2013-09-11 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

In columns past, I tossed out the “hair of the dog.” Not in the hangover sense, but as a novel marketing strategy for Clairol® and L’Oreal®. Madison Avenue knows that pets in commercials evoke the “warm, fuzzy” feeling and sell more merchandise, so why not name the shades of hair dyes after appropriate dog breeds such as “Goldilocks Retriever” or “Westie White”? This week we’re going to expand our product line to cat colors too. The feline flair evokes an elusive allure.

I think about the hair dye industry’s profit potential via pups each time a passerby remarks about my Afghan Hounds. Women would pay a fortune to achieve their look at the salon. The breed’s long, luxurious locks come in every color of the pooch palette from pure white to a gray called “blue” to jet black; and in various patterns such as brindles including “oyster brindle,” color combos like “black & tan” and the dramatic domino gradations with a darker overlay that creates a widow’s peak over a pale face and lighter tresses. My Halle’s striking black & tan streaks a la Yvonne De- Carlo capture that Lilly Munster style. Meanwhile it would take tons of foil and gallons of peroxide at the beauty parlor to mimic Edgar Afghan Poe’s natural domino design and hairy highlights.

Chartreux cats are a rare bluegrey breed from France. Chartreux cats are a rare bluegrey breed from France. The name of the shade and the associations the breed conjure up help to make the sale. Most Baby Boomers like me are trying to cover our “Schnauzers” (grays) whereas the young (and the restless) are striving for a more daring persona. Wanna be a redhead? Rinse in “Irish Setter Scarlet” and bring out the feisty Miss O’Hara in you; or “Vizsla Paprika” if you desire a spicy Hungarian accent, reminiscent of the once glamorous Gabor sisters.

Back to earth tones; try “Collie Collage” since no one’s more beloved than Lassie. For the sporty look, there’s “Springer Spaniel Splash” or “Beagle Blend.” If you want to go darker, then select “Solid Scotty” or “Rottweiler Rinse.” What if you prefer frosted locks? Try pert and petite “Yorkshire Yearning” to drift back to the Wuthering Heights moors of Catherine and Heathcliff.

Blonde Cocker Spaniels are called “buff.” How about “Lady & the Tramp Buff ”? The shade would have a sultry hint of fantasy while stirring memories of the most romantic scene in all of cinema- the Disney dogs sharing spaghetti & meatballs al fresco while the cooks serenade. Other bottle blondes, especially those from Kansas, might prefer lovable, but spunky “Tawny Toto,” also a subliminal Hollywood connection.

Now let’s explore the exotic cat hair dye collection: This time the hint of henna comes from “Auburn Abyssinian” suggesting a flashback to the sacred cats of the pyramids and Cleopatra’s eye make-up. The Egyptians believed that cosmetics had magical powers, so you’d cast a spell with this shade of red hair. “Turkish Van Gogh” is also from the time machine. Your red and white coiffure would be a masterpiece, plus you could get it wet because Turkish Van cats love to swim. “Ragdoll Red” brings out the devil-maycare abandon of the Bohemian in you.

If you rather the basics, there are “Bombay Black,” “Havana Brown” or “Norwegian Forest Frost.” Senior citizens have a choice of “Russian Blue Hue,” “Turkish Angora Tint,” or “Shaded Silver” - the color of the Persian cat in all the Fancy Feast ads which means you’ll be echoing Lauren Bacall. Going bald, like Sinead O’Connor, then you’ll get plenty of sympathy from the Sphynx, a naturally hairless breed of cat.

Finally to create an Oriental aura, try “Burnt Birman” or “Tonkinese Tan” as a blonde, or “Bengal Gel” for a blotchy, leopard look. “Himalayan Highlights” brings out your adventurous spirit of conquering Everest (or instead K-2, if you’re a bit wimpy or less egotistical). The “point” colors dip into all the “I am Siamese, if you please; I am Siamese, if you don’t please” Yin/Yang color contrasts. Chocolate point suits the conservative, while lilac point is the preference of those who like to walk on the wild side.

Enough said. My “Schnauzers” (or “Chartreux,” if you have to be catty about it) are creeping back. Time to call my groomer for a touch-up.

** Free rabies clinic: On a more serious note, Last Hope Animal Rescue is hosting a free rabies vaccine clinic for all Long Island pet owners on Sun., Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Last Hope Adoption Center, 3300 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh (across from Wantagh High School). All dogs must be leashed; cats must be in carriers. Pets need to be at least four months old. Low-cost canine & feline distemper combos as well as canine bordetella shots will also be available for $12 each. No appointment necessary. See www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org for more information.

For Adoption at Babylon Town Shelter (631- 643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: “Supermodel Kitten” #3-418 wants to know when there will be a “Feline Fashion Week” in NYC. She also wants to know when she will be adopted into a loving home. “Lola” #13-538 is a Jack Russell Terrier found in Wheatley Heights. Dogs: “Arthur” #13-525 Lab mix puppy about eight months old; “Hazel” #13-482 sweet, young Pit; “Ginger” #13-362- Mama of the seven puppies (all adopted). Cat: “Snickers” #3-446 long-haired calico. From the Adorable Kitten Inundation: “Buff ” #3-377, “Pipe Cleaner” tabby #3-321.

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