Bath time for Skippy or How do you wash a big cat?

Poor Skippy wasn’t feeling well Saturday. The end result was that we had to give him a bath for the first time in almost a year. How does one give a 18lb Maine Coon a bath?

When he was a kitten, we washed him in the bathroom sink – and then the kitchen sink (with my protests of course!) And now at two years old, he is too large for our new smaller kitchen sink. (“Yay!”)

John had it all planned out. He put a bath tub mat down (our very slippery tub has only been used once before.) Then he added the little Rubbermaid stool from child care days, donned a pair of shorts and got into the tub with Skip. He sat on the stool and held Skippy close while he trimmed his claws. (A “Must” we learned the hard way).

Next, John held Skip in a standing position. To our surprise, he didn’t protest! I controlled the sprayer (well, with some help from John. We discovered the “hose” attached can be quite noisy if pulled at an angle. Cats do not like noise. Avoid this pitfall by pulling straight up; making sure to hold the hose to keep it from banging against the side of the tub.)

Kitty shampoo came next – lots of shampoo. We lathered him well, making sure to get every inch of that long hair clean. From the back of his ears (never try to wash a cats face unless just using a damp wash cloth) to the tip of his luxurious tail.

Rinse. (No time for conditioner this time.)

He surprised us. No fuss – no muss!  I believe I heard a sigh relief as we turned off the water and reached for the towel. Not sure if it was Skippy or us.

And then came the dreaded part – Drying that luxurious coat! If it were me, I probably would have dried him on a thick, fluffy towel and allow him to dry naturally in front of the fireplace. However, since most of the heat from our gas logs escape through the chimney, we had to get out Skip’s least favorite item in the world. The dreaded hairdryer! He doesn’t mind if we use it on our own hair, but if we aim it at him or Ruby, he goes into attack mode. Not us – the noisy monster blowing warm heat on him. (Silly cat – the warm air feels good!)

The solution we came up with when he was a kitten is a black coated dog cage. You know the one – the training cage. We discovered that we can dry him better than in a closed in kitty carrier. Don’t even think about trying to hold him with the dryer aimed at a him!

Unhappy, wet cat

Not happy!

Little Miss Alice giving her new “big brother” support. She stayed with him the entire time.

Skip took a swipe at that that loud, hot air monster!

Through it all, a new friendship was formed. Little Miss Alice had stayed near to keep her big brother/friend company. Isn’t it wonderful to know that you don’t have to endure hardship alone?

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