Fortunately for me the “a” and “u” keys on my keyboard are far apart, as in a frenzied moment I could have easily have had a slip of the finger. Imagine how foolish I would look asking Investec Ltd (Landlord of Erich Fischer Furriers) to end their lease with their farrier.
Both these “crafts” go back a long way. However, while a farrier helps to improve the “clip, clop” of horses hooves, a furrier does nothing to improve the well-being of any animal. In fact I would not even let my cat near a furrier in case my furry companion was skinned in a minute. Furriers tend not to see the living creature under the fur. My darling Pippin. Isn’t his fur beautiful?
I even think the origin of the saying, “there is more than one way to skin a cat” refers historically to when cat’s fur was used as trim on various clothing items. Consequently, many cats were raised only for skinning, which presumably could be accomplished in a variety of ways.
Nowadays, Asia is the biggest source of cat and dog fur, as there are poor animal welfare laws in these countries. This fur comes into South Africa under the label of “faux fur” and is mainly used as fur trim on clothing.
So what is a Furrier?
Part of my campaign to get fur banned is to ascertain how much fur comes into South Africa. So I have been tracking down the local furriers. I even phoned a business called the “Fur Club” only to discover it was a doggie parlour. That was a happy moment.
Well the good news is that there are a handful of actual furriers in South Africa, so it will hardly crash the South African economy to stop their trade .
Who knows, maybe fourth generation furriers will make a useful contribution to the planet by becoming hairdressers instead of fur dressers?
Read more on the history of the fur trade: