The cat in the foreground is Harriet, the proverbial queen bee of the cat population here in this house.
Unfortunately, Harriet needs a little extra care every now and then. In the first place, she is a diabetic and requires insulin injections twice a day.
However, her injections never subject her caretakers to potentially severe bodily harm. As long as you "ask" her if seizing her by the neck and thrusting a needle in her neck is Ok, she will at least refrain from punching a hole in your hand with one of her very capable, razor-sharp teeth.
Her "pet peeve", so to speak, is grooming. She has flakey, oily skin that will gradually produce mats in her fur as it sheds. In my experience, if this isn't caught pretty early on in the process, they will knot closer and closer to the skin. It isn't our unwillingness to help her that gets her to this point--instead it is the fact that we realize, from personal experience, that we put ourselves in the way of near-eminent bodily harm if we try. On Mother's Day, two years ago, I called home from work on my break only to discover that my mother had been quickly transported to the local hospital only minutes before because she had made the poor decision to attempt to comb Harriet only to be bitten, hard, to the bone on her hand with the subsequent threat of infection.
Tonight, I took a good look at Harriet, and with mats peeking out here and there in her black fur, it was more than evident to me that yet again, this hazardous task required a new attempt. I knew what I was up against, so I held Harriet with one hand while I utilized the offending implement--the hated "cat brush"--in the other. I managed to get a lot of the chunks of clumped fur out. Every now and again, she would contort her body in such a way as to try and physically make me regret my seemingly adventurous and altruistic decision. This was proving ineffective to her cause, and twenty minutes into the session, I had about half of the matting off of her, and she was in a "no-win" situation on behalf of her cause.
Ah, but how I underestimated Harriet.
She had twisted her body so I was holding her by the scruff of her neck, her head against one of my folded knees and her back end by the other. I was determined to pull off the last clump of fur that made up a huge mat on her left side. Then, I felt something warm on one of my legs. Yes, in a seemingly fully dominated position, even Harriet had her own ways around it. Harriet, the only cat smart enough to know her name, who recognized a seemingly large vocabularly of words, who never did anything "bad", had peed on my right leg.
So much for the "last resort". I suppose it is different for all of us. She was immediately released to her much desired freedom. I, on the other hand, had to strip, wash myself off, and find something else to wear.
I should have brought out the scissors.