Monday, November 28, 2011

Exorcism flashback. When I was a kid I had a black cat. Her name was Bap, because my brother Lina couldn't say "Black", but she was mainly known as Bappily. She was a great cat and I loved her dearly. She would knock at the front door by flipping the door knocker, and there is a family photo of the pair of us asleep in bed with her head next to mine on the pillow.

In a shameful episode, I once 'exorcised the devil' from her. I did this by sprinkling her with flour so her coat wasn't so 'evil'-coloured. I think I also chanted some stuff and waved a burning sprig of herbs around. I was too young to actually watch The Exorcist to see how it was really done, but on the other hand I had read a lot of fantasy fiction.

Then I shut her in my parents' wardrobe until her growling and hissing died down. When she started to purr again, I considered her exorcised.

I thought about this tonight, because I decided to try to clean Graham's coat by sprinkling cornflour in it.

It started when I petted him earlier tonight and felt that his fur was clumping across his back. This raised the challenge of how I was going to get the clumps out. In yet another instance that Maru is better than my cat, Graham hates being brushed. I keep the brushes near his food, because pretty much the only time he will submit to being brushed is while he is eating. Otherwise he rolls onto his back to avoid the brushing.

I have two cat brushes: a rubber one with nubs for bristles that slips over my hand so I basically brush Graham while petting him, and a more traditional bristle brush. The rubber one I use to get rid of debris in the fur – leaves, sticks, burrs, et cetera. The bristle one I use to get rid of loose fur.

Neither of them really made an impact on the clumps, so I decided to ambush Graham with a fine-toothed comb while he was lying on the couch. He did not care for this, and attacked the comb with his triple-threat attack.

I will do whatever it takes to avoid having to bathe Graham. I have done it twice and the triple-threat attack is like gentle tickles compared to the vicious gouges he takes out of my arms when water is involved. He once ripped a pair of rubber gloves to shreds.

So I read on the internet that you can clean a cat with cornflour. So tonight I got a jar of cornflour, lured Graham over to his food bowl, and while he was distracted with eating, I threw a handful of cornflour across his back.

Of course, Graham immediately flipped over onto his back, releasing most of the flour onto the kitchen floor. I tried to rub what was left into his fur, but you have to imagine me doing this while chasing Graham around the house. Eventually he ran away and hid, and now I have cornflour all down my front and Graham has this grey patch of fur on his back.

Maybe I should have tried burning a sprig of herbs or something.

Well where there's a will there may be a way...

This reminds me of the one and only time we washed our two cats, back when they were kittens and had ringworm - we had to bathe them in this stuff called Malaseb which you were supposed to be very careful with, limit their exposure to, etc. We did it in the kitchen sink. They bloody hated every minute of it. Clawed their way up our shirts, repeatedly tried to leap out of our hands, etc. Then they bolted under the bed and, because they were cats, cleaned themselves very thoroughly. And as a result were ill all the next day.

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