Anyone who has lived with cats — or dogs — understands that the hair they shed is a part of life. In fact, for those of us with pets, life would not be complete without our Fur Distribution Units (FDUs).
What I’ve discovered over the years is that feline FDUs come in varying degrees of efficiency. The average shorthaired cat, such as our tuxedo, Lily, would qualify as a base model FDU 1000. I’m sure a fastidious person who does not live with animals would notice that her fur has been distributed rather evenly all over the house, with some higher concentrations in her favorite sleeping areas. But for true cat people, this level of fur distribution is barely even noticeable.
Most longhaired cats would earn the designation FDU 3000. It’s a strong and efficient model, good for making sure there’s a thicker layer of cat hair on all surfaces of the home. My black longhair, Pasheva, is an FDU 3000. She spreads a layer of hair all over the house, with concentrations in her sleeping areas plus the occasional black fur puff ball found on the floor or the couch.
I’ve lived with many longhaired cats but over the years but Macy, my longhaired dilute tortie and white, tops them all. In addition to spreading the expected layer of hair all over the house, she drops white puff balls of fur everywhere — on the floor, on the couch, on the bed, on my clothes. This high level of fur distribution output cannot be explained away by the fact that she’s a longhair. No other longhaired cat I’ve ever known has had the ability to distribute as much fur as Macy, earning her the special designation FDU 5000.
Some people — my husband, for example — go to great lengths to remove the distributed fur through the use of vacuum cleaners, lint brushes and other tools. Such efforts are generally unsuccessful. Even when successful, the FDU continues to operate, immediately distributing fur to replace that which has been removed.
Some of the best features of the FDU have nothing to do with fur distribution. One such special feature is purring, a lovely sound that comes with its own good vibrations. Other features include the ability to interrupt our activities to demand attention, listen to us talk about our problems without judgment and snuggle up with us while we’re watching TV. And, thanks to another FDU feature, we never have to sleep alone.
Fur distribution has its drawbacks, I suppose, but it’s a small price to pay for companionship and unconditional love.