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Hairball Week
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6 Places You NEVER Want to Find a Hairball

In my shoe? Really, cat? At least you didn't hack one up on my bedsprea -- OH NO YOU DIDN'T!

Angie Bailey  |  Apr 25th 2013


Hairballs. They’re generally a fact of life when we live with cats. We’ve all happened upon a hairball or two — sometimes we see them first with our eyes and other times we feel them first with our feet, which are oftentimes bare. And then we do the one-foot hop to the nearest sink or bathtub. You know exactly what I’m talking about, right?

In all seriousness, hairballs are uncomfortable for cats, and that’s why they work so hard to hack them right out of their bodies. Regular grooming and proper diet can certainly help kitty avoid hairballs, but we’re still bound to come upon the little clumps now and again. There are, however, some places we’d just rather remain hairball-free.

Here are six places we don’t want to find a hairball.

1. Shoe

Have you ever slid your foot inside a cozy slipper and felt a fresh hairball squish between your toes? I have, and there’s nothing comfy or cozy about that experience. How about that Monday morning when we’re rushing to make it out of the house on time and quickly shove our foot inside our shoes, only to discover we now have to change our socks and clean the inside of our shoe? Hairballs inside shoes may be the worst kind, because they’re totally unexpected. Surprise! Time for the one-legged hop.

2. Pillow

Cats love to feel close to us. My Cosmo sometimes sleeps on my pillow during the day. Once, I was preparing for bed and found a small hairball on the edge of my pillow. I was grateful it was small and I hadn’t rested my head upon it. I can imagine waking up the next day with a hairball glob stuck to the back of my hair or lodged in a ponytail. And I’d only discover it while getting my hair washed at the salon. Or running my hand through my hair during parent-teacher conferences.

3. Carpet or rugs

OK, please tell me my cats aren’t the only ones who yak up a hairball on the rug or carpet, just inches from a hard surface. Seriously — if they just tilted their head a little to one side, the ball would safely land on a much-easier-to-clean surface. I swear this happens with about 90 percent of the hairballs that occur in my house. Why?

4. Kitchen counter

Cats aren’t allowed on our kitchen counters. Despite my extraordinarily clear wishes, Saffy seeks every opportunity to do some counter-cruising. She doesn’t do much harm — mostly she licks dishes in the sink and wishes to find un-contained sticks of butter. I’ve never spied a hairball on the kitchen counter, but I imagine that would be a nasty find … but still easier to clean than carpet.

5. Clothing

Have you ever found a hairball on a piece of clothing? I once found one on my jacket that had been draped across the back of the sofa overnight. It was dried by the time I found it, which made it easier to clean — it sort of just popped off. A really wet, fresh hairball left on a favorite piece of clothing would probably mean a trip to the laundry room or the dry cleaner. Perhaps kitty is telling us we should really start picking up our clothes.

6. Important papers

“Sorry, accountant-person, my W-2 form is a bit stained. Really, it’s a just a tea stain — please continue finding me the biggest refund possible so I can buy a ridiculously massive cat tree for my kitties.”

I do allow my cats to walk across and sleep on my desk. I’ve never had any hairball messes to clean up, but I can imagine the frustration in finding hairball stains on various legal documents or even the silly little punch cards for the local coffee shop.

“You don’t recognize a latte stain when you see it? What kind of barista are you, anyway? Now make mine a double.”

Where’s the spot you’d like least to find a hairball? Tell us about it in the comments!

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