This could be about my cat.
He’s beautiful and sweet, 25 lbs, laid back, totally the opposite of his brother.
He has long hair and a slightly flattened face–seems like he’s probably half Persian, but you know how shelter cats are. He likes pets, sleeping on the bed, and pets.
For the longest time he was just fine, grooming wise. I’d brush him when I wanted to and not when I didn’t. But this year, something changed. He’s getting older, he gained some extra weight, I moved the litterbox to the porch which is unheated, who knows. But I went away for a few days and one little clump of mats had become mats EVERYWHERE except his back. Everywhere. Belly was a giant tangle. Back end totally locked up. Now I used to have long hair. I know what big snarls feel like. I couldn’t even imagine how uncomfortable he must have been. And he wouldn’t let me touch them because they probably hurt like crazy.
Finally, two days ago, I put my foot down. He kept coming to curl up with me, and I started work on his belly. After about half his belly was clear, he started to get that I was helping and stopped nipping at me. I got his belly, mostly, and half his hindquarters before he was way too sore to continue.
I figured I’d wait a couple of days and finish.
But today, he’s working on it himself. He’s pulling and fussing with the mats that are left.
He needed a window. He needed an opening. He needed a way to get started. I’m not abandoning him to his efforts, but I think things will move much better with both of us working on it.
He needed to know he could feel better so he could feel like the effort was worth it. He already hurts less, just halfway there, and he’s more nimble.
Maybe I’m projecting.
But maybe not.