|and that's not all of it...|
Sid, our black, long haired cat has really thick fur. Not only is it hot in the summer, but he has trouble keeping up with the mats and he hates when I brush his belly and delicate area. So early each summer for the last several years he gets a graveyard cut - just the belly and peaches get trimmed (the better to walk over gravestones, so I was told).
When we lived in San Diego there was a groomer that could handle cats that didn't want a haircut. She was fantastic - but we no longer live in San Diego. And he's been banned from all local groomers (he really doesn't like getting his hair cut).
So out of desperation and a desire to have a happy, mat-free cat, I invested in an animal clipper (don't use a people clipper, animal fur needs a special type) and have done Sid's trimmings since. Neither of us like it. But he's only peed on me once, and I've never needed more than a band aid or two. And, ultimately, he likes the results (you can tell, trust me).
As far as why it's a frugal luxury - a trip the the groomers was $50, and the trimmers were $125. They paid off in only three trims. Granted, I had to do a lot of research on how to trim cats so you don't cut their skin (they have extremely delicate skin) and on how to properly handle cats so you don't cause them any harm (and hopefully you don't bleed), but in the end it was worth it.
And if you're wondering why I'm posting about something I did back in the spring - I just came across the photos while looking for something else.