Saturday, May 16, 2015

How To Give Your Cat A Bath

(Edit: I spruced the post up a bit after unexpected free time turned up on my doorstep.)

People call me cat-lady all the time, and about three years ago, I gave up protesting and embraced the job. There has been a serious lack of cat drama in my life the past year, and I am so going to use this long vacation at home to make up for it.

My sister calls the cat Snow White, I call him Stuart Little. Lately he had been looking much too gray for both the titles. Gave him long overdue much needed bath - a half an hour of distressed meowing and me fighting all the twisting around with an agility I did not know I possessed. Later, he endured the towelling off with surprising patience. And then, with evidently no clue of what had been happening, he spent fifteen meticulous minutes licking himself "clean." Every attempt to pet resulted in him fixing me with this bewildered, betrayed stare. He fell asleep three seconds later, hogging my favourite cushion.

Of course, I am convinced that in a day I will find him coolly prancing about the house covered in dust bunnies. But what can you do. We use the Himalaya Erina Pet Shampoo, the only pet product without that distinctive mediciney smell which invariably sends my cats shooting off in the opposite direction. Here are a few general instructions on how to give your cat a bath. Each cat comes equipped its own unique set of quirks, but these safety tips should apply to all.

1. Do not do it on a full stomach, either you or your cat. And make sure the cat has "done his business" recently, for fairly obvious reasons. However, to be on the safer side, wear something you wouldn't mind throwing away. (Refer to tip #4)

2. Lure him in the bathroom, or the bathtub, with food. It always works. Don't let him catch a scent of what you are about to put him through until the moment you advance on him with the wet sponge.

3. Now this is a personal tip. Cats really are not fond of water. So instead of dipping him in a tub of water or running a tap or shower on him, sponge him down. Less of an ambush, and it makes it easier to keep his eyes and nose clear of water or soap.

4. Don't be uneasy about getting down and dirty. Sprawl on the floor, sit in the bath, hold him upside-down in your lap to wash his tummy, and let yourself be drenched in pet shampoo, cat hair and soapy water in the process. This is his bath, not yours, you can clean yourself later.

5. Don't enjoy yourselves. Cats are mean creatures and with meanness comes a heightened sensitivity to fellow villainous intents. Schadenfreude will be noticed, and bitterly punished. No awws and giggles at the matted fur and soaking pride. A bath is a harrowing experience for your cat, be his best buddy through it.

6. Cuddles afterwards are a must. Towel him wholly dry, give him a thorough brushing, pamper him with treats, lend him your favourite cushion to rest on. My cat refused to wake up for six hours after.

Happy Petting!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Alphabet of Songs

An escape from house-cleaning for the classic nostalgimaniac is digging through old old old stuff, in this case CDs and folders, under the pretext of clearing them out. I happened upon this series of "My Alphabet of Songs" lists through the Worpress Daily Post blog a couple of days ago and the idea has been on my mind since. It condensed here into one post featuring A-Z songs I binged excessively on back when I was at home. It has been at least a year since I listened to most of these songs, so of course this afternoon was a heady blur of instant-tear-inducing memories and happy correlations. Nostalgia, so says a professor, is a crutch, and I agree, having learnt this the hard way. But I only revisit what 26 songs here. Some letters were easy picks for lack of song, but all were once favourites in some way. There are no repeated artists, had I allowed myself that concession, the list would have had three, maybe four, singers.

Annie's Song, John Denver

Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson

Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Elton John

Dear Madam Barnum, XTC

Englishman in New York, Sting

Fountain, Sara Lov

Girl from Mars, Ash

Here I Am, Bryan Adams

In Venere Veritas, HIM

Just Like Jesse James, Cher

Karma Chameleon, Culture Club

Lost Highway, Bon Jovi

Magic Carpet Ride, Steppenwolf

Norwegian Wood, The Beatles

Oh Oh I Love Her So, Ramones

Playing God, Paramore

Quit Playing Games, Backstreet Boys

Rock the Casbah, The Clash

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, Billy Joel

The Look, Roxette

Utopia, Alanis Morissette

Venus in Furs, The Velvet Underground

White Wedding, Billy Idol

XO, Beyonce

Yahweh, U2

Zombie, The Cranberries

That's about it for today. A fun little exercise, I must say. Bis morgen!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Under-Appreciated Art of Ice-Cream-Scooping

A guava ice cream, to fend off the insane city heat. Lived up to expectations taste-wise with the texture grainy like a slice of fruit. But the ageing-hunchbacked scoop left much to be desired. Clumps of ice cream tumbled and dripped their way to the trash. Hence, with hindsight, a little big thank you - to all the diligent ice-cream-scoopers out there who make ice-cream-eating what it is. Claim your due, you'll go right up there with those millionaire flugelbinder-makers.