Let me introduce our family’s fur baby…El Chubasco. Our beloved family cat is named after a Mexican restaurant in town our family frequents (probably a little too often, as there is an item on the menu named after my son). We call the cat ‘Chubs’ for short, although he’s not the slightest bit overweight. Likely because all our kids have reached double digit ages, the cat has become our baby and oh do we spoil him!

Chubs is a ragdoll, so he has really long fur (like so long you could probably braid it). Not surprisingly, it sheds in MASS quantities come springtime. And to top it off, our kids might be just the slightest bit allergic (even though we were told when we got him he was hypoallergenic…biggest lie EVER). So, what’s a mom to do? I came up with the scathingly brilliant yet seemingly simple solution to get the cat groomed. Dog owners do it all the time and nobody judges them!

Chub’s sporting my failed grooming attempt

Earning a badge of honor on my crazy cat lady vest, I decided I would not just have my cat groomed, but actually have his long fur shaved into a ‘lion’s cut’. I saw some photos on the internet and knew it would do the trick. I called around but was rather discouraged not only by the cost, but also the lack of groomers with experience (or who even tried to sound mildly encouraging, really) with shaving cats. So, not willing to allow my fantastic solution to go down in flames and wanting to keep my idea rather economical, I decided to shave the cat myself. After all, how hard could it be?

Awesome readers, I imagine you’ve visualized the possibilities by this point and won’t find it hard to believe when I tell you that shaving a cat isn’t as easy as you’d think. You can see the aftermath of my brilliant idea below. I solicited my daughter to help me…really I just needed someone to hold the cat in place while I used my son’s hair clippers to get the process started. I gripped the hair clippers, with a 3 blade on, and started at it. Ugh! The cat wasn’t cooperating and the blade was leaving the hair too long. So being the problem solver I am, I just took the blade off the clippers and went straight for a short cut. But that didn’t really work either, so then I just took the annoying guard off. At this point my daughter was feeling anxious, the cat was howling and and my husband was nowhere to be found. (I asked him later why he didn’t talk me out of it, or at least help me. Smart man that he is, he replied, “There was no stopping you so I just stayed out of the way.”) It wasn’t long before I realized my frugal grooming solution just wasn’t going to happen. It certainly wasn’t turning out like the photos I had seen on the internet, my cat and my daughter were both crying, fur was flying everywhere and my son was now protesting that he only wanted Dad to cut his hair from now on.

So, I ate a big piece of humble pie and paid to have my cat groomed (although I may have lied to the groomer and told her my kids had tried to shave the cat while I was at work). I also spent extra money on cat treats in a transparent attempt to convince Chubs I hadn’t been trying to kill him and buy back his love.

Frugality Fail Lesson: Sometimes paying for a professional service ends up saving money in the long run!


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