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TITLE: Bathing Your Cat - Easier Than You Think
By Janice Cartwright

Bathing cats can be a bite-your-tongue experience, excellent for developing the virtue of patience.

Right? Of course, right!

Any suggestions on how to better ease into the body of the essay will be appreciated.
Recently I learned that one Gallup poll found 43% of pet owners pay out the nose for professional grooming services. Frankly, this shocked me. When bathing pets at home is so effortless, I marveled why anyone would want to spend money at the pet-groomer. And while the report didnít pinpoint species, for cats I felt this to be exceptionally uncalled-for.

For example, I have bathed my cat at home for years and never found it one bit hard. I can show anyone how to do it. In fact just to prove to you how easy it is, I am willing to bathe my own cat right now.

You are going to see it is possible to achieve a clean and happy cat and at the same time keep sanity for the household budget.

But first, since preparation is nine/tenths of success, we must gather the materials we will need. They are:

a. pet shampoo
b. about 54 old towels
c. doctorís appointment card with phone number (or you can use emergency room of nearest hospital)
d. blow dryer and silencer for blow dryer
e. tranquilizer (for cat-bather)
f. one jumbo-size tube antibiotic ointment (also for bather)
g. video cam with removable cassette for evidence when doctor reports possible spousal abuse case due to multiple lacerations covering entire body of cat-bather
h. pitcher for rinsing cat
i. chain-mail body armor from local museum, if available, (or if not, elbow-length gloves by Playtex will suffice - heavy-duty)
j. flashlight
k. ladder

Now we are ready for the step-by-step bathing procedure. Ready? Let's get started!

a. Collect all suggested items at kitchen sink
b. Go look for cat
c. Next day persevere in looking for cat
d. Place stopper in sink and fill about 2/3 shy of top with warm water
e. Go look for cat
f. Let some of the water out of sink and replace stopper, then run more warm water into sink
g. Go look for cat
h. Place cat on folded towel near sink
i. Remove cat from front of shirt being careful not to snag shirt.
j. Place cat on towel
k. Remove cat from window curtain being careful not to snag curtain fabric
l. Continue to remove cat from curtain
m. Detach curtain from rod and place on bed
n. Detach cat from curtain, dispose of curtain
o. Place cat on towel
p. Run in some more warm water
q. Go look for cat
r. Place cat on towel
s. While supporting catís body with left arm, grasp hind legs in right hand and slowly lower cat into water
t. Remove cat from left arm being careful not to snag skin of arm
u. Using same method as before attempt to lower cat once more into water
v. Remove cat from head being careful not to snag hair
w. Add more warm water to sink
x. Go look for cat
y. Place cat on clean towel near sink, being careful not to lower cat into water
z. Place left hand on catís back - apply gentle, firm pressure
aa. Being careful not to take eyes off cat, feel for shampoo bottle with right hand
bb. Place bottle between knees and unscrew lid
cc. Remove cat from back of shirt
dd. Drain all water from sink and refill
ee. Go look for cat
ff. Place cat on towel
gg. Hiding bottle behind back, pour dab of shampoo onto palm of right hand
hh. Fool cat into thinking you are giving him a pet massage
ii. Go look for cat
jj. Place cat in shower stall and close door
kk. Fetch ladder from garage ( I told you were going to need ladder but you didnít believe me, did you?)
ll. Lean ladder against glass shower door; climb ladder
mm. Attempt to remove cat from light fixture on ceiling
nn. Change clothing
oo. Call repairman to see when he can fix shower door
pp. Being careful not to go look for cat, notice time
qq. Begin dinner preparations

Over dinner casually bring up subject of adding pet-groomerís fee to budget.
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