Aspen got a bath today, which would be bad enough in itself, but the bath was on top of the haircut he got this morning. A lion cut, which means that he was completely shaved down except for his head, his lower legs, and a poof on his tail. I can only imagine how humiliated he must feel to now more closely resemble a poodle than the distinguished Norwegian forest cat he is.
I should perhaps mention, in case I haven't in the past, that we do not shave him because it amuses us. (It is actually something of an ordeal as he cannot be groomed without sedation and must therefore be taken to the vet and placed under observation while he is under the anesthetic and after he comes out of it.) We shave him once a year, near the beginning of summer, because he has spent the previous twelve months growing his coat out and nursing an impressive crop of mats and by this point he has at least a good half dozen in various places on his chest and stomach. Brushing his fur is out of the question unless we develop the desire to experience life as an amputee as he has no qualms about biting (and scratching) the hand that feeds him.
The bath is not something we usually do, but today he messed in his carrier on the way home and by the time we got to the house he stank to high heaven, so it was either subject him to a bath or break out the gas masks and hope the scent cleared. The bath, however, put an already cranky cat into a foul temper and he crept into a bed under one of the desks and proceeded to mope for the next five hours, looking decidedly angry and shivering even with the heater on. And so now, to top it all off, if the weather doesn't warm up soon, we might have to contemplate getting him a sweater of some sort. If it comes to that, it might be wise to have the Red Cross on standby because I don't see us getting through that without serious bodily harm. Let's all pray for sun.