Thought for the day: A cat determined not to be found can fold itself up like a pocket handkerchief if it wants to. [Louis J. Camuti]
But two things I have never attempted to do with our cats is give them a bath... or a pill. (shudder) I fervently pray I never have to do either one of those things, but just in case, I thought it'd be a good idea to be prepared, ya know? I figured there had to be a most efficient method for carrying out these responsibilities with the least amount of muss, fuss, and bloodshed. Now, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I think I'm ready to give our girls a bath. Endlessly helpful person that I am, I will now share some of these well-researched cat-washing tips with you.
Be advised: cats have claws, which they aren't afraid to use. Even if you keep those nails trimmed, or the cats regularly wear them down by shredding your favorite leather sofa, those claws can still do some damage. Not even a martial arts master is impervious to the flying claws of an angry cat, so you'd darned well better dress accordingly. Heavy canvas overalls tucked into leather boots, steel-mesh gloves, an Army helmet, hockey face mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket should just about do the trick.
Once you're in the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In one fell swoop, shut the bathroom door, get in the tub, slam the sliding door shut, dip the cat in the water, and hit him with a big blob of shampoo.
In case you never noticed, cats don't come with handles, so don't expect to hold onto a wet soapy cat (who's screeching, and fighting you tooth and nail) for more than two or three seconds at a time. When you do have him, give him another shot of shampoo and scrub like crazy. When he squirts out of your arms, he'll fall into the water, and (ta-DA!) rinse off the soap. (I think the world record for successful cat latherings is three, so don't expect too much.)
Now, you've gotta dry the cat, which isn't nearly as difficult as bathing him. That's because by now, your cat more than likely will be firmly attached to your leg.
Now, just open the drain with your foot, reach for your towel, and wait. Once the water has drained, it's a simple matter to reach down and dry the cat.
With any luck, your cat should be relaxed enough to be removed from your leg in a day or two. Unfortunately, for the next several weeks, he may not talk to you, and will probably spend an inordinate amount of time sitting with his back to you. You may think this is an expression of anger, but not so. He's plotting ways to inflict the maximum amount of bodily harm the next time you decide to give him a damned bath.
Cat's Diary: I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason, I was chosen for water torture. This time, however, it included a burning foamy concoction called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid? My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.
Then there's this other way, which definitely has some merit, especially for the more cowardly of cat owners. It doesn't involve the tub at all, and is called the flush and fluff method:
1. Thoroughly clean the toilet.
2. Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and have both lids lifted.
3. Obtain the cat and soothe him while you carry him toward the bathroom.
4. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids (you may need to stand on the lid so that he cannot escape). CAUTION: Do not get any part of your body too close to the edge, as his paws will be reaching out for any purchase they can find.
5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power wash and rinse' which I have found to be quite effective.
6. Have someone open the door to the outside and ensure that there are no people between the toilet and the outside door.
7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.
8. The now-clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside where he will dry himself.
OR... We could simply drop our cats off at the local groomer's place. Yep. I think that method gets my vote.
To bathe a cat takes brute force, perseverance, courage of conviction, and a cat. The last ingredient is usually the hardest to come by. [Stephen Baker]
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other. Also, a very Happy Father's Day to all of you dads out there.
P.S. I have absolutely no idea why the font has decided to go microscopic on me for part of this post, or why this big-ass space has suddenly appeared between lines. Attempts to fix both issues were as pointless as me trying to wash our cats.