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it wasn't my idea

Comes a time in a woman’s life when the cat needs a bath and the day had come.

It was my fault entirely.    It was the mid-90’s, we were new parents, the vet said  “here’s some food”.  It was a famous food, the one that’s prominently featured in the front office of every vet clinic in the solar system so we bought a bag and trotted off.

In those days the cats ate and ate.   We could never feed them enough, so we went from free-feeding to a schedule.  They were fat, greasy and speckled with dandruff so we switched to the Lite formula, and the cats grew fatter, greasier and more speckled on less food.

Thanks to a flyer at a pet food store, I learned that the famous food was chock-full of weird stuff.  Chemicals that aren’t technically food, but depending on one’s level of creativity they could be pressed into service to keep food from spoiling.  The problem was the chemicals  had day jobs too and those jobs were doozies:  rubber hardener, pesticide, carcinogen in a clinical trial.   That crap was in my cats’ daily diet.

What motivates people, anyway?  “What do you say, gang, should we manufacture tires or pet food?”

“I don’t know, does it matter?”

I  promptly took the cats off the famous food and switched them to Wellness, which I trust absolutely.   But in the meantime Chester needed bathing and I wanted to know if you really could talk to a cat like a person.

My husband broke the news.  The explanation had to do with Chester’s health and well-being, what he could expect a bath to be like and where it would happen.   Then he left.  Having laid it all out I wanted to see what Chester understood, so I told him what a good boy he was and would he please follow me and get in the tub.

Well, he dawdled like he was sightseeing, but we did make some progress and eventually reached the bathroom door.

I passed the bathroom and turned around.  He looked at me, then sat down outside the bathroom door.   He looked inside.   He looked at me.   Then he turned and walked into the bathroom where he sat for a moment, considering the tub.   His whole demeanor said, ‘it wouldn’t be my choice but they said‘, and he got in.

My husband held him lightly while I scrubbed and rinsed.  I don’t think Chet would recommend it to his friends but mostly we don’t have to hold him anymore so wouldn’t you be forced to conclude, maybe he likes it?


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