Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dignity's Down the Drain

This morning I woke up and drank a pot of coffee. While drinking the pot of coffee I got my eldest daughter out the door and down the road (actually I had to go with her for as far as four blocks) off to school. I also managed to convince her to "join in the trash fun" and drag a large bag of gomi (trash) to the collection point with me. While continuing to drink the pot of coffee I got the bento (boxed Japanese style lunch) ready for my youngest daughter and thought up at least ten good solid answers to "I don't want to go to youchien (pre school) today!" At 8:40 I held on tightly to the title of "the mum who waves the most vigorously and looks the most delighted as her child gets on the pre school bus and goes off for a day of fun: songs, arts and crafts at the dreaded pre school."

My husband was still present when I drained the final cup. Once he was out the door I sat at the computer and wrote for a while. Nothing extraordinary came of it so I gave up and decided to (dramatic pause) do some housework. While vacuuming I got to thinking about why I have to vacuum everyday. Kids and cats. The kids I can't do much about beyond my normal admonitions to please NOT crumble up the popcorn or senbei (Japanese rice crackers) before eating them no matter how much tastier the crumbs are and to please eat AT THE TABLE and not as they wander from room to room. The cats: I can brush 'em and bathe them.

Hence, I dragged the grey cat into the ofuro first. The Japanese bath or ofuro, is incredibly useful when it comes to bathing small children and cats. Because you are allowed (you're supposed to actually) to do all your lathering and rinsing outside the tub standing on the floor. Water everywhere! No problem. Grey cat (christened Happy) came out of the ofuro clean but looking more like she should have been christened, "Pissed Off". Next I went and grabbed the calmer older cat, Melon. Scrubbed her like a dirty carrot and then deposited both unhappy felines on our sun porch to dry.
And I feel so incredibly satisfied. Later this afternoon I'll have two fluffy and squeaky clean kitties! At least all this shedded fur free floating around the house will be luxuriously soft and brilliant shiny (according to the pet shampoo bottle). I love watching the desperate self-grooming that results too. They look up occasionally to glare at me, whether it is for looking or for laughing I'm not sure. But cat bath days just put me in such a good mood. Sure, their dignity is down the drain for a bit, but by tomorrow with a little wet cat food, some loving brushing sessions and lots of praise they'll be back to thinking that they are better than all of us.
Feeling at a loss as to what to do today? Yearning for a sense of achievement? Wash a kitty.


Claire said...

You're a better woman than I am! Ume-chan hasn't been bathed for months and months, and every time a window is opened in our house hair floats gently up from all around the room. I feel so bad sending Dan off to youchien with cat hair all over his navy-blue hat every morning ...

Loved the top photo of Happy!

coarse gold girl said...

Ah ha! SCOTCH BRITE lint roller! A MUST HAVE for any household that has a cat and a kid with a school uniform!

DD#2 giggles while I roll her down with it every morning before her bus pulls up.

And, that was the second bath the cats have had here in Akita and we've been here for over a year now!

Anonymous said...

Can't remember the last time I washed either of our two cats. They stay indoors, so don't need it which is a great help! I love the photos of your two! They now look so soft and fluffy!

love your blog

Trisha said...

Yearning for a sense of achievement? (that line cracked me up) Would it be ironic to say that I have been searching my neighborhood for a cat to wash??