You know we’re cat-sitting, right?
Well, we are. My parents’ cat has been here since December 20. That’s 53 days we've had him, but who’s counting? He’ll be here for at least 60 more, or eternity, whichever is longer. He’s been here before. You can read all about his previous visits here and here.
I don't really believe in keeping pets, but as far as cats go, he’s okay. He’s pretty, but sort of a jerk, like most cats. He creeps behind the TV and lies on the kitchen table and eats the tender leaves of my indoor palm but he doesn’t pee in my houseplants – yet. He hasn’t pushed anything breakable off a shelf – yet. He doesn’t try to escape to the outside, either, which is so annoying – yet.
I say yet because cats are sociopaths and they always have some new trick up their furry little sleeves.
But like I said, he’s okay. He sleeps all day and stays out of my way and enjoys a good rubdown except when he’s done with you and you better pull your hand back quick because he’ll bite the crap out of it. He enjoys meeting us at the door and treats us to a show of rolling around on the floor like a small hairy crocodile. He knows his name and comes when you call him and keeps us entertained by doing that funny cat thing where he looks like he’s trying to be so cool and aloof and then he falls off the table and we point at him and laugh.
He doesn’t scratch at the door or claw at the furniture or spray on the walls or drag in partially eaten mice or birds.
And most importantly, he doesn’t mind getting a bath.
This is important because cats are dirty, filthy animals.
“But cats are constantly cleaning themselves,” you say. “They are clean. They keep themselves clean. They are always grooming their bodies.”
I hear what you're saying. So let me break it down for you.
Cats lick themselves using their own tongues, tongues that rest in a mouth that is never cleaned. Mouths that hold teeth that have never been brushed. And if my son is to be believed, the breath is shocking.
Cats lick themselves all over with this tongue. Each cat has the ability and the predilection to lick his own anus. It sounds unbelievably disgusting, but it’s true. All you can do when it happens is look on in horror.
And then a cat will oh, I don’t know, lick his paw and drag it over his face.
A cat will lick his paws that he uses to dig little holes in the dirt in his toilet box to poop and pee into, and will use those very same paws to cover the excrement he just made. Then he will come out, meow loudly to announce his accomplishment, and walk through your house, leaving little bits of litter and I can only imagine what else and try to take up residence on your kitchen table to lick his anus and paws.
More than once this sentence has been uttered in our house: “Ugh, his paws smell like urine.” I don’t why a person would put himself in a position to obtain this information.
There is no hand-washing education for cats. He doesn’t stand at the sink and sing the happy birthday song while he lathers up with warm water and plenty of antibacterial soap.
It’s gag-inducing, the filthiness of cats. And this filthiness is all over our home.
That’s why I appreciate that he doesn’t mind a bath once in a while, that when I open the door to the bathroom and the kids are screeching and FaceTiming with friends and the cat is standing calmly and only a little pathetically shoulder-deep in warm water while they rinse him off with a red solo cup and then break out the hair dryer to fluff him up and afterwards he smells like Dove Men’s Aqua shampoo because he’s a male cat and males need their own products because who knows what voodoo results from men using the same shampoo as women?
I relax, because for a moment, the cat is clean. Only for a moment, but I’ll take it.
Sixty more days. Or eternity, whichever is longer.
|I asked my son to send me a picture of the cat in the bath, and this is what he sent.|
Everyone's a comedian.