DIY Fail

Dana joked “Your cat got her first Brazilian.”
With the morning's crisis finally resolved, I couldn't stop laughing and shaking my head at my own stupidity.


Snow Day sleeping in the path of the fan


Snow Day is my cat, and had just experienced a rather traumatic hair removal by adhesive.  Until I adopted her, I'd had very limited experience around the feline species, and for the most part, I'd say we've both done pretty well.  In the past year and a half, I've found myself awed by her personality, quirkiness, and intelligence, smitten by her affection and genuine sweetness, and at times shocked by how demanding and spiteful she can be.  In recent months she'd taken to waking me up around dawn to feed her by doing anything to get my attention, and get me out of bed.  It's become a morning routine, Snow Day wakes up before me, performs absurd gymnastics, knocks anything she can get her paws on off any surface she can reach, and begs for my (negative) attention.  She is spoiled, and a rather big girl at over 16lbs, so I think it's only responsible that I set some limits (I will add that she gets a lot of encouraged playtime during human-waking hours).  Sleeping with a spray bottle next to me has been effective in curbing her early morning destruction.  The rampage ends, she snuggles up to go back to sleep, and a little later she gets her measured daily portion of food.


Prior to my acquaintance with Snow Day, I had this notion that cats were graceful…not mine, she's (at times) hilariously clumsy.  Just about the only thing which hasn't surprised me was her desire to claw things.  It's actually not been nearly as bad as I thought it could be, she goes after one arm of the couch and one particular wood windowsill.  And, here's where I miscalculated again.  As the overall trend of the Summer has been – drastic cost-cutting and depression era cues from my Grandfather to DIY (do it yourself), I saw double sided adhesive strips at the pet store created to dissuade cats from scratching – and thought a fair substitute would be to use a long piece of packing tape folded backwards.  Since she prefers her hideous cardboard scratching post to the more luxurious one I bought when I got her (which she never touched), I figured the more haphazard and the more I hate the way it looks, the more likely it would be to work.


Every week or so I removed the old tape, snapped off a new strip and replaced it.  She'd been staying away and getting her "scratch on" in the sanctioned cardboard thing purchased for that very purpose.  That is, until this morning, when I woke up to the sound of thrashing under my bed and a crackle-pop sound.  Snow Day was tangled in tape.  She was panicked and I was half asleep, worried that she'd hurt her head or her arm, not to mention, how the tape would come off without taking her fur with it.  I tried to calm her, I found safety scissors dull enough to cut the tape to lessen her panic of being tangled.  I tried to see if I could shave the fur and realized without sedatives and restraints (ie: a vet), it wasn't going to work.  I gave her some food while I called my Mom and tried to think.  She suggested a "ripping off a band-aid" approach, until I explained that there was probably three feet of tape in all and being hasty would likely tear her skin.  I found a service online which allowed me to ask a vet a question, who suggested bathing her in dish-detergent to loosen up the glue.  In the meantime, the cat was trying to get it off herself.  She was licking and clawing at it and making some progress.  After about 30 minutes of that, I worried she was going to hurt her tongue, which was now making her spaz out more than the tape.  I tried to comfort her, wondering as I often do “How the hell do parents raise children?”  I sucked it up and tried holding the edges of the tape and judging if it could be pulled off by how hard she was willing to pull herself (beyond her desire to just run away).  At this point the tape was in several pieces and a lot more manageable.  I'm sure it wasn't pleasant, but the amount of hair was roughly what I'm used to seeing when I brush her and she would walk right back over to me and let me go for another piece.  Two hours after of shenanigans after I woke up she was napping in my lap and I was laughing that my cat had endured a sort of Brazilian wax.


I don't anticipate scratching in that location will be an issue again, but I wanted to understand what was different about the product sold in the store and figured I should keep some on-hand.  Had I read the package, I probably never would have used heavy duty packing tape.  Right there on the package it says “Medical grade adhesive, won't harm fabric or cats”.  Thankfully, the cat is fine, she was back to playing with her toys and had no fear of me afterward (unlike after a bath).  Another few minutes or any indication that she was in pain and I had her carrier at the ready for an emergency vet visit (I don't even want to think about the cost crisis of that).  It's kind of a headsmack story, but if you are going to cut corners, be careful.  I know, no kidding.  I wound up shelling out the money for the store bought ones in the end, but I'm looking around at all my little projects with a more critical eye for safety -, human and pet.   I know, DUH.


Also, Heather suggested olive oil, which I also thought was a great idea.

  • uncle jen

    looks like a TKO…

  • MissSomething

    Heh, It’s an old photo, That’s how she sleeps in front of the window when it’s warm out :)