Monday, May 3, 2010
The other day, Jay came home and announced: "We're going to give the cat a bath."
I tried to explain to him that cats don't need baths because they're so compulsive about keeping themselves clean. And because they hate water with a passion that is difficult to quantify. And also because I was afraid we would look like we'd walked through a forest of thorny bushes by the time we were finished.
But my protests fell on deaf ears. "She needs a bath," he said. "It's been six months since her last one."
I explained that the only reason we'd bathed her then was because she had fleas and was dirty from living outside.
But he still held squirming Lucy with one arm while he turned on the water and stopped the drain. Before I even had time to grab the shampoo, he set her in the water. She yowled and cried and her feet scrabbled against the bottom of the tub.
Once she was wet, after a few more half-hearted attempts to squirm and scratch, she stood meekly still. We lathered and rinsed as quickly as we could, and I lifted her out of the tub into my own towel. She shook in my arms, from cold or fear or fury, I couldn't tell.
She was spiky and skinny as I toweled her dry. She looked so small. "Like a drowned rat," Jay said.
She wouldn't stop shaking, so I held her on the bathroom counter for a minute with the blow dryer on a low setting. She hated it.
I don't advocate bathing cats on a regular--or even biannual--basis. But she's sure been soft for the past few days...