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Cat Show 2012

Cathy was recently invited by Dayle Marsh to the Lincoln State Cat Club’s show on Saturday, February 25, 2012. The show was held at Harper College in Palatine, IL. All proceeds of the show were donated to feline health and welfare organizations. In the past organizations such as: The Morris Animal Foundation, the Robert Winn Feline Foundation, the Cornell Feline Health Center, a veterinary scholarship program at the University of Illinois-Champaigne, the neuter/spay program at the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago, Aunt B’s Bed and Breakfast, the Tree House, the West Suburban Animal Shelter, Second Chance Animal Shelter, Elsa Wild Animal Appeal, and so many more were helped by this show.

This particular show focused on the Morris Animal Foundation. Cathy donated three gift baskets filled with feline supplies and gift items. Raffle tickets for the gift baskets were sold and one dollar a piece or six tickets for five dollars. She kept her audience entertained and informed by giving a grooming demonstration about keeping your feline mat free, keeping its toenails short, and its ears clean at home. Cathy is qualified to give this demonstration by having acquired her CFMG (Certified Feline Master Groomer) and her CMG (Certified Master Groomer) certifications. She has also showed and bred Devon Rex and Persian cats. She has owned and operated her grooming shop, Jimminy Clippers for thirty-one years, and specializes in cats.

Cathy also kept her audience on the edge of their seats by conducting a trivia game, in which prizes were given to the winners. Some questions asked were: “How many whiskers does a cat have?” “Which breed is known to like swimming?” “Which breeds of cats only come in one color?” and “What breed are known for white paws?” Can you guess the answers?

Cat grooming: not for the faint of heart

Cathy Hartley, Kitty City’s groomer, was featured in The Daily Herald in November 16, 2008

Daily Herald

By Mary Jekielek Insprucker

Most of us enjoy being pampered. Having your nails done, your hair cut and blow-dried, and luxuriating in a drawn bath is the cat’s meow, unless of course, you are the cat. Cats are difficult to groom, partly because they aren’t predictable, says Cathy Hartley, a master groomer. “Cats are…their own people with their own individual personalities,” said Hartley, who owns Jimminy Clippers, a grooming salon in Palatine. “You can never trust what they will do, and unlike a dog who will sit, you have to work around cats.” Hartley has been grooming cats for 30 years, and recently became one of only five certified feline master groomers in the U.S. To earn the certification she had to pass several tests that showed her to be proficient in feline temperament, anatomy, breeding and genetics.

“I think there’s so few because to be a CFMG you must be in tune with cats, and that’s not easy to do,” Hartley said. Hartley is cautious. Although she grooms 30 cats a week and considers herself somewhat of a cat wrangler, she’s had two hand operations — the direct result of aggressive cat bites. “Not every groomer will do cats because they are afraid,” Hartley said. “Even a little bite is a chance to end up in the hospital. They have a lot of bacteria in their saliva that goes right into your blood.” “Their bites are very infectious,” confirmed Dr. Lynda Gustavsen, of All Creatures Animal Hospital in Lake Zurich. “Their pointy teeth are almost like a needle injecting bacteria.”

And cats really don’t like getting wet. “Most are not big into water,” Gustavsen said. “They’re not natural swimmers and they don’t like their coats wet. Their fuzzy, fine coats mat quickly and they don’t appreciate pulling at it.” Still, Hartley estimates about 80 percent of felines like grooming. And naturally, she’s learned a few tricks along the way. “I will try to de-stress them by talking to them, handling them gently, and being patient with them,” she said. “I also use an air muzzle, which is a clear ball I Velcro over their head so they can see what’s going on. It’s much friendlier.” Hartley also takes care to apply the correct pressure and attention when dealing with a feline’s thin skin.

“A cat does not have many surface blood vessels, so it’s easy to cut the skin and not know because they generally won’t bleed and they are not very vocal about pain,” Gustavsen explained. It is exactly this feline characteristic that made the trek from her Lake County home to Hartley worthwhile for Karolyn Tincher and her 15-year-old Persian, Milo. “She noticed a tumor on his left shoulder,” said Tincher. “He was not the most lovable cat, so we didn’t often pet him and his hair was long so we didn’t notice.” “Cats by nature are very good at hiding injury so they don’t become a target for predators,” said Gustavsen.

For Tincher, it was more about comfort than predators, when it came to Milo, who died this year. “The vet put him on steroids, which helped him deal with the pain,” Tincher said. “Thank goodness she found the tumor.” It’s stories like this that make Hartley enjoy her profession, especially when thick mats stand up like toupees, and Mohawk haircuts and queenly behavior make her laugh. “They’re really just hysterical, little people,” she said. Unlike dogs, cats were never bred for be of help to mankind, Gustavsen said. “They don’t look for ways to make us happy unless there’s something in it for them. “There’s a saying that cats let you live with them, not the other way around.”

Doing it yourself? Here are few tips:

• If you can, start grooming gently while your pet is still a kitten.
• Do it daily, to avoid mats and get your pet used to the routine.
• Use a soft bristled brush.
• Reward with treats.
• If the cat tenses up, don’t force it. Take a break