Sachen’s new ‘do

We should have believed him when he said it was all fur.

About three weeks ago, Sachen got a special haircut. Last summer, when he was so sick, he became a lazy groomer and therefore his fur got matted in some epic ways. These were ridiculous clumps of fur that felt like tumors. People would pet him and draw back their hands in horror. The vet was concerned about shaving off the mats because Sachen doesn’t exactly do well with things that make noise, especially not when these instruments are aimed at him. They would have to give him a sedative, the vet explained. That seemed like a good idea to us. We can’t afford any lawsuits right now.

So, on Friday, Jan. 8, we took this to the vet at 7:30…


and at noon, we picked up this…


Whoa. The first thing I noticed was how skinny he is. This was significant information, requiring a major rearranging of the way I think about Sachen. I mean, he’s a big cat, right? That’s kind of his thing. Without big as his main qualifier, all he has is that list of synonyms for “grumpy.”

Those of you with normal-sized cats will find Sachen large, even without his fur, but to Andy and me, he just looks tiny.


For the first 24 hours, he was downright clingy. He needed lots of validation. He was all, “Pet me. Pet me. You still think I’m pretty, right?” That part was kind of nice. It was like having a dog—a cat-shaped, rat-like dog. But Sachen is pretty much back to normal now. I have been trying hard to get used to his…um…unusual appearance.


Look at how big his head looks. I mean, he always had a big head—literally and figuratively—but with this dramatic haircut, he head almost looks like it isn’t attached all the way, like it could fall off at any moment. My favorite part is his legs. He looks like he’s wearing boots, doesn’t he? UGGs or ski boots, right? The tail is obviously the least attractive aspect of the “lion shave,” which is the vet’s term for this special look. The tech originally wanted to shave all but the tip of the tail but we just couldn’t allow that to happen. That would take the rat visual too far.

The good news is that the shaved parts are super soft, like velvet or a really good fleece throw. His head and his tail still feel like the old Sachen so now we get two distinct tactile experiences each time we pet him. I think all three of us are ready for the day that he looks like this again, though.


(P.S. Can you believe I took all these photos with my iPhone?)