The world’s furriest feline, Colonel Meow the Himalayan-Persian mix that is about to rock the Guinness Book of World Records for it’s 9-inch hair is what all parents sees in their mind’s eye when their child asks, “Can we get a kitty? Puuuuuleeeeeeease?”
The child is seeing a tiny living plush toy to cuddle, while the parent is looking into the jaws of housekeeping.
The Himalayan-Persian mix is being entered in the Guinness Book 2014 edition, due out Sept. 12. The 10-pound (4.5-kilogram) cat has his own website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel with more than 2 million views.
The Colonel is owned by Anne Marie Avey and Eric Rosario of Los Angeles, who say it takes both of them to brush the cat's fur three times a week.
Sorry kids, but that paragraph alone is gonna set animal shelters back in adoptions for months to come as parents think about how cute little animals grow into furry responsibilities that kids don’t brush, feed, or care for.
This is a topic I know a little bit about because we have two cats, Bella and CatToo, and Wag the dog, a gynormous cadoodle (Lassie-style collie + full size poodle). Wag’s a massive hairball that walks and sheds. Actually, when it comes to animal companions like Colonel Meow and Wag the dog, “shed” seems too passive a word. What they really do is offgas fur the way the Peanuts character Pigpen traveled in a cloud of perpetual funk.
I fall into maniacal cackling worthy of a Terry Pratchett witch every time another parent says, “Oh, it’s half poodle so it doesn’t shed, right?”
This dog, that began as an adorable little mop of black hair, can now stand on his hind legs and put his paws on my shoulders. That’s like dancing with a salt-and-pepper Wookie that’s had a perm.
This dog sheds tumbleweeds the size of our cats. The cats shed only when I touch them.
We brush Wag multiple times per week and when it’s time to give him a haircut (which I do because it would cost $175 to be done professionally) it takes about four hours per day over a two-day period. A few years ago a friend who weaves actually took a bag of his shorn locks to add into her mix and gave them away as holiday gifts. Made me wish I had the Martha Stewart gene.
The irony is that I was the parent who advocated for each new furry addition because when it came right down to it, I am the mom of four boys and I love seeing them lavish attention, hugs, and cuddles on their furry companions.
I was looking for a path to nurturing for my sons and animals were the answer.
The dog is an exercise buddy, their “son,” while the two female cats are their “little girls” whom they spoil rotten.
My husband has been tough on the boys about responsibilities of walking, feeding, and cleaning up after the animals. Now, as they get older they love to take the dog for a run, he’s a “chick magnet.” They all compete for the status of whose feet the cats choose to weigh down at night.
Quin, 9, told his grandmother in a recent phone conversation, “Mom gave Wag a haircut and we can stuff two pillows with his hair! Maybe we can start saving it and make beds for the cats.”
Maybe when Colonel Meow is brushed they can save the fur for knitting into sweaters or stuffing dog beds. A cattage industry is born.