Friday, February 17, 2006

Happy Poo-lentine's Day to you, too

My husband (I think I shall call him MB from now on, just for simplicity...because "husband" sounds too formal and anything related to "hubby" is kind of gross) and I had planned a pretty low-key Valentine's Day. I wasn't feeling too excited about waiting around forever to get a table at a packed restaurant, and he wasn't arguing with my logic. We were going to take a walk along the riverfront (because it was 63 degrees outside. Swear.), get groceries, cook, and probably watch a DVD. Notice I said we were going to do these things. Want to know what we did instead? Of course you do...

We shampooed our cat. And not for, sir.

I was gathering my things to head home and change, collect MB and drive over to the levee for our romantic stroll. My phone rang.

Me: Hello?

MB: The kitty's ass exploded.

Me: Excuse me?

MB: The kitty's ass. It exploded. It's everywhere.

Me: *dread looming* In the litterbox?

MB: And on him. And a little bit on the carpet. We have to do something. He's in the bathroom right now. He's not happy.

Our cat is immensely fluffy, with these poofy fur britches (my mom calls them fancy-pants) on his hind legs. I feared the worst. When I got home, I was relieved to find that the cat, while suffering an embarrassing hygiene problem, was not as disgusting as I'd expected. I was not permitted to take photographs. While he was still poo-i-fied, he was just too pissed off and MB was too stressed out. Once he was (finally) clean and sitting around looking pathetic and bedraggled, MB put his arm around me and said, in all seriousness, "No pictures. I think Kitty deserves this moment of privacy." It was so hilarious that I couldn't argue.

MB had already run a few inches of lukewarm water into the tub, so I put on old jeans and a longsleeved shirt and volunteered to sit in the tub and be the cat holder. My mom laughed when I told her about this part. She seemed to have forgotten which feline we are talking about. This is no docile, harmless ball of fluff. This is a 15-pound, mostly-muscle, temperamental linebacker of a cat. He's strong, he's willful, and when he gets pissed, he bites people. He's opened a 24-ounce can of whoopass on me once before, and even though that was my fault, I was not eager to repeat the experience (nor the subsequent visit to the urgent care clinic for a tetanus booster and antibiotics when my arm turned red and swelled up. Gross.)

So for the bath, we swaddled his front half in a towel, but his back legs had to stick out. That was the main problem, because it left his strongest kicking legs and his claws free. He nailed me good right down my left wrist at the very beginning of the bath. I thought it was going to be pretty terrible, but it's not so bad. It looks kind of suspicious because of the location, but it doesn't hurt too much. (Although it's achieved that point in the healing process where it just itches all the damn time and tempts me to scratch it, even though it's not time for the scab to come off just yet.)

We would get the cat swaddled, I'd hang on to him, and MB would do his best to clean him up with a washcloth. Eventually, he'd get mostly free of the towel, and we'd dump him on the floor for a few minutes so everyone could regroup. We finally abandoned that plan when it became clear it wasn't working. MB swaddled him, held him securely with his booty hanging over the edge of the tub, and I used Dial soap to shampoo his tail and britches. I did have to cut out two really gross patches of fur, but at that point I don't think the cat even noticed. He was too busy freaking out over us pouring water on his ass with a pitcher.

We FINALLY got him cleaned up, and then he walked around the rest of the evening looking like a pitiful drowned rat from the hips down. Every time he got up to go somewhere, he'd kick-shake his back feet like, "Blecccchh!!!!" After a few hours, he'd groomed all of his tail except a few inches at the base, so he looked quite silly with his fluffy body, scrawny soaked back legs, scrawny skinny tail base, and fluffy, plumey tail top.

After that, we were too tired to do anything romantic or culinary. We ordered pizza (which was really late. And cold. Snarl.) and watched Ghostbusters. Good times, good times.

Reading: Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint

Playing: one of my favorite playlists on the computer, Plans by Death Cab for Cutie, and the soundtrack to The Fifth Element because MB keeps putting it in the bedroom stereo (and the car stereo and the computer).