Dolly Gee Squeakers, formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers, long-haired and badger-shaped, is at the cat-equivalent of the salon, and quite against her will.
She was somewhat vocal about it on the way there.
Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) appears unmoved.
“Long-haired cats," she muses, “The gift that keeps on giving. What’s a good grooming cost these days, anyway?”
Liza Bean has touched a sore spot with me. She knows how I feel about the bathing-and-shaving-of-the-back-end-of-a-cat expenses. It’s on par with the maintenance of acrylic nails.
When you’re in, you’re in; and it just never ends.
What’s a good grooming cost these days?
Liza Bean, the traces of a smile on her lips, fixes her gaze upon me.
I mumble a number in her general direction.
The laughter is almost unbearable. It is several long minutes before she regains her composure.
After pointing out her own impeccable grooming habits and forcing me to endure a lecture on economical versus non-economical kittehs, she holds her paw out.
I deposit half the amount I’d spent on Dolly there.
“So all that said,” she purrs, flipping casually through the cash, “you’re picking her up? She’ll be returning?”
“Of course,” I say. “We love her.”
“Are you sure?” she purrs insinuatingly. “Things happen. Kitties change their minds.”
I frown at her. Pet-based insolence is one of my least favorite forms of insolence, and I coldly mention that the possible presence of mice in the basement may preclude the need for purchased cat food in the near future.
“All right, all right”, she says, smiling, green eyes sparkling.
I would stay and argue, but there’s a cat to pick up at the groomers.
I’m off now, off to pick up Dolly Gee, who will be perfumed, fluffy, and thankful to be retrieved. Liza Bean, relishing the last of the peaceful existence of “an only kitty”, is on the internet, no doubt shopping, now that she’s come into a little money.