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Bathing a cat as a martial art

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Went on the Internet looking for cheery subjects and found this:

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.

I've spent most of my life believing this folklore. Like most blind believers, I've been able to discount all the facts to the contrary - the kitty odors 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 person 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 you arm and head for the bathtub:

Know that although the cat has the advantages of quickness and utter disregard for human life, you have the advantage of strength. Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield. Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick a very small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, I recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower. (A simple shower curtain will not do. A berserk cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than a politician can shift positions.)

Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself. I recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face mask and a long-sleeve flak jacket.

Prepare everything in advance. There is no time to go out for a towel when you have a cat digging a hole in your flak jacket. Draw the water. Make sure the bottle of kitty shampoo is inside the glass enclosure. Make sure the towel can be reached, even if you are lying on your back in the water.

Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish. (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule. If he does notice your garb, calmly explain that you are taking part in a product-testing experiment for J.C. Penney.)

Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to your survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo. You have begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life. 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 that 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. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record is--for cats--three latherings, so don't expect too much.)

Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared to what you have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg. You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait. (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the cat.

Do *NOT* try to use a blow dryer. You might as well use a vacuum cleaner.

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 psycho-ceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine.

You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't 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.

To bathe a cat requires brute force, perseverance, courage of conviction - and a cat. The last ingredient is the hardest to come by. Stephen Baker

And this:

Basic Rules For Cats Who Run A House

DOORS: Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get a door opened, stand on hind legs and hammer it with forepaws.

Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season. Swinging doors are to be avoided at all costs.

GUESTS: Quickly determine which guest hates cats the most. Sit on that lap.
For sitting on laps or rubbing against trouser legs, select fabric which contrasts well with your fur. For example: white-furred cats go to black wool clothing. NOTE: Velvet takes precedence over all other cloth.

For the guest who exclaims, "I love kitties!" be ready with aloof disdain, apply claws to stockings or arms, or use a quick nip on the ankle.

Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything -- just sit there and stare.

HAMPERING: If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping" otherwise known is "hampering." Some rule:

a) When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.

b) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.

c) For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner to obscure the maximum amount. Pretend to dose but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. Sit on the paperwork they are working on. Roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time. Embroidery and needlepoint make great hammocks.

d) When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her be sure to jump at the back of the paper. They love surprises.

e) Dart out quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially: on stairs; when they have something in their arms; in the dark; and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.

f) When a human is attempting to "make the bed," hop on it and curl up in the center , or pounce on the sheet the human is trying to rearrange. If the human tries to ignore you by covering you with the sheets, move around and try to mess things up. Protest loudly when you're evicted.

g) Laundry presents many opportunities to hamper. Laundry fresh from the dryer is a perfect bed, since it is warm and soft. As soon as it is put down for sorting, arrange yourself for a nap. If the human removes you, keep returning until the laundry isn't warm anymore. Now it's playtime. Pounce on anything the human tries to move around for folding, especially socks and nylons. For added fun, grab a sock and hide under the bed with it.

PLAY: This is an important part of your life. Get enough sleep in the daytime so you are fresh for your nocturnal games. Below are listed below are several cat games. It is important though to maintain one's Dignity at all times. If you should have an accident during play, such as falling off a chair, immediately wash a part of your body as if to say "I MEANT to do that!" It fools those humans every time.

4.1 GAMES:
a) Catch Mouse: The humans would have you believe that those lumps under the covers are their feet and hands. They are actually Bed Mice, rumored to be the most delicious of all the mice in the world, though no cat has ever been able to catch one. Maybe YOU can be the first.
b) King of the Hill: This game must be played with at least one other cat. Sleeping humans are the hill which must be defended at all costs from the other cat(s). Anything goes. This game allows for the development of unusual tactics as one must consider the unstable playing field.

WARNING: Playing games (a) and (b) to excess will result in expulsion from the bed. Should the humans grow restless, immediately begin purring and cuddle up to them. This should buy you some time until they fall asleep again. If one happens to be on a human when this occurs, this cat wins the round of King of the Hill.

c) Tag: This game requires two or more cats and may include a dog. One cat is It. The other(s) chase him around the house until they catch up. Then follows the Scrimmage, after which the cat who caught the other becomes It and is chased around. Great fun but has the greatest potential for loss of dignity from maneuvers such as the Non-Carpeted Floor Skid and the Throw Rug Wipeout. Whenever such a situation occurs, all felines must immediately wash themselves. Dogs are generally too stupid to do this and may continue to play. In this case, the dog automatically becomes It and should be subjected to the Pileup.

d) Tube Mouse: This is a game played in the bathroom. Next to the Big White Drinking Bowl is a roll of soft white paper which is artfully attached to the wall so that it can spin. Inside this roll is the Tube Mouse. When you grab the paper, the Tube Mouse will spin frantically as it tries to escape from you. When the Mouse is exposed, it dies of fright and stops spinning.

4.2 TOYS: Any small item. If a human tries to confiscate it, this means it is a Valuable Toy. Run with it under the bed. Look outraged when the human takes it away. Watch where it is put so you can steal it later. Two reliable sources of toys are dresser tops and wastebaskets. Below are listed several types of cat toys.

a) Bright shiny things like keys, brooches or coins should be hidden so the other cat(s) and humans can't play with them. They are generally good for playing hockey with on uncarpeted floors.

b) Dangling and/or string-like things such as shoelaces, cords, gold chains and dental floss also make excellent toys. They are favorites of humans who like to drag them across the floor for us to pounce on. When a string is dragged under a newspaper or throw rug, it magically becomes the Paper/Rug Mouse and should be killed at, all costs. Note that playing with shoelaces when the human is trying to tie them is a great source of Hampering.

c) Within paper bags dwell the Bag Mice. They are small and the same color as the bag, so they are hard to see, but you can easily hear the crinkling noises they make as they scurry around the bag. Anything, including shredding the bag, can be done to kill them. Note: any cat you find in a bag hunting for Bag Mice is fair game for a Sneak Attack, which will usually result in a great Tag match.

FOOD: Eating, however, is only half the fun. The other half is getting the food. Cats have two ways to obtain food: convincing a human you are starving to death and must be fed "NOW" and hunting for it oneself. The following are guidelines for getting fed.

a) When the humans are eating, make sure you leave the tip of your tail in their dishes when they are not looking.

b) The best times to inform humans of your dish's emptiness are when they are unable to ignore you, such as when they are sleeping or on the toilet.

c) Should you catch something of your own outside, it is only polite to attempt to get to know it. Be insistent - your food will usually not be so polite and try to leave.

SCRATCHING POSTS: It is advised that cats use anything which is most useful to you. They are very protective of what they think is their property and will object strongly if they catch you sharpening your claws on it. Sharpening your claws on a human is a definite no-no!

WATER: Dripping taps are the best sources of fresh water. Toilets are the next best. It is imperative that any sound of running water be investigated immediately for a possible drink. A plaintive meow and licking the faucet usually will get most humans to turn on the tap.

VACUUM CLEANER: This appalling Beast is known by many names, "Cat Eater" being the most prevalent. Humans will turn into raging monsters while under its influence, sucking up all the carefully shed cat hair and terrorizing the feline residents with evil glee. All you can do is run and hide.

Occasionally, the humans are forced to open the vacuum cleaner and remove a swollen bag from within. This is its stomach, and must be destroyed at all costs. Do not worry if the human yells at you, for the yell is really that of the Beast in pain.

SLEEPING HUMANS: It is known that sleeping humans are boring. The "direct approach" is nearly always successful in rejuvenating a dormant human. Do one of the following:

Trample, purr, meow or head-butt. If the human is being stubborn, you may have to resort to more drastic tactics, such as ripping down posters, rattling blinds, or singing at the top of your voice. Eventually the human will get up and do what you want, usually in a disgruntle manner.

MORNINGS: In order to provide for you, the humans must leave the domain every morning (usually before you take your first cat nap). To help them on their way, howl loudly, massage their scalps with your claws, or gently bounce on top of them in bed. See GAMES. The best time to do this is about 24 minutes before their alarm clock goes off. We must protect them from that blaring noise for it could ruin their hearing.

MEDICINE: The vet is where your human takes you when you are sick. The place smells funny; there are cats, dogs and awful things like needles and pills. Don't let humans cat-handle you. The following are some tips for dealing with vets and medicine.

a) When you see the carrier come out, run and hide. Once the human grabs you, struggle gamely. Splay your legs out so it is difficult to cram you into the carrier. If the human is trying to put you in with another pet, allow the other pet to bolt out the door. In the car, meow plaintively all the way to the vet's. Reach through the bars of the carrier and claw the human as s/he drives. At the vet's, once again splay your legs and brace yourself against the carrier's walls so they can't dump you out easily.

b) At home, resist attempts to feed you pills or liquid medicine. As soon as you hear the pill bottle rattle, hide. Resist attempts to open your mouth. Squirming is good. Shake your head vigorously to remove any medicine placed in your mouth. Refuse any food that smells like it may have had medicine sprinkled in it.

ILLNESS: If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so it is longer then a human's bare foot.

CONCLUSION: Humans need to know basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent. You will then have a smooth running household.
post #2 of 4
This may sound insane, but as any of you who even remotely know me are aware...this is the way I operate.

Since Cagney likes to go into Heat 2 days before her spay appointment and take off for a week...coming home smelling of motor oil and Lord knows what...and she is 2 1/2 yrs old and Never had a "formal" bath, I have found this to work fairly well.

I buy Baby Wipes and put her in my lap, wipe her down, Head to Toe, and she's bearable. This takes 2 sessions usually, but is good Quality time for us, is inexpensive, she's clean, and I save a fortune on Band-Aids!

This post was a riot though, if I ever feel brave (or massochistic) enough, I'll pull it up again and try it.

post #3 of 4
Hissy you knocked the nail right on the head. My Bagpuss is an :angel2: when it comes to bath time......

on the other hand Jake is a little :evilalien he grows at me like a lion he hisses and he bites any part of mu anatomy he can sink his teeth into he fights like a mini 4 legged Muhammed Ali. Not only is it a true skill (and something I admire any person who does without coming out with plasters all over the place) but it is the kinda job where I always wish I had 10 hands to be able to hold his neck and his bottom and shower him and them shampoo him then rinse him and then try and towel dry him. I come out completly soaked through to the skin - sometimes I am sure i am wetter than he is, but I come out the bathroom is under a foot of water I am tending my cuts and bites sometimes close to physically tired and for ages trying to make him like me again.

But Jake always has a way of getting back at me - he doesn't talk to me for ages afterwards, no matter how much fresh and shrimps. He makes a mad dash under the bed and when I am least aware he sneaks off and sits on each and every seat in the lounge making all the cushions wet. Then when he tires of that he jumps onto all the clean laundry and makes everything possible wet.

I keep thinking each time it will get better - but hey i prove myself wrong each time!
post #4 of 4
Simply hilarious, Hissy! :LOL:

The part about making the bed was written by Squirt. He is always a most willing helper!
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