[Jokes] Cat bathing as a martial art

Chris McKenna cmckenna at sucs.swan.ac.uk
Wed Jun 20 17:10:38 BST 2001


Some people say cats never have to be bathed.
They say cats lick themselves clean.
They say cats have a special enzyme of some sort in their saliva that
works like New, Improved Wisk - dislodging the dirt where it hides and
whisks it away.
I've spent most of my life believing this folklore. Like most blind
believers, I've been able to discount all the facts to the contrary - the
kitty odours that lurk in the corners of the garage and dirt smudges that
cling to the throw rug by the fireplace. The time comes, however, when a
man must face reality; when he must look squarely in the face of massive
public sentiment to the contrary and announce:
"This cat smells like a port-a-potty on a hot day in Juarez." When that
day arrives at your house, as it has in mine, I have some advice you might
consider as you place your feline friend under your arm and head for the
bathtub:  Know that although the cat has the advantage of quickness and
lack of concern for human life, you have the advantage of strength.
Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield. Don't try to
bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick a very
small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, I
recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass
doors as if you were about to take a shower. (A simple shower curtain will
not do. A berserk cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker
than a politician can shift positions.)  Know that a cat has claws and
will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body.
Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect
yourself. I recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction
boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face mask and
a long-sleeve flak jacket.  Prepare everything in advance. There is no
time to go out for a towel when you have a cat digging a hole in your flak
jacket. Draw the water. Make sure the bottle of kitty shampoo is inside
the glass enclosure. Make sure the towel can be reached, even if you are
lying on your back in the water.  Use the element of surprise. Pick up
your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish. (Cats
will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no
interest in fashion as a rule. If he does notice your garb, calmly explain
that you are taking part in a product-testing experiment for J.C. Penney.)
Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a
single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure,
slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with
shampoo. You have begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life. Cats
have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem
is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more that two
or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember
to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy. He'll then
spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off.
Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part
will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this
point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying
is simple compared to what you have just been through. That's because by
now the cat is semi permanently affixed to your right leg. You simply pop
the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait.
(Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your
army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him
loose and to encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is
drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the
cat. In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg.
He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a
lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psycho
ceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine.
You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case. As
a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defences and injure
you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath. But, at least
now he smells a lot better.

Chris 'Awkward' McKenna

cmckenna at sucs.swan.ac.uk
awkward at gmx.co.uk

The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes,
but with the heart

Antoine de Saint Exupery

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