Alphalpha Hairs

This has been a difficult week at our home. It all started with an alphalpha hair which later morphed into an alphalpha cluster. What’s an alphalpha hair you might be asking? Well I’ll tell you, but any long hair cats out there probably know exactly what I’m talking about already.

I have two very distinctive types of coat that run along my back and sides. There are guard hairs which are long, sleek, and typically lay very smooth, and my undercoat. My undercoat is very soft, like mink (so I’m told, I’ve never felt a mink), but unfortunately it tends to knot easily.

An alphalpha hair is created when someone pets against the grain (which is so irritating after I’ve spent hours to get everything just right) in combination with my efforts to lick it back into place. The two factors can cause a knot. The matted hair then shoots out from beneath the topcoat, calling attention to itself like a freakish beacon, an arrow of grooming humiliation.

I’m still unclear on why Mommy calls it an alphalpha hair but it has something to do with “Our Gang” (I guess "My Gang" would be Mommy and Daddy, so I’m still confused).

Mommy hates an alphalpha hair, and a cluster of them drives her completely nuts. It would almost be worth creating them just to bug her, but truth be told I don’t like them either (they ruin my sleek lines). Sure, I could leave when the petting starts to go against the grain, but since it’s Daddy doing the petting, I allow it. I’m what Mommy calls a “Daddy’s Girl”.

Here is where the classic struggle begins – both Mommy and I want the alphalpha gone but we both hate having it removed. So, while it’s riding high, snuggle time becomes a battle of wills. There’s hair pulling (mine), biting (me again), bloodshed (Mommy’s), crying (both of us, but mostly Mommy), and hurt feelings (again, both of us).

In desperation for a happy home once again, Mommy tries to sneak up on the hair with a pair of scissors. By this time I’m ready for a fight anytime Mommy moves her hands towards the area (and really just the sight of a pair of scissors in Mommy’s hands, even on a good day, is enough to make me angry), so it’s a dangerous time for everyone.

“If you just let me cut it out we can be done with all this unpleasantness!” Mommy will beg. In desperation myself, I will pretend I don’t notice the giant pair of scissors, and I sit still long enough for her to perform the knotectomy. It’s been a rough week, but now joy and snuggling can, once again, be had by all.


  1. Ah Fin, though I can't relate to the "Alphalpha Hairs", as I'm a short haired kitty, I sure can produce a lot of hair! Hair here, hair there, hair every where. My mom has tried so many ways to keep it under control, if she would just let me rub up against her work clothes I could take care of the problem myself. But she doesn't believe in that method, so I endure combs, brushes, and sticky paper rolls. I've heard dad suggest she shave me . . . can you imagine! What trials we felines must endure.

  2. Fin Says - Oh boy another Kitty! George I hear your plight, here is what I do - I lay down where my parents lay out their work clothes, roll around to loosen the hair, and then when they lay down the clothes it transfers with no one the wiser. You know what we cats say "No outfit is complete without fur!"