Sunday, June 20, 2010

Giving Shadow a Bath

My cats have very sensitive stomachs. Whistler is allergic to eggs and chicken, and Shadow is also sensitive to those things, though a bit of fresh broiled chicken doesn't put her stomach into a situation as it does Whistler's. I mostly have it figured out by now what they can eat and what they can't. They dine on premium, limited ingredient diets... salmon and sweet potato dry food in the morning and various canned foods (rabbit or venison or the like, with various starches and vegetables). But I tried a salmon and green pea limited diet food. For a change, Whistler was fine. But Shadow had some tummy trouble. In fact, it was pretty terrible trouble, which necessitated an instantaneous bath.
Cats don't like baths, as you can imagine, and unlike the average dog, they will let you know it pretty strenuously, turning into wildcats when you try to coax them into the bathtub to dip them into the tepid tub for a shampoo. Suddenly, a wisp of tail disappears under the couch or the bed or behind the computer, and you are caught trying to fish out the cat with one hand while your head remains squeezed like a lemon in a juicer under the rim of the sofa. Unadvisable. Teeth and claws are pretty powerful weapons that take care of any unfortunate creature trying to catch a cat in that way.
But my son was here today, letting Richard perform his Father's Day ritual of making bacon and eggs for the two of them. When asked what he wanted for Father's Day, that was the answer, that and the two of them watching the golf tournament on t.v.. So we obliged him, but Jeremy took out time to develop a strategy for trapping Shadow and plonking her into the by now cold bath.
While Richard blew hard into a flute, startling the cat, I revved up my new shredder, and Jeremy scooped her up as she fled, panicked, directly into his arms. We had removed the litter box from the bathroom so she wouldn't roll herself in the box while wet and come out looking like a battered catfish. And once we got her into the still a bit warm water, and massaged her with the shampoo, she didn't seem to mind it at all. In fact, she seemed relieved to get rid of the gunk that had gotten stuck in her long coat, and I had to spray the tub with bleach afterwords to dispose of it.
After a brisk toweling, she repaired to the bedroom to groom her fur dry and smooth, as though nothing had ever happened.


Anonymous said...

Great entry! Ahh, kitty, kitty.


Robbi said...

The picture is not her; it's an internet cat. She didn't look mad, mostly because we only washed her back end.

Lou said...

I'm surprised that poor cat didn't have a heart attack!

Robbi said...

They are sturdier creatures than you imagine! Once we got her in the nice tepid water, she calmed down, and didn't try to escape. As long as we don't try to wash her head, she will remain like that.