Jest a Moment: How to Bathe a Cat
A 13-step guide
Looking for an effective New Year hangover remedy? Try bathing a cat. When that cute, cuddly furball hits the water and transforms into a murderous biting-clawing demon, you’ll be astonished how quickly that morning-after nauseated “just let me die” mood is replaced by the desire for self-preservation. Since bathing a cat is not without risks, here’s a 13-step guide on how to bathe a cat – in other words, how to prepare for that Man versus Beast aquatic confrontation, based (more or less) on painful personal experience:
How to bathe a cat
Find cat. This may seem a rather obvious initial step, but cats can be particularly resourceful at devising stealth tactics should they suspect a dunking is imminent. So check the stairs, behind the sofa, in the clothes dryer, up the chimney, in your neighbor’s sock drawer, Mars.
Place cat in sink/bath. At this point, suddenly realizing you’ve forgotten the cat shampoo bottle, fetch it and return.
Find cat and place in sink/bath, again.
Softly repeat comforting phrases like “good kitty,” but be aware that the sole purpose of such verbal reassurances is to build your self-confidence and resolve. They will have absolutely no pacifying effect on the animal.
Place cotton balls in cat’s ears. This is not to prevent water getting in, but to avoid further frightening the cat from your screams.
Turn on faucet, pouring water and shampoo over cat. Attempt to lather.
Remove cat from head and return hissing, scratching, wailing animal to sink/bath. Reach for towel to wipe soap and blood (yours) from face.
Find cat, again.
Slip on wet, soapy floor while attempting to replace enraged cat back in bath/sink.
After regaining consciousness, find cat again.
Return drenched, soapy, howling, cat to sink/bath. Lather, rinse, towel dry, and release.
Crawl to phone and call 911 to request assistance. While waiting for ambulance, disinfect any area where excrement may have been deposited; also check if the cat left any.
Relax for well-deserved New Year’s rest – while being carried out on stretcher.
Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama, and has written features, columns, and interviews for many newspapers and magazines, including many nostalgia articles for Boomer.