Friday, June 17, 2016

Like Lassoing a Leech


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]

It's true. Cats have an unsurpassed talent for squeezing into the most ridiculously unexpected places, and anyone who has ever had a cat knows this. Put a small box, bag, or other container within their reach, (which is essentially anywhere) and it's a cinch they're gonna contort their bodies in some weird science-defying way so they can claim this new favorite place as yet another handy spot to take a nap. Even funnier? Have more than one cat, like we do, and only toss one box onto the floor. Talk about tag team wrestling...


Cats can provide endless hours of entertainment. Ours do. They're very sweet and cuddly, too. Except for when it's time to clip their nails. NOT one of their favorite things. Especially Dot, the gray tabby. No matter how loud she's purring or how cuddly she's being, if I foolishly make the mistake of saying clip, cut, nails, or anything that even sounds remotely like any of those words, she screams, leaps from my arms, and heads for the hills. (Or to wherever the hell it is she goes when she vants to be alone.) That I have survived clipping their nails for this long without ending up shredded and bloody is nothing short of a miracle.

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.

It's a pretty safe bet that your cat won't be happy with the whole distasteful idea and indignity of you daring to give him a bath, unless, of course, you're planning to lick him clean with your tongue. Supposedly, some cats actually like being in water, but it'd be wise to assume your cat ain't one of them. Chances are, your precious ball of fluff will be going on the defensive in a most offensive way.





Whatever you do, don't attempt to bathe your cat in an open space, because chasing a cat is a race you're doomed to lose. Cats may have the advantage of speed and a total lack of concern for human life, but, theoretically, we humans are smarter, so it's up to us to pick the bathing spot wisely. It's best to choose a small bathroom, and the smaller, the better. If it's larger than four feet square, I hate to tell ya, but you're gonna have to get into the tub with your cat. And close the sliding glass door. (As you can see, a shower curtain doesn't quite cut it.)


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.






Okay, ready? After putting water into the tub, you're going to have to fool your cat. (Come on! We're the smart ones, right?) If your furry friend doesn't look at you suspiciously and head for the hills as soon as you even think about giving him a bath, pick him up nonchalantly, and stroll leisurely toward the bathroom. To assuage his distrust, which is surely mounting at this point, try crooning to him, or humming his favorite show tune. (from Cats, of course)



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.

  
 Sincerely,
 The Dog







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. 

58 comments:

  1. First of all, my Blogger font constantly reverts to SMALL and it's insanely irritating. I have been forced to trash entire posts because of this.

    Well, I'm sure you know that this is a post after my own heart. Living with three felines is far from easy - yet I wouldn't be without them. Even when I'm in my foulest mood, they always manage to make me smile. Or laugh.

    I've never tried to bathe them or give them pills. And it's a near impossibility to cut their claws. Have you ever tried calling a cat (dumb question - I'm sure you have). They simply hide and laugh at you efforts. Then they come when they please.

    I love all the cat photos. They make me purrrrr.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what gives with the font, but it sure is a pain in the tush. Even if I retype the "affected area," and it looks fine in the working draft, it reverts to the microscopic version in the "preview" and "publish" modes. Oh well. I hope it's a temporary glitch.

      Actually, our cats DO come when I call them with "psss-psss-psss" sounds. They also come running if I open a can of tuna fish. It's phenomenal. They can be sleeping on our bed at the opposite side of the room, and as soon as I start cranking the hand opener on that can of tuna, they magically materialize behind me. And they only do that for tuna... no other can of food. Weird, huh?

      Good to know you're purring. :)

      Delete
  2. Blogger does that to me too. Because it can.
    We had a cat who DID have to be washed. Not fun. We locked outselves in the bathroom with him and he crawled into my lap and was washed there. And yes, I stayed dressed. Wet, but dressed. When we opened the bathroom door again the other cats were lined up outside. Listening. And laughing.
    And I have had to pill many a cat. And have the scars.
    They are very good at making you think they have swallowed it and then sneaking behind a piece of furniture and disgorging it. Pilling a cat isn't fun. Chasing them with a soggy lint covered pill is less fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! Yeah, "because they can" is as good an explanation as any.

      You are the queen! I'm duly impressed that you've taken the plunge (so to speak) in bathing a cat. Good for you! I can just picture those other cats lined up outside the door, too. :)

      AND you've given a cat pills. Again, quite impressive. I guess I'd have to figure out a way to convince our cats that I'm the boss, but I'm afraid that may be a lost cause. They already know they have me wrapped right around their furry little paws.

      Delete
  3. I rarely have occasion to wash Angel these days. When he was little he often got messy under his tail and I would prepare a bucket of warm water, grab him by the scruff (as their mothers do, they tuck up their legs and hang limp when picked up like this), lay him on the floor of the shower and sponge the messy area one handed while still holding the scruff. Then dry as much as possible with a handy towel and let him go. He would be mightily offended at this treatment and hide for a good few hours getting over it.
    Now, of course, he's too heavy for me to pick up, but no longer needs such cleaning as I've found the food that doesn't upset his digestive system.
    Giving pills is impossible, so I'm glad now to find worming pills that are labelled "tasty" and actually are tasty so Angel just eats it off my hand. I spoke to the vet about worming and discovered it isn't necessary as often as most medication packs tell you. My vet says once a year is fine, or twice if he's had contact with another cat that you know doesn't get wormed.
    I know the "toilet" method of washing is a joke, but it seems terribly cruel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We used to have a beautiful gray Persian cat whose hair under his bottom sometimes got nasty like that. He wasn't at all pleased with me when I held him down to wash the area and trim the hair. (But he DID forgive me... eventually.)

      Using the toilet as a means of washing a cat would be cruel, but like you said, it's just a joke, made funnier to think the "tip" came from a dog. :)

      Delete
  4. I have a theory about cats --illustrated by your 1st photo-- that they believe they are a fur-bearing liquid and tend to seek the shape of their container. They hate baths because they fear they are soluble in water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! I completely buy your theory, dude! Makes total sense.

      Delete
  5. I've bathed cats when they're having elimination and cleaning problems. Not fun for either of us. My cats are a horror when I brush their teeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! You brush their teeth??? You're some kinda bad-ass. :)

      Delete
  6. lmao, well the dog's idea may work.

    I've h ad to give both of them a bath and pills. Cassie will hold that damn pill in her mouth for an hour, I let her go, she spits it out and runs away. She was a pain to get in the bath, but once there she let me do it under protest. Orlin just hops right in the bath tub, no muss no fuss. Damn cat rolled in dog pee once and needed to be bathed lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! I can imagine your cat holding that pill in her mouth for an hour and then spitting it out. They're like petulant children. :)

      Well, maybe I'll give bathing our girls a try... one of these days... Separately, of course. (Can you imagine trying to do more than one at a time?)

      Delete
  7. Read My Zoo World - cats love me. I am a magnet. I prefer to admire from afar and don't need one walking over me or leaping. They are rather fascinating.
    Have a great weekend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will! (I almost forgot that I haven't read it yet... but I WILL!)

      You have a super weekend, too.

      Delete
  8. LOL! Poor things...
    I absolutely love cats and once I had eight. My husband doesn't like them, so I haven't had one since I got married, 26 years ago. But I miss them. I like their independence, their freedom and that strange way of loving people for what we are, not for the food we give them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Eight cats at one time! That must have been something else. My husband didn't THINK he liked cats or that he wanted any pets at all... but I convinced him otherwise. Now he loves them as much as I do.

      Delete
  9. LOL! Cats can be challenging pets, and they're all different. We had one who would sit patiently on my lap and hold his paws up to have his nails clipped (purring the whole time), and another who carried on like we (it took two of us) were ripping her claws out with pliers every time we tried to trim them. They've both long since gone to their great kitty rewards, and now we only have grand-kitties. Which is wonderful, because we get to give them treats and play with them, and then hand them back to our daughter and son-in-law for "kitty maintenance."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! Sounds like one of your cats was a prima donna, who liked getting the "spa treatment." The other sounds more like our cats. :)

      I like having pets around OUR house. To me, they make a house a home, and keep hubby and me entertained. Plus, they NEVER ask to borrow money or one of the cars. On the other hand, we're happy to enjoy our grand-dogs and skip all of that outdoor pooper-scooping.

      Delete
  10. Hahaha! Hilarious and unfortunately accurate post. I have had the misfortune to both bathe cats and give them pills. Neither went well. One tip I will give about bathing a cat is that it helps to put a towel down on the floor of the tub. This keeps it from being as slippery for the cat. The cat will cling to the wet towel on the bottom of the tub and feel more secure. Also if the cat is clinging to the towel, it won't be clinging to you with its sharp little claws. My other tip is to have someone help you with the tasks of both bathing and pill-giving. One person holds the cat while the other does the required task. This worked better for my husband and I than having one of us trying to do it solo. Have a great weekend! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you poor dear. Gave 'em baths AND pills? And lived to tell about it...

      Thanks for the tip about putting a towel on the bottom of the tub. I'll keep that in mind if I ever get foolish enough, and brave enough to attempt to bathe our kitties.

      You have a super weekend, too.

      Delete
  11. Funny you should bring up this topic. We were just talking about trying to wash the cat. She has dandruff. The toilet method is interesting ... LOL. But I was thinking maybe the girls could just wipe the cat down with wet washcloths instead of immersing her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most pet shops sell wipes and other things for cleaning a cat without resorting to an out-and-out bath. If your kitty already has dandruff, that probably means her skin is already dry, so a bath might not be the best thing for her, anyway.

      Delete
  12. I have to send this to my friend who has seven or eight cats. Thanks, that was a fun post to read.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seven or eight!? Yowza. That means your friend's in trouble. When something gets broken in HIS house, he won't know "which one" did it!

      Greetings back atcha.

      Delete
  13. I never once tried to wash our late kitty, and nail clipping was a two person job...we always gave her a treat afterwards. She still fought us, but didn't stay mad too long. As for crazy fonts...I create my posts in word, then cut and past them into Blogger. When the crazy fonts happen, I delete the crazy part, go back to the original word document and cut and past in again. Most times it seems to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The mysterious font-changing is a new phenomenon for me, so I'm hoping it was a one-time aberration. (Yeah, I'm an optimist.) If it continues, I'll have to try doing it your way. Thanks for the tip.

      Delete
  14. Awww...adorable pics but yeah, it's definitely a job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And not a job for the faint of heart, either!

      Delete
  15. Definitely vote for the groomer! They somehow have a method that works.
    Flushing the toilet? No cat loss?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um, I guess the toilet-flushing method wouldn't be too wise for teeny cats... HA!

      Delete
  16. Oh my gosh Susan, that hilarious, I literally laughed so hard I almost fell off my chair... I wonder what my neighbors thought ... lmao

    It reminded me of a very docile cat that I owned many years ago, you could do just about anything to that cat ... one day she got under a car and got full of oil... well, that cat changed her way if acting when I put her in the tub... that was an extremely bad move on my part... I never forgot it and never tried it again.. haha


    That line of being able to hold on to a wet soapy cat for two or three seconds... that is about it... xox

    My eyes totally watered up for this from laughing so hard... oh and I agree with all the clothing you should wear to bath the cat... love the helmet and face mask... haha... I am pretty sure the cat would think something was up... lol... Thank you for the laugh xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! Yeah, I imagine one bad experience trying to bathe a cat would be more than enough to keep you from ever attempting to do it again. :)

      Glad to give you a few chuckles.

      Delete
  17. Hahaahah! I love these!
    I gave Beest a pill once, wrapped her in a lap rug, the whole thing. In seconds, my arms were bloody and burning, she was nowhere to be found and she didn't come near me for days. I will never bathe her.
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad. I think anyone with a cat could relate. :) (Gotta love 'em!)

      Delete
  18. You gave me the best laugh today and boy did I need it !
    The cat photos are a hoot.

    Have a nice weekend too.
    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good! I like to make you laugh. :)

      You have a super weekend, too.

      Delete
  19. I've never owned a cat, but I'm not surprised at all that they can be a bit...er, stubborn when it comes to baths. LOL. The pictures you included in this post are hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! Yeah... stubborn. You COULD call them that. :)

      Delete
  20. I love cats, and we miss ours so much. Sam died in 2012. There was never a dull moment with him around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For sure, cats add something special to a household. The only thing better than having one of them is having two. (Or even more, some people tell me.) I hope you decide to adopt another one soon.

      Delete
  21. I'm still shaking with laughter... Our Smokey was only bathed once (when we first got her) and then never again. We were quick learners.

    And that is so true, cats can hide in the craziest places. We heard Fluffy meow once, desperately calling for help, but couldn't figure out where she was. We looked everywhere, even the washer and dryer. We finally opened up a kitchen cabinet door way up high, and there she was. She never did tell us how she got there, but she sure was mad at us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've given small kittens a bath before, but that was only because the poor thing was covered with fleas, and I felt sorry for it. It was too teeny to put up much of a fight, but the two we have now? I don't think so...

      In a cabinet up high? There must be a good story behind that, if only Fluffy could talk. Ours have managed to get into low cabinets before, but they haven't figured out how to get trapped up top yet. (Thank goodness!)

      Delete
  22. I am not brave enough to bath my cats. Besides, isn't that what their tongue is for. They spend a good part of their day grooming themselves, so who am I to tell them that they are doing it wrong. I also don't dare cut their nails. Every three weeks we take Daisy to a groomer to have her front claws clipped. I, myself, have never had a manicure, but I am willing to spend the $15 for one for her. Who, may I ask is living the most luxurious life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't blame you for taking your cat to the groomer for nail-clipping. I started clipping our girls' nails when they were little bitty kittens, so even though they don't like it, they're somewhat used to it by now. But a bath? Not too likely. Like you say, they do a good enough job on their own.

      Please tell me you don't get her nails painted... :)

      Delete
  23. My sweet girl Sofie hated water, but she used to get so upset when her the dog was bathed—I think she thought he was being tortured— she’d cry and try to get through the glass enclosure to rescue him. They were best friends, and it was very sweet. I miss them terribly.

    VR Barkowski

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, that is sweet. When we had a dog and a cat at the same time, they were good friends, too, but never did anything quite that endearing. I can understand why you miss them. They're like our children.

      Delete
  24. Dear Susan, so you have two cats - that's great! I love cats too - and am still thinking of having one/two (but I am travelling so much - even a balcony becomes a burden then). When we were students, husband and I had one - she smelled at flowers, a beautylover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we have two... doubles our pleasure, doubles our fun. I miss having a dog, but with cats, we can go away for a few days whenever we feel the urge. Cats are absolutely fine by themselves for a few days. Plus, they have each other for company if we spend the night away. The only down side is we're never 100% sure "whodunit" when something gets knocked over. :)

      Our Dot not only likes to smell plants... she likes to EAT them! (Needless to say, I don't have many houseplants any more.)

      Delete
  25. Not a task I would ever attempt, but hilarious to read or witness from the photo's. Bathing my pup was simple, she stood in place for the washing and drying, and loved the cuddling afterwards. I can't imagine the terror of trying the same with a cat. She was even patient when I cut her nails, something I hated.
    As for blogger and font - OMG, it's a wonders anything I post is readable! Thanks for letting me know it's not just me. :)
    Happy Monday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you. I'd much rather laugh at the thought of bathing a cat than actually tackle the job myself. I've washed many dogs over the years. Dixie, a cross between a toy manchester and a chihuahua, was the easiest. We used Prell shampoo on her. Our last dog, Buck, was probably the most difficult. He was a large dog, and he did NOT like me to put him in the tub. When I tried to lift him in, he'd spread all four legs out to try to prevent me getting him into the water. Once he was in, it wasn't too bad, but I had to keep one hand on him at all times. Otherwise, he'd hop out of the tub and get water everywhere. (Yes, I learned that the hard way.)

      Happy Monday back atcha!

      Delete
  26. Yes, blogger seems have a font glitch there; I've had trouble, too. And I definitely think the groomer is the best idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I sure hope they FIX that glitch real soon! And you're right about the groomer. Best to let the professionals handle it. (They probably have much better bandages on hand than I do.)

      Delete
  27. LOL! That dog. What is his deal anyway? I have enough trouble bathing kids, I don't need to be doing it with pets too. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least with kids, you can give them a bunch of toys to play with, or some cool bubbles, and they're usually happy to be in the tub. I haven't had a pet yet who was that easy.

      Delete
  28. lol at the pictures! We have a one-eyed cat we acquired. He and the kids have become fast friends. :) No way in this world I would even attempt to even THINK of giving him a bath. He just became calm, it might send him right over the edge, hahahahaha

    That being said, my 2nd oldest son's girlfriend's cat goes into her walk-in shower with her, and meows at the door if she doesn't let her in. Crazy! Funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, now that your cat has found his inner peace, no sense spoiling it with an outer encounter with a tub of water. Might totally destroy his zen.

      Then again, maybe he'd rather take a shower, like your son's girlfriend's cat. Ahhhh, but does that cat actually get WET in there??? Maybe he's just a peeping tomcat. :)

      Delete
  29. Ha, ha, ha! Flush and fluff. That's hysterical. I'm going to be laughing about that one for days. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to make ya laugh. (But I wouldn't recommend actually trying that method!)

      Delete