Maine coon kitteh "Smokey" stretches on the floo’.

His tail is all fluffy at one end because the groomer gave up after a four-hour matted fur battle. Apparently, Smokey did not care for the grooming, and is Furball Central.


Katie R. It might be time for a shearing.



  1. what a cute ragamuffin!

  2. I like his lamby belly just like it is.

  3. looks like a fleece jacket that is a leetle too old & pilly or somethin.
    looove the tailio!! squee!
    maybe he needs a good cow lickin.

  4. looks like a fleece jacket that is a leetle too old & pilly or somethin.
    looove the tailio!! squee!
    maybe he needs a good cow lickin.

  5. tee hee, what is it with maine coons and clumpy fluffings?

    *reminded of my dear departed Grandpa (cat) and his “no bath NO!” face*

  6. My ex’s folks had a cat a little like this one, that wouldn’t allow itself to be brushed, and it would scream whenever we touched it as if we were killing it.

    I hope this one doesn’t scream. It really looks quite content.

  7. I have a mainecoon and she doesn’t allow us to brush her, so she gets lots of mats. She does a pretty good job of grooming herself though, so she doesn’t look like a sheep . . .

  8. I just want to rub my face on his belly… But I fear what he will do to me!

  9. to me, it looks like over dramatic-ness. see, he’s saying he’s too weak from lack of food, and is dragging himself across the floor. note the moving paw.

  10. Why is it that the fluffiest animals that really need grooming regularly are always the ones that hate it the most?

    Sit still or stop growing so much fur dammit!

    *Has lionhead bunny grooming issues*

  11. Fuzzy wuzzy!! Methinks Smokey would actually appreciate a shave down when the weather gets warmer.

  12. Looks like he’s been sheared already; otherwise, he’d be all vague around the edges, and way pooffier. I got my Maine coon sheared once and he looked like that guy does, with the “fleece” effect.

    Shearing was a bad idea: With the hair short, it got all matted. Dreads everywhere. It was a real mess, far worse than his hair ever got at its full length. He was such a slob, he didn’t care too much, but he hated having them combed out.

    I’d recommend that anybody with a Maine coon think twice about shearing. You really feel for them in the hot weather, though.

  13. P.S. Waking around with his hair sheared, he looked like a little pig. It was really cute, but kinda creepy.

  14. Wow, he looks soft.

  15. I don’t want to shear him.
    I don’t want to comb him.
    But I really, really want to pat his belly.
    Any chance he’d allow it?

  16. Gold Medal Winner says:


  17. Winston & Charlotte's Mommy says:

    My 2 Maine Coons couldn’t be further apart on their views about grooming. Charlotte’s fur is silky and never mats. She enjoys brushing and nail clipping like she’s a princess at a salon. Winston is flooooofy like Smokey, and at first would barely be held (by two adults!) long enough to get one brush stroke. He’s a lot better since I started using a comb that has teeth that spin. It seems to unsnarl the mats much faster, and I can actually get through one side of him by myself before he runs off.

  18. NebraskaErin says:

    It’s a Muppet-kitty! Mitty? Mitten?


    *curled up tail*

    I die!

  20. Definitely kitteh’s indulging in a victory sprawl here.
    Take that, oh you vile, evil, mat-untangling groomer beasts!

  21. I second the motion to rub that belly on my face—How can I get my most adorable kitty to curl her tail into a question mark?!

    And, really, they do look like little dreads!

  22. Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Cutebegon, my home town. Most of the ice fishing shacks have been brought back off the lake, except for a couple of die-hards like Wilbur Jorgenson. Spring is coming in a couple of weeks, and pretty soon, the ice will start to thin out and crack in places, but Wilbur prefers to prolong fishing season for as long as he can, because every year, Lydia Jorgenson begins her Spring cleaning earlier than most women.

    Lydia tends to adopt a “take no prisoners” approach to the task, and so Wilbur weighs the consequences of going home at the same time as the other fishermen against the risk of the lake swallowing up his shack and him with it, and decides he could probably survive the latter.

    The rest of the men are down at the Daryl’s Dew Drop Inn, of course, swapping fish stories, although the last really big fish that anyone remembers catching is Daryl’s four-foot, one-inch walleye, which Daryl had mounted right there above his bar so he could remind everyone about it whenever the tall tales grew a bit tedious.

    The Dew Drop is another spot that Wilbur avoids as much as he can. Not that he wouldn’t mind a nice beer with the other men once and a while, but the Dew Drop in general, and Daryl in particular, tend to remind him of certain things that he’d rather forget.

    Only he can’t forget, you see. When a man is alone with his thoughts, away from his wife, away from his friends, nothing but the last of his minnows for company, that’s when the ghosts of all the mistakes of a man’s life walk right into the shack, sit right down next to him, crack open a beer and say “hey, how’s it goin’ eh?” For a man who prefers to solve the problems of his life through simple avoidance, the inevitability of it is a fearful thing. And so it’s only a matter of time before Wilbur’s thoughts turn to Barney.

    It was six years ago, middle of February, just like now, and as usual Wilbur was milking as much solitude from the season as possible. And it had been a particularly cold winter, and the ice was still firm, and Wilbur was thinking that he might get to stay out here a whole other month, which would give Lydia and the kids time to steam-clean the wallpaper without him.

    There were a few other shacks still out, and Wilbur had half a mind to go down the way for a visit. He didn’t care much who it was — he’d even talk to Daryl if he had to — he was just in the mood for some company.

    And so he put on his gloves and zipped up his parka and went outside. And that’s when he saw the cat. It was a grey-and-white tabby cat, shivering in the cold.

    Wilbur just stared at it at first. Nobody had ever heard of a cat coming this far out on to the ice before. Maybe it was lost, he thought. Anyway, it seemed like the best thing was to take it into the shack and let it warm up by the kerosene stove.

    And so Wilbur opened the door and the cat walked in. Wilbur found a towel and started drying him off, and that’s when he noticed the cat had a tag on his collar that read “Barney.” Must be his name, thought Wilbur.

    Barney seemed all right by himself, so Wilbur got back to his fishing, although he needn’t have bothered. He hadn’t caught anything at all this season, and he’d brought along a pail of the best minnows from big bait store in St. Cloud, too.

    Well, if the fish weren’t interested in Wilbur’s last few minnows, Barney seemed to be. Wilbur turned just in time to see Barney reaching into the bucket. “Oh no, you don’t,” said Wilbur, and snatched it away.

    Barney just stared at the bucket in Wilbur’s hand, and now Wilbur could see how skinny he was. “Don’t nobody feed you?” thought Wilbur. And now Barney shifted his gaze from the bucket, straight into Wilbur’s eyes, and Wilbur could feel it piercing into him, and it was almost as if the cat had a voice, although it was only in Wilbur’s head, and the voice was saying, “how … could … you?”

    Well, only a couple of minutes of that was all Wilbur could take. He set down the bucket, rolled up his sleeve and reached inside, and fed Barney the last of the minnows.

    And that’s when the bell on Wilbur’s fishing line started ringing. It was a sound he hadn’t heard all winter, and he almost didn’t recognize it, but whatever it was, it was tugging that line awfully hard. He pulled and pulled and after a big struggle, Wilbur yanked out the biggest walleye he had ever seen.

    It was four-foot-two if it was an inch. Bigger than Daryl’s — bigger than anybody’s. And it still had a lot of fight left in it, because it kept jerking and twitching as Wilbur held it up to the lantern to get a better look.

    Now Wilbur was not the most Christian of men, but the meaning of this event wasn’t lost on him. He had given his last minnows — his last hope for the season — and hooked the biggest fish he’d ever caught. God was teaching him a lesson about selflessness and charity, and highlighting it with a big yellow marker so he’d get the point.

    Barney was eyeing the fish as well, although not in the same spirit of humility in God’s presence, because that’s a lot to expect from a cat, particularly when he’s hungry. And so by the time Wilbur noticed that his fish seemed a bit heavier, it was too late. Wilbur grabbed his fishing line and started fighting for that fish all over again, but Barney had his fangs sunk deep into that fish’s tail, and it was a tug-of-war to the death, right there in Wilbur’s shack, and it could have gone on forever if Wilbur’s line hadn’t snapped.

    Wilbur fell backwards and hit his head against the ice chest, and Barney and the fish slammed into the wall of the shack. For a moment, everyone was too stunned to move. But the fish came to its senses first, and began thrashing and flopping on the ice, and Wilbur lifted his head just in time to see that four-foot, two-inch walleye, with one last flip of its tail, fling itself into the fishing hole and back into the water.

    And then Barney dove right in after it.

    That had not been Barney’s intention, of course, but he had been caught up in the moment just as Wilbur was. As the fish flopped back to the hole, Barney tried to chase it, but he had trouble getting traction on the ice, so he kept scrambling in one place, just like people do in cartoons, until he had finally built up enough momentum for a really big leap. Unfortunately, the fish disappeared as Barney was in midair and it was too late for him to stop.

    Wilbur just stared down into the hole. Just seconds ago, he thought he’d been touched by the hand of God — now he didn’t know what to think. “Well, what next?” he wondered aloud.

    Just then, there was a knock on the door. Wilbur opened it, and there was Daryl, the owner of the Dew Drop Inn.

    “Hey,” said Wilbur. “Hey, yourself,” said Daryl.

    For a moment, neither man spoke. Wilbur was struggling inside himself to regain the ability to engage in conversation, and Daryl was looking rather anxious as well.

    “Catch anything this year?” Wilbur volunteered at last.

    “Doin’ all right,” said Daryl. “How ’bout you — you catching anything?”

    Wilbur could have died right at that moment, and that would have been fine with him. He’d bested Daryl, but all he had to show for it was a fish story even HE didn’t believe, even though he’d seen it with his own eyes. Finally, he just shook his head.

    “Ah well, maybe next year,” said Daryl. “Anyways, I came over to ask you something. Have you seen my cat?”

    “Your what?” asked Wilbur.

    “Barney. I brought him with me this year so I could have some company, but he got out on me. You haven’t seen him, have you?”

    Wilbur blinked. Maybe now God was trying to teach him the virtues of honesty and how thou shalt not bear false witness to one’s neighbor, but Wilbur decided he’d learned enough for one day.

    “No — no, I haven’t,” he said.

    Barney bobbed to the surface a week or so later, after the ice started to crack. He’d been flash-frozen in mid-leap, just as Wilbur remembered him as he disappeared down the hole. Daryl was heartbroken, and had Barney stuffed and hung him on the white tile wall over the bar, right behind his four-foot, one-inch walleye, so he could always remember him.

    So Wilbur doesn’t go down to Daryl’s Dew Drop Inn much anymore. The sight of Barney chasing Daryl’s record-setting walleye for all perpetuity is more than he can handle most days. He just stays in his ice shack for as long as the season lets him, and if maybe one day he should stay until the ice cracks and he and his little shack disappear forever — well, that’d be all right, too.

    That’s the news from Lake Cutebegon, where all the puppies are prosh, all the kittens are snorglable, and all of the hamsters are above average.

  23. […]

  24. Y’know, I used to live just a couple blocks away from the Fitzgerald Theater, Other Mike. I could see about a guest appearance.

  25. Theo: Thanks for the offer. I’d love to be Garrison Keillor, but the job’s taken already. 😉

  26. Theo – I think NTMTOM *is* Garrison Keillor.
    I listened to Lake Wobegon tonight and there was a story about a fish that ate a dog…spooky. (I watched the Prairie Home Companion movie last week.)

  27. NTMTOM – You’re great!

  28. Four hours? What a patient groomer! Give him/her a raise and a medal!

  29. That kat needs a Flowbee.

  30. I used to have a Maine coon kitty…she loved being brushed and would patiently lie on her back on my lap while I gently combed out mats on her tummy – it was curly and occasionally matted. Her adopted sister, who is alive and kicking and writing her own blog at the age of 18, likes being brushed, but won’t let me comb out her mats. She got a semi shave and it worked well on her. I still have to hold her down to comb out the occasional mat, though…gently…

  31. the cat looks all stiff, in other words, dead. but still its funny.

  32. I believe that’s a kitten rampant.

  33. NTMTOM – That was amazing. I’m saving it on my comp under your real name, if you don’t mind.

  34. little gator says:

    My Maine Coon mix Buster loved to be combed and Mr Gator loved combing him. This was great until he got old, arthritic in the hips, and lost all his teeth. Then he couldn’t groom himself well and wouldn’t let anyone comb his tender hip area.

    For the last year or two of his 17 year life we had a groomer keep him shaved like a lion. That way he still liked being combed everywhere else, and stayed unmatted where he woudn’t let anyone comb him.

    She shaved from his butt up to his back ribs, leaving a “mane” and his tail and legs unshaved.

    I wish I had a picture of my little lion boy.

  35. Looks like he’s trying to play Twister by himself! Either that or he couldn’t resist connecting the dots with his body.

  36. NTMTOM-

    And *how* big was that fish again?

  37. Smokey *was* actually MY cat and deeply enjoyed his 4 months with short fur… very sadly, he passed away 1 month ago at the ripe old age of 15 from tongue cancer… sorry to spoil the mood but thank you for all the sweet wishes! He was an ornery old tomcat…

  38. Brak_Silverbone says:

    Monichka, very sorry to hear that Smokey is no longer with us. He plainly had a lot of personality!~ Looks like he’s doing yoga in this photo!

  39. Amazing indeed, NTMTOM, thanking you ever so sincerely I remain overwhelmed by the QTE.

  40. At first glance, before I realized the camera angle, it looked like someone had mounted a cat on pegboard.

  41. grooming tip: if the cat hates a brush, try a comb (and vice versa) … my Ragdoll loves the comb but tries to eat the brush. Sneak it into a pet session. Of course if your cat doesn’t like to be touched, you’re screwed, whatevs!

  42. I have an old Maine Coon as well — he is “retired,” which means no self-grooming, and terrible fur clumps in a semitropical climate. We also struggled with a brush until one day I bought one of those combs someone mentioned earlier that have the teeth that rotate — much less pulling on the delicate pink underbelly. In the past we have resorted to shearing the belly.