The humans are plotting again
The following email has come to my attention
Subject: How To Bathe A Cat
(Note: Jeffery LaCroix is a veterinarian with an office in Wilmington. He writes a column for the Morning Star called "From Paws to Tails." Here is his response to a letter regarding bathing a cat:)
Dear Dr. LaCroix:
I've heard that cats never have to be bathed, and that they have some sort of special enzyme in their saliva that keeps them clean. This doesn't sound believable to me because there are definite "kitty" odors on my couch and dirty cat paw prints on our white hearth. Is this true about the saliva? If we do decide to give "Nice Kitty" a bath, how do we do that?
Fortunately for you, several years ago a client gave me a written set of instructions about cat bathing which I am privileged to share with you:
Cat Bathing As A Martial Art
A. Know that although the cat has the advantage of quickness and lack of concern 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.)
B. 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-sleeved flak jacket.
C. 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.)
D. Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to 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.
E. 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. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so don't expect too much.)
F. 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 with 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. 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 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.
This email reply was also received.
Subject: How to bathe a cat - Safe Option
There is of course a much easier way, providing you have a front loading washing machine. Bad weather will also play a big part in this simple process. First pick a rainy day, the heavier the rain the better, then put an adequate amount of shampoo into the machine leaving the door to the washing machine wide open. This should be done without the cat being aware of your actions.
Lure your cat close to the laundry with a promise of food placed in front of the machine. You will at this stage be able to pick the cat up and probably pet the unsuspecting beast. Then, in a single fluid motion (hesitation will result in complete failure and the need to follow the lengthy process detailed below), throw the cat into the machine and quickly shut the door.
Set to a cold or warm wash cycle with a pause for conditioning prior the spin cycle, this is important if you do not wish to harm your pet. Start the machine. This may seem a little extreme but rest assured that the cat will not drown. They have a real fear of water and will struggle successfully for ages to keep their heads above water as the drum rotates regardless of the direction of rotation. At the pause for conditioning switch the machine off. The time lock should allow the door to be opened after about 60 seconds.
You will now need a hessian sack. Place the sack around the opening to the washing machine and carefully open the door. Do not leave any gaps for the cat to escape through. It its terror the cat will try to escape even if it means getting into the sack. Don't worry about the rinsing at this stage. When safely trapped in the sack secure the end and go to the nearest window. Empty the sack out of the window.
Again care should be taken, ensure that the enraged cat does not leap back in through the window for obvious reasons. The heavy rain should now provide the necessary rinse. When the rain stops allow a couple of hours for the cat to dry itself and invite it back into the house for a real meal. Cats are not stupid and will not bite the hand that feeds them.
The period of time between washes will depend on how good your cats memory is or isn't but you can usually lull them into a false sense of security with dummy runs and meals. I am sure you will agree that this is a much safer and quicker method.
How to give your Cat a pill
Grasp cat firmly in your arms. Cradle its head on your elbow, just as if you were giving a baby a bottle. Coo confidently, "That's a nice kitty." Drop the pill in its mouth.
Retrieve cat from top of lamp & pill from under sofa.
Follow same proceedure as in 1, but hold cat's front paws down with left hand & back paws down with elbow of right arm. Poke pill into its mouth with right forefinger.
Retrieve cat from under bed. Get new pill from bottle. (resist impulse to get new cat.)
Again proceed as in 1, except when you have cat firmly cradled in bottle-feeding position, sit on edge of chair, fold your torso over cat, bring your right hand over your left elbow, open cat's mouth by lifting the upper jaw & pop pill in - quickly! Since your head is down by your knees, you won't be able to see what you are doing. That's just as well.
Leave cat hanging on drapes. Leave pill in your hair.
If you are a woman, have a good cry. If you are a man, have a good cry.
Now pull yourself together. Who's the boss here anyway? Retrieve cat & pill. Assuming position 1, say sternly, "Who's the the boss here anyway?" Open cat's mouth, take pill & ....Oooops!
This isn't working, is it? Collapse & think. Aha! Those flashing calws are causing the chaos.
Crawl to the linen closet. Drag back a large beach towl. Spread towel on floor.
Retrieve cat from kitchen counter & pill from potted plant.
Spread cat on towel near one end with its head over long edge.
Flatten cat's front & back legs over its stomach. (resist impulse to flatten cat.)
Roll cat in towel. Work fast; time & tabbies wait for no man - or woman!
Resume position 1. Rotate your left hand to cat's head. Press its mouth at the jaw hinges like opening the petals of a snapdragon.
Drop pill into cat's mouth & poke gently. Voila! It's done!
Vacuum up loose fur (cat's). Apply bandages to wounds (yours).
Take two asprins & lie down.
FOR CATS ONLY
How to Get Revenge on Your Human