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Cat Bathing as a Martial Art

Found on Jerry Pournelle's Web site


Ha! This reminded me of a story I read on Usenet a short while ago. Unfortunately it was posted unattributed and I have no idea who the author is.



Cat Bathing As A Martial Art

Some people say cats never have to be bathed. They say cats lick themselves clean. They say cats have a special enzyme of some sort in their saliva that works like new, improved Wisk - dislodging the dirt where it hides and whisking it away.

Iíve spent most of my life believing this folklore. Like most blind believers, Iíve been able to discount all the facts to the contrary, the kitty odours that lurk in the corners of the garage and dirt smudges that cling to the throw rug by the fireplace.

The time comes, however, when a man must face reality: when he must look squarely in the face of massive public sentiment to the contrary and announce: "This cat smells like a port-a-potty on a hot day in Juarez."

When that day arrives at your house, as it has in mine, I have some advice you might consider as you place your feline friend under your arm and head for the bathtub:

Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy. Heíll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so donít expect too much.)

In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine.

You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isnít usually the case. As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath.

But at least now he smells a lot better.

Stephen Schulze []

Actually, we used to wash our cat and while she probably didn't actually like it, she put up with it. We used the double sink. I filled each side with warm water, tepid actually, putting flea soap in one side and leaving the other with plain water.

I then put on a leather motorcycle jacket, siezed the cat, and before she knew what was happening lowered her into the soapy water, being careful not to let her head go under, and not to get soap in her eyes. The look on the cat's face was rewarding, actually: total shock. "You did this to ME? But I am a CAT!"  But once in the sink it was hard for her to get at me, and after a while she realized that she was getting a lot of attention, it was actually warm, and nothing all that awful was happening.

Come rinsing time I put her into the other half that was already filled. I figured running water was NOT a good idea. Got her all rinsed off and rolled her in a towel for drying. A thick towel, so that the claws couldn't get through. Dried her off and let her go. Streak. But after a while she came back, and since this happened once a week at least after that -- my wife is allergic to cats and this was the only way to keep both wife and cat -- Samantha got more or less used to it, and while I won't say she liked it, she didn't object. I didn't even have to wear the leather jacket.

The dog thought it was all very amusing to watch, and they'd get together and discuss it afterwards. (Our cat was grown when we got this dog, and she raised that puppy right; in fact if a strange cat invaded the yard, she'd use the doggy door to come in, get the dog, lead him out to the back, and have him chase the other cat.)

I miss that cat, but my wife's allergies are enough that I can't have another. Oh Well.



The Proper way to bathe a cat.

1. Pick up cat by hair on back.

2. Dunk cat in warm water.

3. Place cat on screen window, where cat will remain due to having sunk his claws into the screen.

4. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

5. Lean window screen, (with cat attached) against wall outside in the sun to dry.

6. Cat will come loose of window screen when it feels like it.

(Caution, this only works once per cat)

If that often...