Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Reader Asks...

Calm, Forward, Straight asked: How does one mess up one's "piloerection"? I'd hate to do it by accident :)

Well, the simple answer is, piloerection is how I make the hairs of my coat stand up away from the skin. Depending on how cold it is, I want more or less air trapped by the hairs next to my flesh. This is how I regulate my temperature.

So, when it is really cold, I look all poofy, because everything is erect. If I am sweaty and hot, all the poof goes away, so I can dissipate body heat and dry off... whence my coat will regain poofiness (precise loft dependent on temperature).

If Mother brushes me when it's really cold, the pressure and static mess up my poofy bubble, and it takes time to get it perfect again. In winter, a lot of times she'll curry me really well, or brush really well, but usually not both.

I hope that answered your question.


  1. I am frequently impressed by the big words you know.

  2. Well, Mother uses a large vocabulary around me, and I'm very smart...

    And I read Fenway Bartholomule... he is VERY sophisticated!

  3. Thanks for answering my question Bif. I did not know there was a word for that lol!

    I was thinking that piloerection might have to do with the very stylish mane-do you've been sporting since... wasn't there an incident with burrs?! I guess I wasn't too far off ;)

  4. I do get abundant praise for my sesquipedalian vocabulary, Bif—thanks for noticing!

    As for my piloerection, FarmWife says that my rotundity more than makes up for the warmth I lose through blanket-induced coat compression. I do, however, agree that our natural temperature regulation system beats 1200 Denier ripstop nylon, hands down.

    Fenway Bartholomule


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