Sunday, August 19, 2007

Something I Won't Be Doing Again Any Time Soon

This is my cat B (short for Bianca). To the right is B's normal pose in the dead heat of summer, on her back on the linoleum, all 4 paws up in the air, trying to keep cool.

Today, like the stupid pet owner that I am, I gave B a b-a-t-h. And since it's nearly 90 in my apartment, it seemed like the perfect time. It was the first I had ever given her and it just well might be her last home bath. It was traumatic for both of us, and for my other cat, Raffi, who stood by nervously listening to her pathetic yowls, my swearing, and the splash of water.

My friend Patti sums up B's appearance quite accurately when she says "it's as if someone took a bag of fur and stuffed a cat into the middle of it." B has enough hair to make 3 cats and two kittens. I try to brush and comb her regularly, and she's semi-patient when I have to cut or clip out big clumpy mats. (I'm convinced she rolls around in Elmer's glue when I'm not home.) But even with regular brushing, she's a mess. So I bought some cat shampoo and got to work.

One thing I'm eternally grateful for is that B has a very sweet and forgiving temperament. She never once tried to bite or claw me. She didn't even hiss. Had I tried this with my other cat, I would be typing with stumps and my face would be covered with rows of scratches resembling an evenly plowed corn field. But the noise! Normally, B has this very ladylike squeak of a meow. Today she emitted belly-deep, heart wrenching yowls that I'm sure the people in the sushi shop on the corner heard. I half expect the ASPCA to come knocking on my door any minute.

But the bath got done and B was partially toweled off before she made her escape to hide soaking wet under my bed. Yes, a wet cat is under my bed. Oh, joy!

But she's a clean cat... and I finally found out that under all that fur, B is just a normal size cat.

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