Butter gets a lion cut: photos and an awesome video

April 7, 2014 • 12:11 pm

It’s spring, and time to think of the cats! (It’s always time to think of the cats.) And that means keeping them cool.

Butter, who’s been featured here regularly, is an extremely long-haired rescue cat, a flame-point Himalayan, who owns reader Stephen Q. Muth.  Last week, in view of the impending hot weather, Butter got a “lion cut,” in which most of the body is shaved save the head and tip of the tail, allowing the cats to remain cool while not losing their dignity.  Here are photos of the event—and a MOVIE!

Butter (before):


Butter about to get clipped by Liz, his groomer:


Butter (after). Note the puffball on the tail for added panache:





Butter: The movie! Notice that there are four songs. Two are enigmatic: do you get the classical reference? Notice, too, that Butter first emerges with a squirrel tail, which is then quickly shaved to a lion tail.

If this video doesn’t load in your country, or is replaced by an ad, try this link, which, however, lacks the musical accompaniment.

This cat always looks peeved!



55 thoughts on “Butter gets a lion cut: photos and an awesome video

  1. Hmmm…thinking a bit further…as a practical matter, Baihu faces a similar problem of overheating here. He’s a shorthair, and I don’t think shaving would be a very good idea. I’ve been wetting down his fur, which seems to help a lot, and might even be sufficient. I’m also thinking of improvising some sort of icepack to attach to the top of the Camelpak I wear on our hikes…when he’s not walking, he’s got his weight evenly distributed between the backpack and my shoulders, so something cool at the top of the pack would probably work as well.


      1. I’ve thought about that…but I don’t think it’ll do Baihu much good. The geometry of the pack has it laying against my spine; he’s basically across my shoulders.

        Still, probably good for me if not him. I might also fill it with ice and then water so I’ll have something to drink while it’s melting.


      1. Not bad. We get lots of double-takes in the park, almost always followed by, “Well, that’s not something you see every day!” (I’ve taken to replying, “Well, actually, I do….”) And he tolerates the occasional ear rub or chin scratch from strangers quite well. His first instinct when he’s on the ground when somebody approaches is to seek cover, but he immediately changes direction to my shoulders as soon as I stoop to scoop him up.


        1. You should reply, “haven’t you ever seen someone walk their rabbit? What do you mean that’s a funny looking rabbit?! You’re a funny looking human!” 😀

  2. Isn’t it a bit dangerous, putting those pics on the net? I’m expecting a DDOS attack on WordPress any minute…


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  3. I’m still dreading the first cut. Not sure if I should be realistic and go for the professional, though.

  4. Hmm, so he has an “always angry” face…? I know a couple of cats like that. It’s a bit disconcerting at first!



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      1. From your mouth to Ceiling Cat’s ears.

        There is nothing like a good butt scratch. Unfortunately for us humans, fur is not the primary impediment to achieving satisfaction.

        Hmm. I need to go find somewhere private.

  5. Love those pale blue eyes. Butter sure looks laid back and happy in that last photo. I’ve never met a “peeved” flamepoint – every one of them has been calm and friendly.

  6. I’m not a big fan of distorted housecat breeding however butter looks like a cool cat.

    That said, no like the slip knot leash. When cats get spooked they run, so the strangle knot makes me nervous.

    1. I hear you… we started with a full harness, but for some reason, he went ape with that thing. (does acrobatics, and somehow Houdinis out it). Same with collars… it had to be so tight it would mess with his breathing, and he’d freak and wriggle out of it if it was put on normally. He’s cool with the loose rope, though… dipped if I know why. If it’s more of an extended walk, we’ll go with a kind of cross-the-heart looping configuration – but mostly he just does perimeter checks of the house & the hazards here are very few.

      1. Baihu does quite well in one of those figure-8 harnesses. I imagine somebody who knows knots could figure out a double-looped slipknot that would work similarly and might fool Butter.

        Also, there’re a lot of different variations on the cat harness thing, including full-body jacket-style things that don’t have any strap-like contact points. He might go for one of those.

        …and, come to think of it, now that he’s habituated to the rope, he might not freak out quite so much with the harness; could be worth giving it a try again — even just putting it on without the leash and letting him spend an hour or so wearing it.


  7. Last fall, I had to get my Maine Coon mix cat, Isa, shaved because she got some really bad matting that I couldn’t comb out (and, yes, it was ultimately my fault she got them – I was a bad kitty daddy). When I picked her up, she was already in the carrier, and she looked more like a Sphynx than a Maine Coon. When we got home and let her out, I found that it wasn’t a complete shave – they left the fur on her head, tail and lower legs alone, but I was amazed at how skinny she actually is – the hair adds so much.

    Maybe it is anthropomorphizing, but she acted as if she was upset and embarrassed at the loss of apparent bulk, and the other cat seemed to get a little more aggressive towards her. Isa has recovered, and her hair is back, and gets brushed and combed more often so she doesn’t have to go through that again.

    1. I’m not exactly sure, but I think if the shave includes the lower legs, head (sometimes the full tail)… it can be traumatic – or at least problematic. Legs are tricky… they have whiskers there — thin skin, complex surface. They really like licking there, which is how they normalize afterwards.

      We tried dealing with the equipment, learning the techniques… but there really seemed to be a lot of specialized knowledge and tricks of the trade. Lots of things to go wrong… hot blades, perforating tissue paper skin. It just made more sense for us to have an excellent professional do it (which Liz is, in spades).

    2. Maybe it is anthropomorphizing, but she acted as if she was upset and embarrassed at the loss of apparent bulk, and the other cat seemed to get a little more aggressive towards her.

      I don’t think it’s anthropomorphizing at all. I’m pretty sure cats pay a lot of attention to body size and shape. Try putting a Cone of Shame on Isa and see how that changes the feline dynamics — including her own reaction to herself in the mirror.


    3. I have a rescue named Lucy who will not tolerate pets or grooming past her shoulders. (She’s also declawed, unhappily, and expresses that intolerance with her teeth.) I do my best, but when winter comes, her back half gets dry and matt-y, and twice now I’ve had to take her to the vet to be shaved, which requires anesthesia. I’m trying to get her used to grooming, just a gentle brush, but she hates it.

      1. I got lucky with Isa. She craves contact and loves to be petted anywhere. At night, she sleeps so close she’s in full body contact with me – preferably with my arms around her. She’s also declawed (not my doing – she was a shelter cat), but that doesn’t seem to have had a bad effect on her; she doesn’t show some of the behavior problems that go along with declawing. In a very uncat-like way, she also likes to follow me around the house and always comes when she’s called.

        Good luck with Lucy. Maybe she’ll mellow with time.

  8. I was hoping the video would show Liz actually shaving Butter. One of my two wackos is long-haired and I’ve always thought it might serve him better if he were shaved. More for the hairball issues than temperature. But I’m afraid he’d be uncooperative and possibly traumatized by it.

    1. Yeah, I think a good groomer will just stop if things get too weird. Sometimes they just back off after doing what they can… par for the course. After repeated visits, they frequently figure out the score, then the visits get more productive. We kind-of lucked out in that Butter (with very few exceptions) quickly migrated into compliance… seems to know the buzzer is inevitable, perhaps knows the relief it brings by now (could be a stretch there, though).

  9. It’s awfully nice of you to document Butter’s cat torture lawsuit for him. Maybe the judge will be lenient…

  10. “Notice that there are four songs. Two are enigmatic: do you get the classical reference?”


    None of the others seem enigmatic to me.

  11. What a gorgeous and huggable kitteh! I love that lion cut, and how Butter promptly rolled around in the dirt afterwards. Hee hee. (At least it wasn’t a dead fish or something, that d*gs seem to have a penchant for.)

    1. The zombie apocalypse would be a smelly time for dog owners! I figure my dog would roll in zombies constantly. At least she doesn’t eat anything gross.

      1. My chocolate lab once found a very dead fish in a conservation area. My friend and I tried coaxing with treats and chasing after her, and it took about 15 mins to get it away from her. She had accidentally dropped it, and my quick-thinking friend immediately stepped on it. Talk about grosser than gross.

        Another time, she found a dead chipmunk and when I made a move to take it away from her, she scarfed it down whole. She was on leash and as we were walking home, she threw it up on the pathway. Slimy zombie critter. Disgusting.

        1. Ewwww I’ve had labs do those kinds of gross things in the past. I’ve gotten lucky with my last two

          1. We had a rottie too, and it’s funny how labs are smellier than rotties. 🙂

            (Oh, and now I’m remembering that it was a dead *squirrel* the lab swallowed whole!)

            1. I find black & brown labs don’t smell but yellow ones have a smell when they get wet. So, whatever makes them yellow also does that.

  12. That is an incredibly peeved-looking cat. Verily, if looks could kill …
    Still, better than listening to a presentation on nuclear waste disposal.

      1. the thought of you in particular learning about nuclear waste disposal scares the shit out of me….

        Me? Moi? Lil’ol me?
        I was trying to get assigned to some test wells drilled on the Sellafield (Seascale / Calder Hall/ Windscale – the name changes every time they have a fire, leak, or other bad PR event) site to assess it for the UK’s long-term nuclear waste facility (OK, “dump”). Part of the reason was because it was an interesting change from drilling for oil. But I also really, really wanted to get my hands on a genuine ID card for a nuclear site.
        I’m projecting an aura of utter innocence here. Can’t you tell.

          1. Aidan glowing in the dark isn’t what worries me….

            Still I suppose that somebody who’s currently an expert at getting nasty shit out of the ground may well be the least-unqualified person for getting different nasty shit back into the ground. I just hope we all manage to live to see the day when we mostly leave the poor ground alone, save perhaps for inconsequential little pinpricks to find new fossils or mineral formations or the like — and then, of course, not in massive quantities, but just enough to analyze in labs and display in natural history museums.

            Yeah, yeah. I know — I’m one of those silly Sun worshippers, and we may never figure out how to power our civilization from the powerful glories streaming from the heavens above. Still, you can’t fault a bloke for dreaming!


            1. Imagine there’s no fracking
              It’s easy if you try
              No toxic waste to dispose of
              And blow us all sky high…

              1. Were I King…I’d order what’s left of our petrochemical inheritance be spent bootstrapping us to a Solar economy. Cover all the roofs with solar panels as fast as possible; at the same time, build out the smart grid. Start building (but not yet turning on) electric-powered atmospheric CO2 sequestration plants and Fischer-Tropsch-based refineries to turn CO2 into hydrocarbon fuels. (Not cheap, but I’m spending Sam Walton’s and the Koch Brothers’s money, not mine.) When there’s enough solar production to provide more power than normal electricity usage — the dreaded overcapacity the naysayers moan about — start using the excess to power up the CO2 sequestration plants. By the time all the rooftops have been covered with panels, the excess electricity generation will be roughly enough to meet today’s petrochemical usage. Overnight power will just be a matter of burning some of the fuels manufactured during the day.

                That’s me imagining there’s no fracking….


              2. Some may say you’re a dreamer,
                Hope you’re not the only one…

                Current fracking controversy here–the DNR’s leased the mineral rights to the biggest wildlife refuge/game area in the state.

                Meanwhile Enbridge is still dredging out their poisons from the largest inland oil spill in US history:


                Right where I (used to) like to bird. When we celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970, I never expected that 4 decades later humans would still be crapping the nest.

              3. We’re not just shitting the nest…we’re smashing up the heirloom furniture to burn in a bonfire in the middle of the living room so we can roast a few marshmallows.


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