Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bathing Multiple Cats

When I married my husband he had 5 cats. Yes, 5. Indoor cats. I am allergic to cats. Yes, I deserve a medal. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED those cats, but for the 9 years that they were a part of our home I endured shots and pills to try to deal with the itching that they caused me. In addition to cleaning up cat puke, vacuuming up cat hair, emptying the litter box AND being the primary giver of all medicines (which got to be a daily thing as several of them aged). And the bathing. Oh, the bathing.

For yesterday's Monday Mission Rose Daughter wrote a post about bathing her children. Which made me think of the plan my husband and I concocted for bathing the cats. Mind you, we never actually did this, as it would involve building a series of pulleys and such, but we are sure that it would have been much better than the way we did it, which usually ended up with a lot of yowling (the cats, mostly) a fair amount of swearing (us, although the yowling of the cats could probably be pretty well interpreted as "what the H**l do you f***ing think you're doing, @$$holes!?!?") and some bleeding (again, us, usually followed by more swearing).

And so, I give you our plan for bathing multiple cats.

*To properly bathe cats in this fashion you need a bathtub/shower with a sliding glass door, and a fancy set of pulleys and such. You'll have to engineer the pulley system yourself. I am not the engineer, just the idea girl

- fill bathtub with warm soapy water
- close the sliding glass door
- pick up your beloved kitties and drop them into the tub, over the glass door
- as the multiple kitties scramble to get out of the tub, they will essentially scrub each other clean
- use one of your fancy pulley doohickeys to pull the plug and empty the tub
- use another pulley to turn on the shower, rinsing off the cats
- rinsing of the cats may also be aided by the pouring of jugs of water over the top of the tub (from the safety of the other side of the glass door, of course)
- when the cats are good and rinsed, stop the water.
- line the bathroom with lots and lots of soft, dry towels. Leave nothing of value out in the bathroom.
- if you have a bathroom heater, turn that on as well.
- exit the bathroom and CLOSE THE DOOR
- (if you have cats, like some of ours, who can open simple doorknobs, you may need to install an exterior lock)
- use another pulley system to slide open the glass doors. The cats will scramble out of the tub
- leave the cats in the bathroom for a while to dry off via their frantic rubbing on the towels and the heat from the heater
- while the cats are drying themselves put away anything breakable or shreddable in your home. Be sure to leave a nice full dish of food and some brand new cat nip toys closely outside of the bathroom to distract/bribe them before they can wreck too much havoc on the rest of your home in righteous revenge
- exit your home
- use another pulley system to open the bathroom door, letting the cats out into the house
- allow the cats to become sufficiently high on the catnip before reentering your home

See. Isn't that easier than bathing them yourself?

This public service announcement has been brought to you by the letter C and the number 5.

for the record, when we got married my husband had had these cats for 6-7 years already. Pets are like family members, I firmly believe. My husband was gracious enough to say that if I was unable to live with the cats, that we would get rid of them. (We also made a deal that we would not get any new cats. Who knew that 2 of them would live to be 16?) We did keep them out of the bedroom for a while, until the doorknob broke in our old home and the door was so old and of an odd thickness that we couldn't find one that fit, and then the cats could just push the door open, and so much for that. I was also told I would never change a litter box. Which lasted for about 2 years. (but I'm not bitter about that part at all. OK, yes, I am). We bathed the cats because doctors told me that would help cut down on the allergens. Admittedly, the longer we were married the less we bathed the cats. The trade off just did not seem worth it.


Badness Jones said...

I love it! I wonder if this would work for bathing a 70+ lb dog? So far our best strategy is to have one of us feed her frozen peas one by one (don't ask, she loves them - they're like some kind of dog crack!) while the other scrubs and rinses. But we all still get pretty battered in the process!

Jennifer said...

I would really love to watch someone bathing 5 cats! ;)

Anonymous said...

I worked as a groomer for a while, and my expert opinion is that this is an excellent plan. Quick, patent it!

another good thing said...

HAHAHA. Great.
I spent 6 weeks taking a grooming course and only 2 cats ever showed up. I made sure I was busy with the Neufoundland twins, and a yappy Pomeranian-- all of whom took to the bath better than those two cats.

Family Adventure said...

That, my friend, is the work of a genius!


thailandchani said...

It certainly sounds workable. :)

blooming desertpea said...

I am actually a bit upset that your husband put you through living with cats when he knew that you were allergic to them - and that for 9 years! Am I out of line here?

Emily R said...

I'm with BD -- why didn't you make him find other homes for the cats?!

(Of course, we ALL know how well that works in my family)

NotSoSage said...

Goodness...I thought cats washed themselves?

the dragonfly said...

I laughed and laughed and laughed...especially since I knew some of those cats. :)

It actually sounds like a very good system. When I have to give our three cats baths...well, I usually have a glass of wine or something afterwards..!

SusieJ said...

I miss cats!! This is so true!

Candygirlflies said...

A-HAH!! You have just given me THE IDEA for my eldest daughter's next science project, which is to construct a helpful household machine that works (she is doing a unit on "motion").

GEN-IUS!! Thank-you!!

When I was a teenager, I was hope alone when one of our two Very Important Cats got squirted... HARD... by a very ripe skunk.

Ever tried bathing a hysterical 25 pound cat in tomato juice???

Let's just say we had to paint the laundry room after it was over, and save the long and very painful description.

xo CGF

Christine said...

that sounds like a scary movie given my unnatural fear of cats.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

oh my, LOL!

Rimarama said...

First of all, you are a stellar wife and deserve a medal.

That was LOL funny! It's too bad that Scrubbing Bubbles self-cleaning shower doohicky hadn't yet been invented, or you could have just thrown them all in there and pressed the EASY button.

Victoria said...

Yeah, you totally deserve a Good Deed Award! This was sooo funny! =)

We have a 6 month old bull dog who ADORES her baths. She's nuts.

Julie Pippert said...

When we married we had four cats (my two and his two). 14 years later we are down to only one. :(

I have seen a cat blow dryer box, I kid not. You put the wet cat in it and it blows air from the sides.

I swear.

It might have been on Dirty Jobs, whose to say, I see so much strange stuff on TV LOL

Using My Words

Luisa Perkins said...

SO funny. And I've bathed cats. It's no party, I tell you.

flutter said...

can't I just pay somebody to do it for me? heh...

soccer mom in denial said...

You are a better woman than me to live with his cats in spite of your allergies.

jen said...

you are a saint...and i expect a front row invitation next time you schedule cat bathing, because wow, does that sound hilarious.

Magpie said...

Nothing sadder than a wet cat.

You - are a saint.

We had two cats for many years - my husband was allergic to them, but we never resorted to bathing the cats. Maybe I'll suggest this to him, 'cause I'm pining for another pair.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

- "
while the cats are drying themselves put away anything breakable or shreddable in your home. Be sure to leave a nice full dish of food and some brand new cat nip toys closely outside of the bathroom to distract/bribe them before they can wreck too much havoc on the rest of your home in righteous revenge
- exit your home"

I'm on the floor laughing with this. Certainly sounds like cats to me!

WorksForMom said...

My mouth is on the floor. I can BARELY bath our 1 cat without coming out defeated and soaked. Hilarious. And man you must have loved your husband to bear 5 with allergies! Bless your big heart!

Mac and Cheese said...

You are certainly a trooper. I don't think I could ask anyone to give up their pet(s) either, but as someone with pretty bad cat allergies too, I don't know how you managed.

melissa said...

My older son just did a study on Rube Goldberg and his sketch was on cat bathing. There are a few similarities in the process.

Thanks for the chuckle!

Kathryn said...

Very creative!
I can picture the whole scene in my head, and you had me laughing out loud. Too funny.
You are quite a trooper to deal with cats for that long while you have allergies. I'm allergic to cats and I can't imagine. Makes me itchy just thinking about it.

Just Seeking said...

You DO deserve a medal!
My hubby and I had 5 cats for a short time---right when we first moved in together. It was a his, her's, our's type of deal (he had two, I had two, and we "found" one shortly after moving in together). Yikes. That's a LOT of cats. I wish we had known about your bathing method at the time!

Mary Alice said...

Lord, you must really love him. 5 cats would have been a deal breaker for me.

carrie said...

Wow! That is some excellent advice that I hope I never need . . . you know, the old lady with all the cats? :)

girlymom said...

I cannot imagine bathing my cat. I can't believe you managed 5! I can honestly say I would not want to be you during all of that! Ouch!

Alex Elliot said...

That was hilarious! Actually I've given my cats the occasional bath since they were kittens just so they would be used to it in case someone was visiting who had allergies. Needless to say, they don't like it, but they tolerate it.

Candy said...

First, how could you not fall in love with a man with 5 cats. I love him myself!

And second, why did you bathe them? I've never considered it!

Furrow said...

I've never attempted to bathe a cat (I value my epidermis too much), but this sounds like an excellent plan. Should I ever find myself saddled with 5 ridiculously dirty cats, I shall employ this technique.

Did you ever have to give medicine to these 5 cats? The only way i can get my cat to take medicine is too grind it up and mix it with tuna juice.

Mad Hatter said...

You are soooo my kind of pet owner. I have allergies which means we can't own cats but I feel certain I would treat any cat I owned with an equal measure of whimsy.