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English: Tuxedo cat unhappy about his flea bath.

English: Tuxedo cat unhappy about his flea bath. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You better be prepared to donate blood.


In my seemingly never-ending, life-long quest to be frugal, I have tried to bathe my cats (I also gave our pet guinea pigs injections many years ago, but that’s another story).  So anyway, our older and fluffier cat is Clementine.  Kid #2 is the most open to helping with just about anything cat-related and a number of years ago I requested her assistance in bathing Clementine.  Kid #2 donned her dad’s high school letterman’s jacket (leather sleeves for protection) and filled the bathtub with a couple of inches of warm-ish water.


I corralled Clementine using a towel, “scruffing,” and my commanding mommy voice.  The first time we did this, we used the garden/jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom.  What a frickin’ nightmare.  Clementine screeched and clawed like we were killing her (we weren’t, although it occurred to me in the midst of all the drama) and ultimately escaped, wet and unwashed, because the builder didn’t put a door on the master bathroom.  Really?  No door?


The next time we attempted to bathe Clementine, we used the downstairs bathroom, with a door thankyouverymuch.  Same set-up:  kid #2 in the old letterman’s jacket, me trapping the cat in a beach towel.  We wrestled her into the water with all four legs splayed out and splashing.  Got her wet, soaped up, and mostly rinsed before she leaped out of the tub and huddled behind the toilet.  When she finally emerged the next day we realized we hadn’t rinsed the soap out very well and she was a soggy, clumpy mess.


I went to Petco and bought a bottle of “waterless cat bath.”  If I had taken even 30 seconds to consider this purchase, I would’ve realized that while the stuff was technically waterless (it didn’t need to be rinsed out), it was still wet.  And wet is exactly what Clementine objects to.  I know when to admit defeat, and this was it.


Time passed without any cat baths and we adopted Anna, a sweet, short-haired cat.  I realized that Clementine really, really needed a bath and I really, really needed to find a groomer.  A new place opened nearby and I went in to talk to the groomer.  She was remarkably calm and even-tempered for a person who spends at least half her work week with wet cats, so I made an appointment.


Dear Lord, getting both cats into their carriers took the better part of an hour and a long, bloody gash across my abdomen plus corresponding tear in my shirt.  They meowed and yowled the whole two miles in the minivan to the groomer’s and kept it up all the way inside.  A peevish pug barked when I set the carriers down, scaring the cats into silence.  Good dog.


I picked them up two hours later, overtipped, and enjoyed a quiet ride home.  Releasing the cats from their carriers, I discovered that not only were they clean, nails trimmed, and groomed, they each sported a jaunty bandana.  I grabbed the camera.


Seriously, this groomer doesn’t charge near enough!

18/365 mad as a freshly bathed cat

18/365 mad as a freshly bathed cat (Photo credit: MaryLouiseEklund)