Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"I Gave My Cat A Bath..."

Are you familiar with Steve Martin's stand-up comedy from the 1970s? 
If not, you are missing out on a good thing.

When I was a freshman at Pomona College in 1977, one of my dear friends had this album (yes, it was a record album, in those days). We used to listen to it and laugh until we literally fell down, laughing until we cried. I knew it all by heart, back then, and could do the routines from memory; I was especially adept at the one called, "Excuse Me," because when my father was out of sorts - tired from his job as a traveling salesman - he had a tendency to go off on a tirade that sounded much like Steve Martin did in this sketch.
Just before we left for Thanksgiving vacation last month, Latte came home with a small cut on the top of his head; it looked as if he had been in a fight. I cleaned and tended the cut in the way our local veterinarian taught me to do it, with warm water on a cloth (compresses), and hydrogen peroxide. Latte didn't like it too much, but the cut looked better afterward, and I expected it would heal while we were away.

When we returned from California, instead of looking better, he had a new cut on the side of his face (on his cheek), in addition to the original wound. I will not give you the details, but it looked as if another animal might have had Latte's head in its jaws - or talons (I dread to think). We have a lot of bald eagles around here, as well as foxes, raccoons, at least one coyote and other cats. I proceeded to treat the new cut in the same way, at least 2x a day, and kept him indoors. He loves to be outside, and he didn't like being confined, but it was necessary.
Gregg helped by holding Latte while I cleaned the wounds. Even though Latte whined a bit, he never tried to bite or scratch us (though he did try to get away). What a sweet cat! I felt so badly for him, having to go through the procedures, so I would quietly pet and comfort him afterward. He is looking much better now; he has a sparkle in his eye and is more energetic, so we can see he's on the mend.
Since we've had a very cold spell here, there is a lot of static electricity in the air. This makes sparks and shocks the cats when we pet them. In order to avoid this, after cleaning Latte's wounds, I would take a clean, warm, damp cloth and smooth his fur with it. He loved it; he would purr and relax. Maybe it reminded him of his kitten-days, being groomed by his cat-mother. Of course, it reminded me of the following Steve Martin routine from "Let's Get Small" (track 9: "Funny Comedy Gags"):
"...Oh, this is an interesting thing: I gave my cat a bath the other day. You know, I'd always heard you weren't supposed to give cats baths, but my cat came home, and he was really dirty, and I decided to give him a bath, and it was great. If you have a cat, don't worry about it - they love it. He sat there - he enjoyed it - it was fun for me...you know, and uh, the fur would stick to my tongue, but other than that..."
They say the best comedy is based on every-day life.


M said...

I grew up in La Habra...close by...same time period :)
Happy Tuesday!

Elizabeth said...

I love this good-humored (hilarious, actually!) sweetness!

Carrie Link said...

I remember the "Excuse Me" routine!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I've been in love with Steve Martin since I saw him on SNL: "Jane, you ignorant slut!" And the Jerk….I know that one by heart. He is a doll. I don't really do twitter, but I follow him (and Rainn Wilson) and they brighten my day daily!
I hope latte stays healthy….such a gorgeous cat. YOU are an awesome cat Mama. Wait, does that mean that one day you are going to be a cat lady??? Oh, I can't wait! LOL!

Kay said...

Bathing cats. Yeah...enough said..especially if a person actually owns cats. Poor baby. Glad to see you found a way to pet and comfort without shocking. I would have never thought of that. Glad he's feeling better...such a beauty. As are you, my friend. : )

Karen said...

Cat love, it's a whole universe of good jokes. I am allergic, so never pet cats. I know I am missing a lot. Saw Steve Martin back in the day in Newport Beach, before he was on tv. Such a great, original comedian. Good to laugh with you today.