Cat lovers gather around.
I’m only writing about this because I love my cat and this experience, unlike the one I vaguely recall about washing our family cat when I was a girl, was pretty freaking traumatic. I am so glad that my husband and I worked as a team on this because otherwise it would never have happened. And it needed to happen at least once.
I really hate doing things for my cat that stress him out or make him feel threatened. I only clean his paws whenever he used the litter box because of my husband. We never did that with my family cat. Cats are the cleanest animals ever. They spend like half the day cleaning themselves and sleeping. But I do it for my husband. I do it even when he’s not around. It’s our agreement.
So Thursday afternoon we’re in the bathroom filling a basin with water and using another plastic container to scoop water and generally prepping ourselves and the area while Jet stands on top of the toilet lid looking at us like, what is about to happen here? I Know you don’t think I’m getting in that right? Do you? Wait, what the hell?
And we’re all it’s okay, it’ll be all right. We got this special cat shampoo at Target formulated for sensitive cat skin by JP Mitchell himself!
Cat’s for the most part do not like being submerged in water. They’re curious about it, play with it a bit, drink it but they give no fucks about your external cleaning products and want no parts of it.
We barely lowered Jet into the basin of medium temperature water before he panicked, scrambled up the front of my husbands torso and was held there by him for the next harrowing 20 minutes or so.
There was blood.
I got a few nicks on my left hand but I barely paid attention to that. I accepted I would get scratched when we first adopted Jet. I don’t take it personally. However I was worried about my husband whom Jet was digging his claws into because of sheer horror. But my husband who loves the cat as much as I do was very very calm and instructed me to continue pouring water on our traumatized cat and to shampoo and rinse him. I looked in Jets eyes and it literally looked as if he wanted to leave his body. It was so painful for me to see that. I ran and got him some treats to eat to distract him and hopefully to give him something positive to focus on. I could see him struggling to make choices but he did eat all the treats. I kept asking my husband if he was okay, if his back was okay, because I could see the holes in his t-shirt. I was worried for both of them.
When it was over we still had to towel him off a bit because you’re not supposed to let newly washed pets walk around sopping wet. That was a little easier because we were able to let him down and he didn’t take off running or start shaking. There is nothing more pathetic and dejected looking than a wet cat.
After that he walked off to a corner by the closet and the apartment door and went to work licking himself all over. I actually sat next to him while he worked, you know just in case he needed support. LOL!!!
It was actually quite amazing. Cat tongues are the most efficient cleaning and grooming tools I have ever seen. In about half an hour he was dry, clean, soft and shiny and later on he was laid out on our bed, stomach exposed and fast asleep while my husband used the cat brush on him. Jet was loving it. Apparently he doesn’t hold grudges.
I still slept with one eye open that night though.