There comes a time at the zoo when Jessica or myself says to the other, "I think we need to give (one of the animals) a bath." Usually this is after Diesel has spent a lot of time outside in the rain or snow or, heaven forbid, has found a standing body of water. Now, this body of water can be a small puddle or a patch of mud that contains .000001% of water. It doesn't matter to Diesel. Add this all up and you have one stinky Poop!
Then there's Kaylee, our beautiful medium-haired cat. We know it's bath time when her hair starts to look a little greasy and feels like...greasy hair? Shyla's short-haired so we don't worry too much about her. Sometimes, after bathing Kaylee we dunk Shyla just to keep her humble and on her toes.
Now, legend has it, once every great while there comes a time when the stars align and a sort of other-world idea finds its way into Jessica's brain as well as my own - bathe them all! With this thought comes the primal strength and patience needed to complete such a task. It is no small feat to scrub, rinse and repeat four uncooperative animals.
Such a night occurred on a cold evening in December of 2011. Before any of them could get any whiffs of what was about to happen, Jessica started up the bath and I grabbed the easiest of them all - Jade. She'd never really had a bath before. Jessica doused her once shortly after we adopted her to remove the layers of food, litter and poop off her fur.
She was so small, so innocent...
...so not amused. This is the face that keeps me up at night, the face that haunts my dreams.
Diesel, our next victim, pleaded with us to stop the torture, to end the madness. This is the most difficult one because of his size and ability to cover us in hair and water within .32 seconds. His bath takes the longest to clear the evidence; soapy water prohibited by a black hair clogged drain.
Next up, Kaylee puss. Her gentle meows fell on deaf ears. We had passed the half way mark. She flashed her vicious looking hind claws at us in warning. We finished before she had an opportunity to spill our blood.
Last but not least - Shyla. Her angry growls echoed through the bathroom as she pawed at us, desperately wishing her removed claws would suddenly regrow and free her from this nightmare. She, who usually escaped bath time, is counted among the victims.
A silence followed the event. Jessica and I came to our senses and looked around in utter dismay at the piles of towels strewn about, clumps of fur and various scratches upon our arms. Jade, thinking she had just experienced a ritual of sorts, a once in a lifetime experience, forgot the whole thing and tried to cheer up Shyla. But Shyla had noticed Jade's long fur and knew the day, the Perfect Storm if you will, would strike again.