I always feel like I should follow my posts about Thomas with a post about The Girls. This one will be brief, but it serves to remind us that we should never underestimate the intelligence, love and devotion of our feline friends—even if they are far less demonstrative than our canine friends.
Last week I decided the time had finally come to bathe Thomas. Although we have jogged through a fair share of sprinklers on our walks at 5:30a.m., he has never been officially bathed in the six months that I've had him. I understood his fear of hoses and of being confined, so I have put off that chore. But oh my Buddha how dirty this dog was, and he actually resembled the Peanuts character, Pigpen, as he walked through the house with dirt and hair swirling around him.
The Plan was to wait until The Girls were in the bedroom deep in sleep for their afternoon nap, then bring Thomas in and put him in the guest bathroom tub (a tiny, still pink 1950's job). I put a few inches of lukewarm water in first, then brought Thomas in, lifted him into the tub, stepped in with him and slid the shower doors closed. I soaked a soft rag with water and began wiping him down. He didn't like it, but at least he stood there compliantly.
All went well until he decided to turn around, at which point he slipped and slid down sideways, after which he panicked and started to claw his way out any way he could. Several seconds of complete bedlam ensued, with Thom slipping and splashing and me repeating his name over and over, trying to get him to stop thrashing and hold still. Finally he did, giving up and allowing his body to slide down into the water. Perfect. He lay curled at the end of the tub while I rinsed him all over. (No soap this time. I'm not crazy.)
With the completion of the task, all I had to do was roll back the shower door. He hopped out onto the mat, I dried him off, and all we had to do was get him back outside before he shook water everywhere. Yes! I opened the bathroom door to facilitate our escape, but we were met with the most intimidating security squad I've ever faced—two small cats puffed up like Halloween kitties, backs arched, ears back, mouths open with spits, hisses, growls and snarls like I've never heard (well, at least from Purrl; Sug exhibits this behavior on a regular basis). Oh no! I slammed the door closed again, looked at Thom and burst out laughing. Having heard the commotion and convinced I was finally being torn limb from limb by that huge red wolf-like creature I'd insisted on bringing into our home, The Girls had come to my rescue. (Oh, and if you don't think felines are capable of protecting their humans, you've got to read the amazing memoir Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper—especially if you're a cat lover!)
Somehow through the closed door I managed to convince The Girls that I was fine, and they eventually backed away, waiting in the hallway but allowing us enough space to exit the bathroom and get outside where Thomas, of course, ran and rolled in the grass and unfurled his beautiful flag of a tail and shook to his heart's content.
I gotta say, if anyone ever tries to come at me, I'm pretty sure it will be my cats and not my dog coming to the rescue. They are quite the formidable pair!