Going Grey: The Kitty Doesn’t Need Blue Shampoo! Why Should I?


A post by blogger and landscape architect Amelia Grant:

I have a fluffy white cat. Long hair, heirloom cat, this cat belonged first to my parents and then to my brother, all have passed on – yet the cat is still around.

My parents got the cat the year before my father passed on, and she was my mother’s best friend until she died; then my brother adopted the cat and he passed on.

A friend suggested maybe I did not want this cat due to her track record with owners. Me being me, I just couldn’t give her away; she meant a lot to all of them. I have two additional siblings, both have cats and I was the only one who would take her. I was very hopeful my greyhounds wouldn’t eat her (they haven’t.

There is a common trait in my family, premature grey hair.

I have no recollection of my father having hair with color. He had a lot of hair. Just no color, totally white, always.

I began to realize I was there when I couldn’t tell if the hair on the floor came from me or the cat. And, the thing is, it was his cat. Ouch.

This engendered some deep thinking.

What is it about grey hair?

I am not one to think of metaphorical things, but I think the issue with grey hair is its symbolism of senescence. Like leaves changing colors in autumn before they fall to the ground.

It takes some guts to leave your grey hair in its natural state. I always think that when I see a woman with a great head of grey hair.

For many years I have glazed my hair, it ends up taupe. I actually like the taupe hair. Since I moved to a small town I have been unable to find anyone who knows how to glaze hair.

The only professional hair coloring here is done with permanent dye and I am not willing to go there. We have extremely high iron content well water in the area that affects hair colorants and I have seen more than one lady with black hair and orange roots, reminiscent of Halloween and not in a good way.

Recently, men have begun to compliment my hair color. Or lack thereof. It feels similar to getting 5 Likes on your blog or Facebook page.

A guy actually said to me, “I think your salt and pepper hair is sexy.”

Another one said “I really like your hair color.”

Whoa! This happened at two holiday parties, so there was alcohol involved, and I think that enhances the likelihood of an honest opinion?!

When I hear this from women it usually goes, “I wish my hair had turned grey liked yours did, mine is such an awful color I had to dye it?!”

Yeah, right. I have a hard time buying into this, as the color of your hair tends to mark you by age group. Old and not old. Women for the most part prefer the not old appearance.

My first encounter with this was, at age 43, I was asked by a supermarket checker it I wanted the Senior Discount. I said ,“Sure. How old do I have to be?”

She said “60” and I said, “I will be 60 in 17 years, thanks for asking”…and yes, my hair had some pretty serious salt in it by then. My husband is 14 years older and nobody was asking him this question. His hair is still mostly brown.

About twenty-five years ago, a client of mine made the comment I was “seasoned,” meaning I had enough work experience to know what I was doing.

In retrospect, I am not sure that was really true.

Then it occurred to me if I was seasoned twenty-five years ago, by now I was a fine barrel-aged whiskey. This works for me, some things do improve with age!

In an effort to embrace my inner Single Malt Scotch, I am going to keep the grey hair for a while. 

P.S. My kitty’s name is Sweetie Pie.


Amelia Grant is an experienced Landscape Architect/Designer who a few years back left the big city of Atlanta for an idyllic life in a small town in South Florida. The ensuing experiences led to a blog and new found pleasure in writing and sharing information online.

Amelia’s  blog, The Shrub Queen, may be found at

For a contrasting opinion, check out Gail Crane’s post, To Be or Not to Be–Grey Hair, That Is.


8 thoughts on “Going Grey: The Kitty Doesn’t Need Blue Shampoo! Why Should I?”

  1. I get compliments on my salt & pepper hair, too. I’d rather keep it brown, though–just don’t want to go to the trouble. (Plus the hubby really likes it!)


    1. My husband likes the grey as well – my brother, who is bald, said he couldn’t understand why I would want to color it! Of course, he would be happy to have hair! I agree with you about the coloring, it is a lot of trouble and expensive.


  2. I have never colored my hair. My 26 year old daughter has tried to convince me to……….nope…won’t do it! Hail to all that stay au naturel!! Fun post and adorable cat. So sweet she has been passed along in the family.


  3. The cat is now 13 years old. I convinced my Mother to get another cat after her favorite cat passed on. My Mother was in her early 70’s at the time and wasn’t sure about getting another cat.


  4. Your hair looks nice gray. I wouldn’t start coloring it now. I started coloring mine in my early 30’s when my mother, who had beautiful white hair since a young age, told me my hair was way too gray for my age and that I should color it. She was not one to make much of a fuss over looks, so when she said I should color my hair, I listened. Now my hair is colored a dark brown and when it starts growing out I have shocking white roots! I have decided to wait until I retire at least to maybe go white. But it does make you look older–most say you look around 10 yrs younger if you are not gray. But it is a hassle and an expense. Two and a half more years of work and I may go au naturel like Judy. (Beautiful cat by the way!)


  5. Thanks, I could never go the permanent dye route. My hair started going grey when I was 25, I had every type of highlighting possible, including calicoing (this involved red, blond and black colors) since I worked with mostly men they started asking me if my hair was supposed to be pink, not good in a corporate environment in the 80’s! My sister refuses to tell me how long it takes to maintain her brown hair..I probably can’t sit still for that long.
    My mother was a grey hair lady as well, low maintenance, but, she had a million perms!


  6. there is nothing more aging than a woman (or man) with gray roots! Who’s kidding who? And everyone who covers grey with color goes too dark! It pulls the color from their faces making them look ghastly! Let your gray come in – you’ll be glad you did!


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