Long-haired cats - do you shave them in the summer?

United States
@beeeckie (803)
June 10, 2008 1:56pm CST
One of our cats has very long hair; she's a Maine Coone with tuxedo coloring. Her topcoat and undercoat are very thick, and on these hot & humid New England days in the summer, I feel bad for her. On the worst days she'll pant like a dog, and we try to aim a fan toward her but she hates them. Yesterday and today we've broken down and put on the central air, and all the pets are much happier. Should we shave our long-hair cat once a year? Do any of you do it, and if so, do you have a groomer do it, or do it yourself?