG before the more traumatic parts where we brush, bathe and barette them."

We wouldn't have exposed Bardeau to Tuesday’s antithesis of massage and soothing chats, if we had known he was to be honked and moo'd at as we transported him through the waiting room.

In fact, if Bardeau were not afflicted with severe dredlocks, I might have marched him out of Noah’s Ark. But since January, he had begun to ‘mat.’  He was clumped in several hard to reach spots like the backs of his arm-elbows and his entire undercarriage. 

By March the mats became impenetrable, like body armor, with new clumps forming along his spine. By April he looked like a dimetradon.

Bardeau’s most recent car ride was four weeks ago when he had his check-up and vaccinations and there was nary a sound from his cat carrier.

But on Tuesday, driving the back roads through dairy farm country, up and down, around winding bends . . . well.  The mewling in the cage got muted briefly due to Bardeau’s Lack Of Dramamine.  

When we went past a fragrant dairy farm, my husband reminisced about how he used to instruct our kids to 'Breathe DEEP!  Can you smell the Apple PIE?’  And everyone in the car would huff the farm air, nostrils hung from the windows -- then gag and wretch and he would erupt in peals of laughter.

He laughed so hard remembering this Tuesday, tears formed at his eyes.

Only when we arrived at the Exotic Animal Day Spa did we realize his eyes were leaking from Bardeau.

NO IDEA he was capable of emitting fresh Farm Smell. It was a relief to get to the Spa because IT emitted hundreds of different pet perfuming smells, even before we got inside.

Once inside, a host of comfortably-caged creatures -- some I believe to have been created with science -- were gawking at us, and then they started up with the noise-making.  Howling, hissing.  A squealing pot bellied pig. Bardeau shat himself in response, which only made him more nauseous.

He was an effluviating machine erupting like a volcano from all directions. I kept apologizing.  "I am SO sorry he is so... fragrant.  But YOU guys smell GREAT!"

"Thank you!" beamed the pleasant booking person as she seamlessly collected up the entirety of Bardeau and His Cage of Emissions.

She passed the whole thing off to a well-heeled grooming cat stylist, who resembled a hobbit, only older and more hairy. 

His name was Sven.  And he glowered at me while wafting a ham hock hand in Bardeau’s direction.  “This cat, she is RIPE.”

I've been glowered at by worse than Sven so I said cheerily, "He… is car sick. And I'm sure he's not done, now that he's next to a growling Rottweiler and that… alligator over there."

Sven ignored me and addressed Bardeau. "LET'S see what we've got!"

Sven reached his hand inside the transporter and scruffed our 14-pound cat, and Bardeau shot me Manga Eyes that said, “What fresh hell is this?” 

Sven palpated all seventeen of Bardeau’s dredlocks proclaiming his undercarriage 'ENTIRELY matted' and that Bardeau would require “The Simba.”

"Sounds good to me!  Peace out!"  and I grabbed up The Befouling Cage, hoping to leave before more glowering could happen. But the cage was intercepted by The Friendly Booking Specialist who said, "We'll be taking that from you now."

“But I was going to take it all home and wash it for Bardeau’s trip home!”

“Oh, we take care of blankets and cages.”  And this is where Happy Pelts won me over for life.  She smiled and said, "We take care of EVERYTHING!" 

Even pungent, chainmailed Bardeau smiled at the Friendly Booking Specialist.  


Sven got to work on Bardeau -- and we were OFF like a simile.  

          Regard below to see what Bardeau looks like!         (No wonder they call it The Simba!)