It is true that 2020 has been difficult for everyone, and the tail end of this unpredictable year has now affected Keona—our male Balinese cat.
Keona was a happy Balinese cat until the vet shaved off half of his fur coat. Now he is a partially naked and confused Christmas lion, who does not understand WHY we did this to him. After we brought him back home from the vet’s office, I tried to make him feel better by covering him with a warm blanket. I guess that just added insult to injury, because he threw the blanket off, glared at me, and walked away. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he didn’t like me very much at that point. Sigh. I would love to tell him exactly why we had to remove a large section of his once beautiful fur coat, but that is impossible (as he obviously does not speak English).
Keona is 15 years old, which is approximately 75 in human years. The vet told us that he often has to shave older long-haired cats when they stop grooming–probably because of arthritis, which makes it too painful to bend and twist around. Longer hair that is not groomed on a regular basis gets knotted and matted very quickly, making it easy for the skin underneath to get infected.
Because we had no other good alternative, we agreed to let the vet shave Keona in the affected area (which was half of his body). There is NO WAY that our cat would have allowed us to do this. As it was, anesthesia had to be used to get the job done safely. Hoping to make Keona feel a little better about the procedure, the vet decided to leave a fashionable tuft on the end his tail so he would look a little bit like a mighty jungle lion. A nice touch.
But, unfortunately, Keona didn’t appreciate the creative shave and I don’t think he likes the ‘lion look’ either. He has repeatedly attacked the strange tuft at the end of his tail because he knows it is not supposed to be there. To make matters worse, his sister Siri began to hiss and growl every time he tried to get close to her. She did not recognize him and treated him like he was an evil cat/lion imposter.
Finally, after a few days of being upset and cold, Keona decided that agreeing to stay underneath a warm blanket might actually be a good idea. Thank goodness! Seeing him warm and comfortable certainly made us feel better.
I certainly understand Keona’s frustration with all of this. Anyone who is 60 and above knows that getting old is not easy. Hair starts to fall from the head and then begins to grow out of the nose and ears. Numerous body parts start to ache, break down, and fall apart. Things that used to be easy to do, suddenly become difficult. Skin starts to wrinkle, and the strange face in the mirror is almost impossible to accept!
Keona doesn’t realize it right now, but he is lucky. Unlike a human who slowly goes bald over time, hair that is purposely shaved off will grow back. He should count his blessings! Maybe he didn’t get all of his fur coat back in time for Christmas, but it is getting thicker and longer. The best Christmas gift has come from his sister–who has decided not to hiss at him anymore, because his appearance is slowly returning to ‘normal’ and he no longer smells like the vet’s office!In 5 days, the year 2020 will finally come to an end. Many people say that they plan to stay up until midnight to make sure that 2020 leaves on time, because this year has been an exceptionally long, hard road to travel (understatement).