Living with a Hairy Roommate
Just a little over a year ago, I adopted a cat. She was originally my neighbor’s, but when she started peeing around the house (down air conditioning vents, of all places), she was banished to the backyard shed, never to be allowed back inside again. I felt bad seeing her outside all the time, so I asked my neighbor if I could adopt her. She agreed and ever since – by happy coincidence – I as a menswear enthusiast now live with a tuxedo cat named Clove.
Clove never fails to be near me when I’m at home. She follows me room-to-room when I’m doing chores, and sleeps peacefully on a chair next to me if I’m at my desk doing work. When I used to have a backyard, she’d walk with me outside – just to the gate – and wait for me until I returned from my daily jogs. When my clothes pile up, she sits on top of them as though to remind me fold them away, and she helps me keep to a pretty good early morning schedule.
The only downside to living with Clove is that she sheds. Not a lot, but enough to get hair all over my shoe bags, some of my clothes, and that chair she’s claimed as hers. And like Will at A Suitable Wardrobe, who also has a problem with hairy roommates, I occasionally find cat hair on my sport coats. I’m as confused as he is on how hair manages to get stuck on clothes that never touch the floor or the seats of furniture.
I’ve tried a number of solutions. Clothes brushes are the worst, as fine cat hair just slips between the bristles. Lint and hair rollers are OK, but not particularly effective, and they sometimes even leave a sticky residue. Picking hair off with my fingers is just too time consuming.
Some friends have made some joking recommendations. Voxsartoria said this could be solved with some catnip and a box of Nair. Another said I should dye Clove in navy Rit Dye, so her hair just matches all my clothes. Neither has been tried.
Last month, however, I found what I think might be the best solution. If you put on a rubber dishwashing glove, you can wipe the hair off pretty easily. There’s also Swipets – a more form-fitting glove with a tacky surface applied to one side – but I haven’t found it to work any better than your standard $1/ pair dish gloves. In fact, whereas Swipets can sometimes be too rough for certain fabrics (particularly cashmere blends and certain woolens), rubber dishwashing gloves are fairly gentle.
Granted, there’s something undignified about putting on dish gloves and wiping cat hair off your clothes, but it’s significantly better than actually walking out with cat hair all over you. I now consider it something you just have to do when you live with a hairy roommate.