Dear Diary,
Today was the roughest day so far. I’m glad to have a few days off to relax and recoup. Whew – I’m pooped!
In good news, my breed presentation went really well! It was really interesting to study a breed I knew very little about. Started out a little bit nervous, it’s scary to have to stand up in front of everyone and talk for 15 minutes! Once I got going it was much easier. Turns out, when you really know what you’re talking about, it’s not so hard to speak in front of a bunch of people!
I might not want to test that with a larger audience.
The other thing I thought would be hard, was. That was our first written test, Temperament and Handling. I think I did pretty well on it though. There were only a couple questions I wasn’t sure about. I wonder if answering “creatively” would get me partial credit..? And there was that one question I just had no idea! I won’t find out until Monday though. It’s going to be so hard to wait!!!
Those things were pretty tough, but the roughest part of the day was grooming. The cats we had today put our skills to the test. They were big. They were matted. And they were MAD. Angry matted cat is angry! And matted.
But not for long. We clipped, we combed, we bathed and we dried. And you know what? We groomed every single cat! It wasn’t easy. But it’s why we are here. Most anyone can groom a sweet widdle putty tat. But the cats we had in today? No one would groom them. Every other groomer turned them away. Their owners didn’t know what to do. No one would groom their cat. They couldn’t groom their cat. Would they be forced to watch them get more and more matted until they couldn’t move anymore?
Lucky for them there’s a bunch of students ready to test their new skills and knowledge. It was scary at times, one of the cats clawed a student pretty badly. It was a reminder of Rule Number One, Never trust a cat! And it’s hard to hold on when they’re screaming and failing and going for your face. The Air Muzzle and the recently learned handling techniques are what got us through.
Of course, it’s one thing to be able to groom those aggressive cats, but we also have to be able to explain to their owners where to go from here. Just like with the breed presentations, the more I learn about the ins and outs of NCGIA style cat grooming the more comfortable I am explaining it to people. In order for those cats to be comfortable, i.e. not matted, I have to convince his owner that regular grooming is a necessity. I have to be able to explain that even though Fluffykins hates being groomed, it’s better to do 6 bath and comb outs a year rather than one shave down a year. The risks involved with putting a cat under that much stress. Heck, it could kill him. And to be able to convince an owner that grooming is important and necessary to keep their cat happy and healthy, I have to be confident. I have to know what I’m talking about. I have to slap on the band aids and scruff the cat a little bit tighter. I have to be a Master Groomer!

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