Miss Kitty and Dillon were two short-haired felines who had just sashayed into town with their owner, Randall, and their canine roommate, Smoky. Randall had landed a new job and relocated cross-country. He inked the lease on his two-bedroom apartment before he realized that the location was a full hour's commute to work. He was going to be away from home for twelve hours a day, five days a week. Smoky needed to walk for an hour midday, and that's when I entered the picture.
Smoky was everything you look for in a male--young, handsome, and well-trained. He was such a sweetie that the long black and white fur he shed (everywhere) was easily overlooked. Our routine was this: I stopped by around noon and was welcomed to the establishment by Miss Kitty. There was a little time to pet her long, lovely mane until Smoky jumped off the bed and let me know the trees were calling.
We'd walk, and when we returned, treat time! For everyone! This was when Dillon would sidle in and accept a tiny triangular treat, but only sometimes, when his schedule permitted.
A few months into this gig, Dillon didn't show for two weeks. When he finally did come around, I was unpleasantly surprised. His normally sleek, full, fur coat was patchy and dull. There were areas where I could actually see his skin. I texted Randall the moment I left. "Dillon's fur!! 😱 Is he ok??!"
Long story short, the stress of the move and the pain of some urine crystals had probably caused Dillon to begin over grooming. The crystals were treated, and he started taking mild tranquilizers.
After a few weeks, the excessive grooming was still evident--Randall and I both would see Dillon licking, licking, licking. What else could we do? We decided to try playing music in the apartment all day long. Why not?
For the next month, every day was different. Some days I entered a country music dance hall, and some days it was smooth jazz. Fridays were usually a dance/house mix. Smoky and I cha-cha'ed more than you might think, and Miss Kitty seemed to chase the elusive laser dot more aggressively. For his part, Dillon bellied up to the treat bar pretty much every day.
Thank goodness, Dillon's over grooming faded away and his fur grew back. Did the music help? Or did time just tick its healing power? We'll never really know. The price was right, though!