Or… how not to wash a cat’s butt
By Jeff Salter
Alley Cat Flashback (from Nov. 2002)
My wife brought home that raggedy alley cat again this weekend. It keeps drinking from my water glass, tried last night to eat my vitamins, climbs on top of the keyboard and monitor, clinks dishes in the middle of the night, opens and slams the cabinet doors, and now BITES our hands, wrists, and ankles!
Well, last evening King Sipper reached new depths of gato gross-out: immediately after departing the litter box (and with that aroma freshly pungent throughout the house), Sipper raced over to the couch and landed in my lap.
The penetrating stench of cat feces was exponentially greater than the stink in the room in general, so I figured Sip had tracked some in on his paws. I couldn’t see the bottoms of his feet, but he was twirling or twisting or otherwise gyrating, so I got a thorough view of his rear end. Draped from his butt’s, um, center – and from his upper hindquarters – was what resembled bubble gum or silly string … in LOOPS no less!
At first I figured the smell and the ‘loops’ could not possibly be related (you now, maybe he ran through some really sturdy cobwebs or something). WRONG! The loops WERE the smell! That cat had ‘SH*T STRINGS’ of poop … which had somehow clung to his butt-fur! He started shaking his hind legs, trying to fling off the loops of poop! And he kept turning around, the better to rub some of it onto the couch … or onto ME!
About this time, I start screeching to Denise, “Come get this cat! He’s got loops of poop all over his *SS!” Well, she saunters over, acting like I’m exaggerating. Finally arriving at the couch, after I’ve tried holding a cat with poop loops at arm’s length for several minutes, Denise realizes my assessment is accurate.
She grabs the cat in one hand and goes to retrieve a ROLL of toilet paper. Does she tend to the cat in the bathroom? No … she returns to the couch. She takes a few ineffectual swipes at Sipper’s butt with several tissue squares, but all that really does is tangle poop loops in her FINGERS!
Finally Denise flees to the bathroom, with the cat in one hand and her other hand stretched out as far away as possible. So now she’s calling on ME for help! Do I saunter? Do I delay? Well, I want to … but I don’t. I grab the front end of the pooper cat and Denise starts running water in the lavatory.
So I’m holding Sipper — and Denise keeps testing the temperature of the water. I’m saying, “Denise, he’s not going to care whether it’s cold or warm … he’s gonna HATE the water — PERIOD! Just get it over with!” She ignores me, of course, and gets the temperature just right. Then she tells me to hold the cat tighter. Tighter?
Remember that old Internet story about giving pills to cats? Well bathing feline butts is just about as problematic. Ole Sip squirms and twists and tries to claw out my eyeballs – only slight exaggeration – while Denise soaks and swabs his butt. Well, take it from me: cats do NOT like being second-guessed about their rear-end hygiene! The Sip-meister was majorly twitterpated!
Finally, Denise gets the remnants of the poop loops off Sipper’s butt, then sets about to RINSE him. Well, rinsing a cat is not a bit easier than washing one. Sipper evidently had figured the process was complete and was definitely ready to depart.
Well, to make a long story a bit shorter: Sip got his butt washed, rinsed, and blow-DRIED … all while I frantically clutched the biting and scratching end of the gato machine.
If I went to the E.R. with all these scratches and bites on my hands and wrists, they’d probably have that woman arrested for spouse abuse. [And they’d never believe we tried to wash, rinse, and dry a cat’s butt in the lavatory — because of poop loops!] So, she’d need a really good lawyer. Know any attorneys specializing in cat injuries? Bueller? Anyone?
Gotta go change my band-aids.
Have YOU ever tried to bathe a cat? How’d that work out for ya?
[ JLS # 241 ]