Cat Bathing As A Martial Art

A. Know that although the cat has the advantage of

quickness and lack of concern for human life, you have

the advantage of strength.

Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield.

Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force

you to chase him. Pick a very small bathroom.

If your bathroom is more than four feet square, I recommend

that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding

-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower.

(A simple shower curtain will not do. A berserk

cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than

a politician can shift positions.)

B. Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to

remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here

is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect


I recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top

construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army

helmet, a hockey face-mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.

C. Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat

nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish.

(Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have

little or no interest in fashion as a rule.)

D. Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to

survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door,

step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip

the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo.

You have begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.

E. Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has

soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded.

Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three

seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must

remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub

like crazy.

He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby

rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three

latherings, so don't expect too much.)

F. Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always

assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans

generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just

getting really determined.

In fact, the drying is simple compared with what you have

just been through.

That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to

your right leg.

You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your

towel and wait. (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up

clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens,

the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to

encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is

drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach

down and dry the cat.

In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from

your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about

three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his

back to you.

He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed

stare of a plaster figurine.

You will be tempted to assume he is angry.

This isn't usually the case.

As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your

defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide

to give him a bath.

But at least now he smells a lot better.