SAN JOSE, CA (TheSkunk.org) — A short-haired calico cat was forced by its owners Thursday to vacuum up its own fur, which had become imbedded in carpets and furniture around the entire house.
When Max Tilden acquired Starlet from the local shelter last year, he picked her out specifically because of her short hair.
“We were told her coat of thin fur wouldn’t shed that much,” said Tilden, a financial services representative. “They told us cats groom themselves and stay a lot cleaner than dogs. We thought we were getting a maintenance-free pet.”
Within months after bringing her home, however, Tilden said he and his wife realized they were “sold a bill of goods,” as the couple labored hours each week removing orange and white clumps of cat hair from carpets, linoleum, sofas, rugs, bed sheets, comforters, laundry bins, and sink drains.”
“When I started waking up in the middle-of-the-night, coughing up hair balls,” said Tilden, “I knew we had to take action.”
Tilden informed Starlet she would now be responsible for cleaning up her own fur.
The cat responded defiantly. “Who the fuck does he thinks he is,” she thought. “I’ll pick up my fur when he picks up his boogers.” Then she jumped on a window sill and furiously scratched at the glass, trying to find the magical opening she had been seeking since her arrival. When that didn’t work, she ran to her litter box and pushed out a large poop and two little ones, making sure when she buried the goods that a few granules of the finely ground sand landed squarely on the bathroom floor.
That did it. Tilden picked up the insubordinate feline and brought her to the Dyson DC25 vacuum cleaner, made specifically for households with animals. After showing her how to use the controls, he told her not to expect any kitty treats until the “the floors were as clean as the respiratory ward at the children’s hospital.”
Starlet was at first reluctant to vacuum, believing it to be her owners’ responsibility, not hers, to provide a “clean and safe environment” for their pets. But after the wonderment of watching fur balls get sucked up the hose and into the clear cannister, she started enjoying the job. She was particularly fascinated at the spot-on accuracy of those Dyson TV commercials she had seen so many times while clawing the side of the recliner.
“It’s really true,” she thought. “This thing never loses suction.”
After a few hours, the house was virtually fur-free.
Tilden was impressed with his cat’s work, and suggested they go into business together, offering her services to other pet owners in the neighborhood.
But Starlet drew the line at working for other animals. She was content to keep her own home clean, defecate in her familiar green box, make her unusual cat meows when she was hungry, and use her Dyson DC25 bagless vacuum cleaner once-a-week to pick up all her loose hair.
So pleased were they with Starlet’s work, the Tildens purchased her a new Bissell ProHeat 2X Select Deep Cleaning System with built-in hot water cleaning.
Although she thought highly of the Bissell name, Starlet returned the cleaning machine to the store and exchanged it for a squeaky mouse.