The on-campus apartments that I lived in for two years during college were patrolled by notorious animal haters by the name of campus security. Any animal found on campus was immediately removed to the nearest shelter with the exception of the demonic squirrels. Apparently demonic attack squirrels weren’t a safety concern. I know that taking poor lost dogs and cats to the shelter wouldn’t seem cruel except that it was a kill shelter. Any animal that they did not deem easily adoptable was put down as soon as it was brought in.
One of my roommates and I spent many hours trying to track down stray cats to bring to the no kill shelter twenty minutes away. Unfortunately, the no kill shelter was not open on weekends, so if you found a kitty Friday, you had to hide it in your apartment until Monday morning.
Since we were lucky enough to have two bathrooms in our apartment, we would put the strays in one of the bathrooms with food and water for the weekend, which spared the furniture. But there was still the stray cat smell and fleas to contend with, so the cats needed baths.
I’ve bathed my own cats before, but I was scared to go head to head under the kitchen faucet with a stray who might be diseased. So, I came up with a brilliant cat washing solution. And for those of you who think I’m cruel, please remember it was either this of death for the cats:
Step 1 - Place unsuspecting kitty in a clean, dry bathtub.
Step 2 – Cover kitty with upside-down plastic laundry basket and place several heavy text books on top. Note: The number of text books required will vary by major. Law students will need to use only 1-2 books, whereas dance majors will require all books available to them. Also, DO NOT use a wicker basket. It will end badly.
Step 3 – Plug tub and run warm water. Mix in pet friendly soap. Note: Keep an eye on the water temperature and level. A drowned kitty is a dead kitty.
At this point the kitty will thrash around vigorously acting like an agitator in a washing machine.
Step 4 – When the kitty is nice and soapy, drain the tub and refill with clean water again monitoring temperature and level. The kitty will thrash again, rinsing itself.
Step 5 – When the kitty is sud free, empty the tub and release the kitty from the laundry basket. Cooing “Poor kitty what happened to you?” ensures that the kitty will not know it was you running the water. The kitty will thank you for saving it from the water by allowing you towel it dry.
Step 6 – Drop the kitty off at the no kill shelter squeaky clean and smelling fresh.
Please Note – I do not recommend approaching wild animals, taking them into your home, or traumatizing them with a bath. This is only a description of my own experiences, not a how-to guide. Please do not try this at home.