Stormy, love of my life, somehow managed to get fleas. He is an indoor only cat so I am choosing to blame our other cats for bringing them in the house. He started scratching ferociously and cut up his neck pretty significantly. He’s never really had fleas before so I am sure he was pleased with this development. Once I realized what was going on I went out and got him some of the flea ointment to put on the back of his neck. Done. Problem solved.
So the flea stuff makes a cat’s fur all oily and it usually disappears in a few weeks, max. Well three weeks later Stormy’s fur was STILL oily and he’d taken to trying to rip out the oily fur. This was clearly a great improvement in the situation.
Stormy has had one bath in his fourteen-year existence, me being a firm believer in cats being self-cleaning.. and dangerous. He was a kitten at the time of his last bath and pretty easy to control. He is now a fully-grown psychopath. I tried to wait out the oily fur situation as long as I could and it just wasn’t getting any better.
So, on Valentine’s Day it was bath time. I locked Jillian, Stormy, and I in the bathroom and took off my pants, naturally. Because between getting my pants wet and getting my legs torn to shreds I decided getting my legs torn to shreds was preferable (my logic is highly questionable).
First Jillian got in the tub that I had filled with just a few inches of water and I tried to gently place Stormy in the bath while Jillian poured water on him. He did not seem to enjoy this in that he jumped out of the bath and started yowling at the top of his lungs. This lead to all the other cats in the house becoming curious and then yowling in commiseration.
I tried the gently place him in the bath, pour water on him technique three or four times. About the fourth time he hopped out and peed all over the floor. I have only seen him pee out of anxiety one other time. I was introducing him to my college boyfriend that had a mohawk at the time, so I knew this was getting pretty serious in the world of cat anxiety.
I tried it one more time and ended up with two lovely cuts deep into my hand.
Then mom stepped in. After wiping up the pee with my jeans (thanks mom) she grabbed him by the scruff and we shampood and washed just his neck. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of the scruff before. It could have been the yowling and lack of pants that threw me off my game.
We got his neck shampood and rinsed and then opened the door. He ran like a bat out of hell.
A few hours later when he finally ventured out, I realized we had, instead of solving the oily neck problem, we had created a new problem: shampoo neck.