Blood and Claws (not a horror story, just bathing the cat)

…okay, maybe it is a horror story.  Methos has been scratching and licking and biting a lot more than usual lately.  I also saw a flea on my baby’s head a week or so ago when I was changing her diaper… at least I think it was a flea.  It was fast and I couldn’t squish it between my fingers, and then it disappeared, never to be seen again.  I have even gotten a few random “bites” that, with help from my frantic scratching, have turned into formidable patches of irritated skin.  I didn’t have any bites on my ankles, evidence, said my neighbor, that the whole house wasn’t infested, just the cat.  My other cat seems completely fine.

So, after several nights of kicking the cat off the bed due to his incessant scratching and biting (shakes the whole friggin’ bed), I decide he needs a bath.  I’d been told by more than one person that Dawn dish-washing liquid kills fleas.    He’s not routinely bathed, because he grooms himself well enough usually. In fact, he normally has some of the softest fur of any cat I’ve ever seen.  It’s thick and shiny.  I request hubby’s help to bathe the cat, cuz I know it will be a…process.   He basically laughs at me, and then wisely declines.  So the next day I enlist the help of my lovely- and unsuspecting- neighbor.  Actually, she has cats and knows what it’s like to bathe a cat who isn’t “into” baths.

Never, EVER have I heard noises like this come from my cat.

I won’t give you a blow by blow.  Let’s just say it was probably a lot like putting a rabid honey badger in a toilet and flushing…I’m guessing.  I’ve never flushed a furry animal in my life.  My husband was home for lunch at this juncture, and as I haul the cat back to the tub again (when the claws start pinwheeling, you let that bitch go!!!) he decides to come in to help… gee, thanks.

“I eat venomous snakes for lunch! You want a piece of me??!!”

By this point, the cat has already lost at least part of a claw trying to wrest his way free.  He’s making some yowling/growling/mewling sound deep in his chest and has tracked tiny dots of blood on the tile floor from his wounded claw.  He uses anything in which his claws find purchase to try to win his freedom, including but not limited to our skin and clothing.  And he’s panting like he might have a stroke.

I can not understand for the life of me WHY this should be so traumatic for him.  He can’t actually think I intend to drown him.  I try to soothe him with words, but he doesn’t seem interested.  Cats are the only animals that will literally damn near kill themselves trying to get away from something… that’s not even hurting them.

So anyway, as there is only room for two of us by the side of the tub, I step back and hubs wedges in next to my neighbor.  In two seconds flat, hubs is bellowing expletives and the cat is– once again– out of the tub.  Hubs is bleeding profusely from several not horribly deep but deep-enough-to-bruise scratches on his hands and arms.  All of us are wet, the cat is traumatized, the bathroom is half flooded.

After toweling Methos off as best as possible given the circumstances, we decide to leave him in the bathroom for a while to dry off (and because I’m hoping he’ll calm down and decide not to piss on any of my stuff in retaliation.)

My neighbor gets away relatively unscathed; I’m glad because I’d have felt bad if she got hurt.  I think the cat and I have both stopped bleeding.  Not hubs– he’s torn up and has to change his clothes and bathe in Bactine before going back to work.

I actually feel guilty for upsetting the cat so badly, and worried that maybe the dumb bastard seriously injured himself trying to get away.  Now I’ll spend the rest of the night kissing up to him.  He took a nap with me later on in the day, so I guess he forgives me for the bath.

So I won’t tell him that the whole time this was going on …I saw… Not. One. Flea.


PS.  Note there are not actual pix of Methos in this entry.  I didn’t think of it at the time, and even if I had, we were all too busy trying to keep from sustaining any grievous wounds to bother taking any pictures.  Besides, I’m almost positive he’d never forgive me for having hard evidence of his humiliation.