Rinse and Repeat

Is that even a thing?

I have heard people use this expression on television but it’s the first time anyone has actually asked it of me. I now feel quite hip!

It was English Sister. We’d been texting, kind of randomly. She asked me how my tummy upset was. I tried to work out a way to tell her that it was actually sciatica, without appearing to ask her why she thought it was a tummy upset.

She told me she was going to make a cut-and-come-again cake. In the next text she told me that the whole house was filled with the scent of shepherd’s pie. I decided not to ask.

I told her I gave a cat a bath today, something I had never attempted before. I told her the cat had been so very smelly and filthy that even after two sinks full of water and liberal application of cat shampoo the water was still the colour of an Irish bog. And that’s when she asked me

cat shampoo – is that even a thing?

It is. And it’s expensive. The one I have is meant to smell like peaches. I can only say that at the end of her bath this particular cat still smells – if less so – of dusty fur and dried poop, so I am going to give her a few days to dry off and regain her dignity before repeating the procedure.

It could have been worse. She made a token attempt to climb out of the sink rather than the yowling, scratching, biting resistance I had been expecting. Being blind and confused handicapped her a bit. I felt bad – never in all my years as a cat mummy have I deliberately tipped water over a cat – but then she began to purr. By the time it was over I was very, very wet, in spite of my Christmas Cat apron, and two bath towels were ruined.

As I shampoo-d I recalled that there was one kind of cat that was supposed to like water – a swimming cat. So I looked it up. They are called Turkish Van cats and often have odd-coloured eyes. This is connected, genetically, with their unusual piebald colouring, but it doesn’t make them deaf. Deafness is more likely in white cats with two blue eyes.  They have gingery markings, but confined to their heads and tails.

Turkish Van Cat

They have other peculiarities. They grow very big – up to 7kg for a male. My cats all average around 4kg – males a bit more, females a bit less, old or sick cats even less – so 7kg is impressive. Also they are very strong, and can spring from the floor to the top of a tall refrigerator with ease. Also – they have odd coats, with no fluffy underlayer. This gives them an odd, rabbit-like texture but also makes them waterproof. Which would explain the swimming, if indeed they do swim. It also makes them difficult to bathe.

This tells me two things:

  1. That other people really do bathe their cats, and
  2.  It’s a good thing that I can’t afford a creature as beautiful and “collectable” as a Turkish Van, because if he or she got grubby I wouldn’t be able to resort to the cat shampoo. Although of course I could just fill the bath up and fasten a little diving-board to the edge…

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