Our dogs love water, they throw themselves into any puddle, the sea or lake without hesitation. Why is it then that they hate being washed? In the UK Bessie was so bath averse that we just took the dog to the nearest river and threw a stick, this together with the daily brush kept her pretty clean and she only needed a shampoo for special occasions. In Kazakhstan we had to step up the frequency of proper washes, we accomplished this by putting her in the shower and closing the door leaving just enough access for our hands to wash out the shampoo. Once the water in the tray was deep enough she seemed to think she was in a river and settled down.
|This is fun!
|Not so much...
Here in Malaysia Bess has to go to a groomer every 6 months to get her very thick coat clipped to make the heat manageable for her. She gets a full salon treatment at the same time and I usually send Perdie for a quick wash and blow dry at the same time. In between, however, the dogs get washed at home. Luckily unlike Kazakhstan it is warm year round and I can just hose them down in the drive. They don’t relish it but they have learned to tolerate it and the obligatory shake dry over the humans apart the process is reasonably painless.
|Haircuts are cool but seriously lacking in style.
I have never had to wash a cat and as Kismet is an indoor kitty we were not expecting to have to do this too often. Sadly I have had an unexpected and rather unwelcome introduction to the art of cat cleaning.
|From the day she arrived this cuddly kitten
has loved the furniture
We have been very lucky with Kismet, ever since she came to stay she has been a model puss and we have not had to deal with any accidents, she took to her litter tray straight away. I was very surprised, therefore, when I found a trail of matter that should have been in the litter tray smeared over my floor. Inevitably this happened as I was on my way to bed and on a night when I was on my own, Mr EE being away on a business trip. I checked the cat and her hindquarters were filthy. I checked my cat book and it said to clean her with cotton wool. We don’t have any of that so I tried baby wipes. Unfortunately the cat kept on running away and did not want to be held down for cleansing.
|She sits wherever she likes, why should the
humans get the best view of House of Cards. (NB we
do own a TV but our cable connector is broken)
Tactic 2 involved picking the cat up, hugging her tight and putting her rear end under the tap. This resulted in a lacerated forearm. She purred, rubbed her head against me and was generally affectionate enough to tell me that it was not personal but she was adamant that her hindquarters were not to be cleaned by human agency. I would not have minded this independence in an outdoor cat but she likes to curl up me and on the furniture so she really did need to be clean.
|My lap is a favourite spot - dirty hindquarters are
not an option!
Tactic number 3 involved locking us both in the downstairs loo with oven mitts (I now have to replace them) and deploying a spray hose (the type that are often used in place of loo paper here in South East Asia, they are excellent for cleaning off nappies, washing bathrooms and, it seems, cats). This seemed the most effective method and would have worked really well if I had a kitty cleaning assistant. On my own, however, it took quite some time and ended up with me rather more soaked than the cat.
|We can't throw a stick to persuade the cat to bathe.
After this I conceded defeat, I had done my best, and I placed the cat in her crate with her litter tray and gave myself a few hours’ sleep before returning to check on her and repeat the process. I was dreading another trip to the vets (and the inevitable instructions to push pills down the cat for a week) in the morning but it seems my attentions have paid off and (fingers crossed) she is much better now. She has even forgiven me the indignities of her treatment and has returned to snoozing on my lap.
|Is this the gear I need to clean the cat?
Mr EE is back shortly so I can bet with some certainty that this problem will not recur in the near future but I need to know how to accomplish the task if the need arises. Diving gear would be great (when Bessie was a baby she was very wriggly and extremely free with her claws so before we had discovered the river/brush method or the tie up to the gate and hose tactic I used to don wetsuit and diving gloves, hat and mask to bathe her) but all my stuff is in a container in the UK so this will not work. In the absence of 7mm of neoprene protection I would, appreciate any hints tips and insights on solo cat cleaning hacks.