Another cat story- from sometime in September-October 2010.
So, last night I was sitting on my couch trying to decide what to do with the rest of the evening. I had 2 cats on my lap, and Felicity was curled around the back of my neck. Well, she suddenly went into one of her itchy spasms and dang near clawed my throat open while trying to get to her itchy spots.
Now, it’s after midnight. Any normal person would treat their scratches, call it a night, and go to bed. Not me. I decide that NOW is the perfect time to give my cat a bath in the hopes of relieving her itchiness. And yes, this IS the same cat that literally went for my mother’s throat the last time she was bathed. I bought some special anti-itch cat shampoo a while back, but I’d been putting off the process for weeks because it’s always a traumatic ordeal. Also, the recent cold snap made me hesitant to get her soaked because she’s older and frail. But since we’ve had some oddly warm weather, and I was clearly out of my mind, I decided to go for it.
I decided to bathe Felicity in the bathtub. Knowing how she flailed around the last time she had a bath, I stripped down. The cats –all 3 of them- followed me into the bathroom, like they usually do. I tried to shoo Greymalkin and Nightshade out, but they were having none of it. So I closed the door, turned the water on in the tub, and braced myself for impact. Grabbing Liss, I stuck her under that faucet. She let out one shriek that nearly curled my hair and went limp. The other two went into panic mode and started hurling themselves at the bathroom door. I held onto Felicity with one hand and managed to get the banana-walnut scented shampoo opened with the other. I poured some onto her and started sudsing her up.
So far, so good. Then I made the mistake of sticking Felicity’s head under the running water. This is when all hell broke loose. She started screaming, peed on me, and bit me so hard that I let go of her. The other two are panicking even harder now. All three of the cats are now racing in circles around the bathroom. Malkin hits the door, headfirst, so hard that he damn near knocked himself out. Nightshade jumps to the top of my head and is clinging to my scalp like Davy Crockett’s coonskin cap, wailing at the top of her lungs. Felicity is still shrieking and sliding into the walls as she tries to run away.
I finally pried Nightshade off my head, opened the door a fraction, and tossed her out into the hall. Malkin realized that the door was open and managed to lurch his way out. Felicity made a break for it, but I scooped her up, slammed the door and stuck her back in the tub. As soon as she went under the water, she went limp again. I rinsed all the soap off her, turned the water off, and wrapped her in a towel. Holding her bundled up in one arm, I started mopping up the rest of the bathroom. Did you know that it takes 3 beach towels to dry off one 4 pound cat and dry up the water she trailed all over an approximately 5x8 bathroom?
Anyway, Liss was swaddled in the towel and shivering. I’d gotten her as dry as I could, but she was still pretty damp and I didn’t want her running through the cool house in that condition. So I get the bright idea to blow her dry. I pull my hair dryer out, plug it in, and she just gave me this look as if to say “What fresh hell is this?!?”
I was kind of surprised that she didn’t try to take off again. It took a few tries, but I finally figured out the right distance and angle to hold the dryer so that she was getting dry but not burned by the hot air. In fact, as long as it wasn’t blowing on her face, the little snot actually seemed to enjoy the experience!
Once she was dry enough, I put the dryer away, and let her out of the bathroom. I got a fresh towel and took a shower of my own. By the time I got out, all three of the cats were peering in at me from the door way. I got the dryer back out to dry my hair, and felt a paw pat my calf. I looked down to see Felicity looking up at me expectantly. As soon as she realized she had my attention, she flipped over onto her back and showed me her still-slightly-damp belly. I pointed the dryer down at her- as soon as I flipped it on and the warm air hit her tummy, she started wiggling and purring.
After everyone was warm and dry, (and my various scratches and bites were treated with antibiotic cream) I allowed the cats to come snuggle on the bed with me. Liss was so happy not to be itchy that she curled up on my shoulder and purred some more. The other two were so happy not to be given baths that they burrowed into my hip and thigh and did some purring of their own. And after sniffing Felicity’s gourmet shampoo scented fur, I am craving banana nut bread.