How to Wash a Cat

This is another one of those “Does anyone else go through this?” posts.

Yesterday, my toddler, the Wee Princess, had had her nap and she was revved and recharged for all sorts of wee mischief.  It started when I heard the back sliding glass door open.  The air conditioner was on, so I wanted that door shut.  I told her to shut it, and she did.  A few minutes later, I heard it again.  Then I heard the screen door open.  What?  That was supposed to be locked way up high where she couldn’t reach.

I called her name, and she responded, “I outside.”  I told her to come back in, and she did, as I walked over to the door.  Then she said, “Sassy outside.”  Ugh!  I told Sassy, the girls’ cat, to get inside, and she did.  My husband had forgotten to lock the screen door when he came in last night.  Great.  I locked both the screen and the sliding glass door, and Wee Princess followed me to the living room.

I went back to my work, and she toddled off to the office – and shut the door.  This can’t be good.  I waited, ears open, tuned toward that corner of the house.  After a minute of silence, I went to see what she was doing.  She’d found a sample of lotion and was rubbing it on her legs.  She told me she’d gotten some on the floor (“That’s OK, sweetie.”) and proudly announced she’d put some on the cat, too.  Oh.  god.  I look at Sassy and see that she has lotion all over her back that she wants desperately to lick off, but she can’t stand the scent.

It’s now past time for me to start getting ready to meet a friend for dinner, but first, I have to bathe Sassy.  So, here’s the heart of this post:

(1)  Carry the cat upstairs, being careful not to get lotion all over you, and being careful of the razor-like claws.

(2) Go into the bathroom and shut the door.  Lock it so curious children can’t open it and let the cat escape.

(3) Ignore the loud, plaintive cries of said cat.

(4) Start bath water, letting it get to a nice, warm temperature.  Get shampoo and towel ready.

(5) Ignore cat-from-hell screams now coming out of cat.

(6) Assure daughters that the cat – and you – are perfectly fine and no one is hurt.

(7) Put cat into tub, being sure to get her head and face wet.  Ideally, this will calm her down so you can bathe her.

(8) Dodge kung-foo swinging claws and ignore cat-from-the-very-deepest-bowels-of-hell screams.

(9) Quickly shampoo cat and rinse the shampoo out of her fur.

(10) Grab a towel to wrap around the cat when she jumps out of the tub.

(11) Still avoiding the knives on the tips of her paws, towel dry her fur.

(12) Give the cat a sprig of catnip and a can of salmon in an attempt at making things better.  It won’t work, but cats like their humans reminding them who really runs the house.


2 responses to “How to Wash a Cat

  1. Too funny! Reminded me how when I was growing up, I would bathe my cats. Insane, I know. But one thing for sure… there is nothing funnier than a wet cat.


    • I used to wash my senior cat on a monthly basis when she was a kitten. I’d bathe her, then give her her flea treatment mixed with tuna, so she didn’t mind baths at all. She still handles them better than the other two cats. If I’d had the time, I’d have taken pictures, because she looked hilarious!


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