Saturday, March 06, 2010

Spin cycle

Well, I guess it seemed like a good idea to see whether you could put a cat into a dog-washing machine and get him all clean and all. Save money on blood transfusions and stitches, anyhow. But the reality seems to me to be far more traumatic for the poor kitteh than huddled in the tight grip of Daddy in the bathtub with the glass sliding shower doors closed and the shower wand used to gently rinse poor kitteh. So I'll stick to the traditional method, however traumatizing it is for Daddy (hey, those stitches *hurt*!).

-- Badtux the (clean) Cat owned Penguin


  1. Jayzus! that was awful. Watching the poor cat leap around in terror, I was thinking "OK, if you put a Jew in a gas chamber and turned on the Zyklon, or had a submariner locked in a compartment of a fish that had seawater squirting through cracks in the bulkheads, they'd be doing the same motions."

    Why the f@ck would anyone think it's necessary to wash a cat? Unlike dogs, they're self-cleaning. (Hairballs, like the ones I clean up literally every other day, are the price we humans have to pay for that habit.) Unlike dogs, they don't like water and do not instinctively trust whatever humans do to them. I feel sorry for the kitteh who has an owner insensitive enough to do this, while getting kicks from filming it.

    When I was working at a psychiatric home in Florida in the late 1990s, we had two black cats for the companionship of the residents. One resident, a depressive/schizoaffective woman from New York who had had her children taken away by the courts in the 1950s due to her inability to care for them, fixated on bathing those cats. It was a child substitution thing. One of the cats would get too wild and scratch her when she did that, but the less dominant cat reluctantly put up with it. I tried to discourage the woman from wetting and lathering the poor creature, but we nurses weren't supposed to command the residents unless they were doing something that was actively harmful. I still recall the baleful look on the poor cat's face when he was drenched and miserable, though.

    When I was a child, I occasionally amused myself by harrassing our cats. A few times, I clipped off their bigger face whiskers with a pair of scissors, which I now realize was similar to smearing Vaseline on a human's glasses. And I found it fun to sic our terrier dog on the cats, goading him with commands to "Git the kitty, git the kitty" until he'd bark and snarl and terrorize the meekest one of them into a corner. That was the thoughtless cruelty of a child who had no instinctive ability to understand that the cats had feelings of their own. But I grew out of that infantile ignorance, and now regret my actions, even though they were 40 years yon.

    We are a vicious species, we hairless apes. Lots of species are vicious, especially cats. But they've got an excuse -- they're animals. They have no pretensions about knowing philosophy and morals, as we claim to. I reckon that makes our hideousness worse. The sooner our species extinctifies itself, the better.

  2. Bukko, cats aren't always self-cleaning. Elderly cats can have problems due to arthritis that require their owner to bathe them, and if you have a cat that goes outdoors, they get into things that are nasty from time to time, and can get a distinct reek to them. From what I understand from reading the press reports of this incident (which was in 2007, I believe), this particular cat had gotten into something and reeked and the owner simply wanted a clean cat and thought this would be a good way to do it, not that the cat was going to freak out. And not all cats hate water either, some cats enjoy swimming and playing in water.

    On the other hand, cats do *not* like the unexpected, and I think that's what happened here. From the cat's perspective, it was being attacked by jets of water from unexpected places and was instinctively trying to flee. Note that the cat's owner forced the store to stop the machine before it was finished, it had seemed a good idea to let a machine do the washing, but this wasn't what he had expected at all. He had thought he was going to get a picture of a kitteh getting a nice bath, maybe being unhappy about it, but not total freak-out.

    So you have two things that this cat doesn't like -- water, and the unexpected -- and it was too much for him, he totally freaked out. I'll stick to the bathtub and the shower wand, thank you very much. Luckily both my guys are indoors cats and are not yet elderly, so I haven't had to bathe them yet. But that time will come.

    - Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

  3. Elderly cats can be kept reasonably clean with careful grooming, and don't often need to be actually washed. My ancient little lady cat can't clean herself at all now (except for her face), but a session with the Furminator gets the gunk out of her fur and spreads the natural oils around.

  4. Oh gods, that was horrid. What kind of asshole could do that routinely as part of the job? That had to be shockingly unexpected and terrifying for the cat!

  5. Well, at least we know that cat is healthy, even if it lost one of its nine lives from pure shock.

    Regarding cats and bathing, I had an arthritic cat that was largely white, and he got a bit dirty and dingy and smelly and I had to give him a bath about once a month. He put up with it because he didn't have much choice, but I went through as much trouble as possible to be gentle with him. He was not a happy kitty at the end of the bath, but he wasn't in total freakout mode. Well, not until I turned on the hairdryer anyhow to dry him, that was a bright idea that didn't pan out, so I had to settle for towel-drying him as much as possible.

  6. So there are actually press reports about this video? My, talk about someone's 15 minutes...

    As for elderly NON self-cleaning cats, we had a white Persian named Sugarfoot who got blobs of poo stuck to his long-haired hindquarters when he was aged. New Zealanders call these things "dags" when they're stuck on the back of sheep. "Daggy" was one of my favourite insulting Down Under words.

    They've got a lot of insult-slang in Oz and Kiwiland. I haven't been able to find much native Canadian lexicon, though.


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