Cat Scratch Fever

It started with a simple declaration, “I’m going to finish this glass of wine and then bathe the cat.”

It ended with Luisa putting peroxide on the puncture wounds on my forearm and back.

I’m sure one or more of the following are rattling around in your brain:

  • “Cats hate baths!”
  • “Why would you bathe your cat?”
  • “You should never bathe a cat you horrible hater of animals!”
  • “Why didn’t Luisa try to stop you?!”
  • “You got what you deserved.”

So, I’m going to address these points…

  • Yes, I know cats hate baths but we bathed Momo as a kitten and it was easy.
  • I wanted to bathe her because she didn’t smell as fresh as she usually does.
  • I love my cat more than I like to admit and never meant to scare her or hurt her.
  • Luisa should have tried to stop me so this is kinda her fault.
  • I did get what I deserved. Absolutely.

The only good thing to come out of this is that Miguel captured the worst of it on video. Yes, he was taking a video because he thought he was about to witness a cute little bath with our baby Momo. He was unprepared for what transpired.

Please enjoy a laugh or two at my expense…

For the record, she has forgiven me.


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50 Responses to Cat Scratch Fever
  1. karengreeners
    January 7, 2013 | 10:22 am

    By the scruff, Vikki! Always hold your cat by the scruff when making the terrible decision to bathe her.

    • Vikki
      January 7, 2013 | 10:37 am

      I made several errors…

    • Nichole
      January 7, 2013 | 5:59 pm

      Yes, Vikki! The scruff! Those last few “OWs” sounded especially painful.

  2. Lovingly/Mockingly Referred to as Pretty-Girl, Now More of an Occasionally-Handsome-Middle-Aged-Butch
    January 7, 2013 | 10:34 am

    Ohhhhh… I am still laughing, hard.

    Clearly Luisa’s fault, yes.

    Can you get past the smell of your own blood to enjoy Momo’s new freshy-fresh odor? I am sure it was all worth it.


    • Vikki
      January 7, 2013 | 10:38 am

      She smells amazing…like Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo (which is what we used when Luisa came upstairs to finish the job).

  3. Shannon
    January 7, 2013 | 10:35 am

    Two questions:

    1. How many glasses of wine did you have after bathing the cat? Because I think that called for finishing off the bottle.

    2. How did you get through that without cursing?

  4. Vikki
    January 7, 2013 | 10:39 am

    I had 1 1/2 glasses before bathing the cat and none after! I was too traumatized. As for the cursing, I have no idea. I guess the pain caused me to lose all of my words.

  5. Blazer
    January 7, 2013 | 11:25 am

    Total fail by Luisa, not only did she not stop you, but she allowed you to involved your youngest child. Ouch!

    • Vikki
      January 7, 2013 | 12:08 pm

      Poor Zeca…

  6. Jin
    January 7, 2013 | 11:31 am

    It’s the “ow, oowwwww THIS ISN’T GOING WELL” that got me. I managed to not laugh until that point. I’m an inappropriate laugher so I apologize for the fact that other people in pain makes me giggle neurotically. I really don’t mean to

    • Vikki
      January 7, 2013 | 12:09 pm

      That was my favorite part too and I posted it so people could laugh!

  7. Deborah
    January 7, 2013 | 12:55 pm

    It hurts from the not-breathing….from the laughing…and the crying.

  8. Katherine
    January 7, 2013 | 12:55 pm

    “•I wanted to bathe her because she didn’t smell as fresh as she usually does.”

    Maybe Momo just needs some Vagisil.

  9. Missy
    January 7, 2013 | 1:13 pm

    I am with Jin, you are so charming with your “This isn’t going well” and cries of pain.

  10. Catheryn
    January 7, 2013 | 1:45 pm

    Ooh, ouch! Just for future reference, they do make wipes for cats, but baby wipes or kandoo wipes are also a viable option. I know they have waterless shampoo for dogs, and I think they also make it for cats.

  11. Scott D
    January 7, 2013 | 1:53 pm

    We used to bathe our cats every so often the cat litter smell gets nasty. Here’s how to avoid the scars, two choice:

    1) fool proof – put the cat in an old pillow case. Then into the tub. Wash right thru the case. It works just fine.


    2) you can try to put a towel or bath mat under the cat’s feet as you put the cat in the tub. Giving something for the cat to dig its claws into makes it less skittish.

  12. Meg
    January 7, 2013 | 2:52 pm

    Funny. I wish we could have seen the action :)

  13. e
    January 7, 2013 | 3:24 pm

    1) Use the kitchen sink.
    2) As Karen said, above: By the scruff!
    3) Don’t do it again.

    How’s this for horrible: last month we bathed ALL FOUR of our cats. And the little dog.

    Drama ensued.
    Wine was consumed.

  14. Alexandra
    January 7, 2013 | 4:47 pm

    “I’m sure one or more of the following are rattling around in your brain:”

    You missed one:

    –Don’t drink and catbathe.


  15. Alexandra
    January 7, 2013 | 4:50 pm

    I’m sorry, we’re watching/laughing for 3rd time.

    Ever heard of Strongbad?

    We just saw Strongbath.

    • Laurie
      January 7, 2013 | 4:59 pm

      HA! Strongbath!

      My chapped lip just split again. (I might even do Google Hangouts with you freaks. I need to laugh more.)

  16. Amiyrah
    January 7, 2013 | 4:53 pm

    Hahaha oh Vikki! It always hurts the first time, even with bathing a cat. You’ll get it right eventually, or just turn to dry baths like we do.

    • Vikki
      January 8, 2013 | 6:44 am

      Never again.

  17. Laurie
    January 7, 2013 | 4:59 pm

    I just laughed so hard I split my chapped lip.

    Thanks a lot, Vikki.

  18. Lovingly/Mockingly Referred to as Pretty-Girl, Now More of an Occasionally-Handsome-Middle-Aged-Butch
    January 7, 2013 | 5:16 pm

    tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee…. thank you for sharing. i mean, you coulda snuck that one into the quiet zone. that was good. very good. and bad luisa. susan

  19. Average Jane
    January 7, 2013 | 5:22 pm

    I can point out all of the scars on my body from bathing cats. They’re all quite old.

    These days I only bathe the dog, which happens in the shower because we don’t have a bathtub. He doesn’t resist but, man, does he look miserable the whole time.

  20. GrandeMocha
    January 7, 2013 | 9:19 pm

    My son almost fell of the bed laughing. HE LOVES IT! He wanted to watch it over & over again.

  21. Galit Breen
    January 7, 2013 | 10:01 pm


    Absolutely dying!!

    {Now I must pick the perfect hashtag for this glorious post! #DontBatheTheCats #ForTheLoveOfCats #PoorVikki #SaveTheCat #SaveTheOwner}

    I hope your arm’s okay! Ouch!


    • Vikki
      January 8, 2013 | 6:45 am

      I am fine. I don’t think I’ll be scarred…physically at least.

  22. Kathy
    January 7, 2013 | 10:09 pm

    My question was definitely Only finishing the current glass of wine? Not more? But then I’m not a cat owner…

    • Vikki
      January 8, 2013 | 6:46 am

      It only took a glass and a half for me to think this was a good idea.

  23. tracy@sellabitmum
    January 7, 2013 | 10:48 pm

    “This isn’t going well.” I think Momo is showing this video to her friends tonight. xo

    • Vikki
      January 8, 2013 | 6:47 am

      Believe it or not, Momo is currently asleep on my lap purring. She has forgiven me…and smells fresh and sweet like a little baby 😉

  24. Luisa
    January 8, 2013 | 7:02 am

    I did say that it was a bad idea and I can’t be held responsible for not being listened to :-) I knew something had gone awry with the plan when I heard the loud, painful screams.

    • Deborah
      January 8, 2013 | 7:34 pm

      And did you run up immediately to offer assistance or did you chuckle to yourself a little first? You can take the 5th.

  25. Sarah
    January 8, 2013 | 12:00 pm

    This isn’t going very well indeed.

  26. Lady Jennie
    January 8, 2013 | 1:20 pm

    Oh no – I couldn’t even laugh. You sounded in so much pain! If it’s any consolation, my puppy tries to bite me regularly. He still thinks he’s the master. I’m trying not to fall into despair.

    He’s quite calm during the baths though.

  27. AA
    January 8, 2013 | 11:28 pm

    I’m so sorry, I did laugh. Hard.

  28. dianne
    January 9, 2013 | 7:01 pm

    Only because I know the ending am I saying this … tears! TEARS! It’s like the best PSA ever … and Momo’s from Central Damned Casting.

  29. Diane
    January 9, 2013 | 7:12 pm

    As a veteran of these bouts, may I offer some suggestions? These critters don’t like feeling trapped and the echo of sounds and the bright lights of bathrooms are not their favorite things either. Your mistakes were my mistakes, so I hope this helps:

    A shallow plastic tub (no deeper than her litter box)with something soft at the bottom of it (like a towel), placed on the kitchen floor, a place she’s familiar with. The water temp should approximate her body temperature. Let her face you while you bathe her and talk reassuringly to her. Don’t pour water directly on her, or splash her, especially her head.

    Try gently scooping the water with your hand over her backside or whatever area is the most offensive and be as quick as you can about it. Pet-safe shampoo that’s already dissolved in the water is best, even if you don’t get to rinse it off. Wrap her in a towel afterward and dry her off as swiftly and gently as you can. If she needs to get away before this last part, don’t fight her. Always give her treats right afterward. I think you can skip the candlelight and rose petals, ha ha.

    Now before you do all of this at one time, introduce each of these things in stages, but always give her a treat at the end of each session. For example: get her used to sitting on the kitchen floor next to the tub while you hold her and pet her every day for a few minutes for a week, giving her a treat immediately afterward. Next week get her used to sitting in the empty tub on the floor while you hold her for the same period of time over a week, and don’t forget the treat. The next week do the same only with the shallow water in the tub but don’t bathe her, just hold her in it & give a treat. Next week actually scoop a little water over her smelly parts. Never forget the treats and the comforting talk, which will reinforce the link between behavior and results.

    Works with people, works with cats. And please don’t blame yourself–most cats either love or hate water so there’s little else you can do to change it!

  30. I Love The Internet | Life with Roozle
    January 11, 2013 | 6:31 am

    […] And Vikki wins the internet this week by giving her cat a bath: Cat Scratch Fever. […]

  31. Susan
    January 13, 2013 | 8:07 pm

    Tears as I laugh. Though I do feel guilty for them. 😉 I’m glad you’re both okay!

  32. EmmaSW
    January 15, 2013 | 4:21 pm

    I felt so guilty for laughing, and then I realized all your so-called friends did too. Maybe you need new friends?

  33. Nora
    January 29, 2013 | 7:46 pm

    My 2 year old now see howays, “more kitty cat!” And “more washing kitty cat!” before bed. I’m sorry for your agony even while I’m grateful for the bedtime diversion.

  34. jana
    August 1, 2014 | 12:16 pm

    Sweet lord have mercy, I’m putting that on infinite loop. Best ever.

  35. Alexa
    August 1, 2014 | 12:22 pm

    And that’s why we always taped the cats paws. With packing tape. Sounds terrible, but once the tape gets wet, the tape slides right off… after you’ve finished, of course.

  36. K.M. O'Sullivan
    August 1, 2014 | 12:31 pm

    Even MY family came running in to see what was going on. I am laughing so hard. Sorry for your puncture wounds. Momo deserves an Oscar (Meyer).

  37. Stephanie
    August 1, 2014 | 12:43 pm

    I had to drop in. I used to bathe my cats. It helped a lot with the shedding, and helped them smell so delicious. However, one night in 2005, I was bathing Malcolm (black with a white bib), when he clawed his way up my arm, onto the top of my head, and launched his dripping wet body into the dining room. I spent fifteen minutes chasing him with a towel. My arm and scalp were bleeding. That was the official end of cat baths for him. We’ve done the other two (they don’t put up much of a fight), but I will never, and I mean EVER forget that day.

  38. alexandra
    January 7, 2016 | 7:27 am

    FB On This Day reminded me I shared this two years ago today. It still makes me laugh so hard that I’m happy. Thanks, you.

  39. Anthony
    January 7, 2016 | 12:21 pm

    I love this so hard. You have your “This-is-Efficient-Let’s-Get-It-Done-Vikki” voice on…and then things go terribly, terribly wrong. I wonder if the Cat News Network did a story on this incident of waterboarding. I’m sure that you, as the horrible and cruel dictatrix, did not fare well in the report. Cats danced in the streets upon seeing Momo’s valiant resistance. Protests were staged. “Down With Vikki, Down With Water Torture.”

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