Aby-a-Day – 18 May: Splish splash, I was taking a bath (Fashion Friday)

One of the first things I do when bringing home a new kitten is to give them a bath. I know that may sound strange and a little non-intuitive, but it was actually something Sherry did when she brought us Jacoby (and which I wish I had taken photos of). She said it ensures that the new kitten doesn’t introduce anything to the resident cats from the cattery, it reduces the kitten’s “different” smell, and it distracts the kitten from being homesick at all. Ever since Jake, I have done that to every new kitten we’ve gotten, and it seems to work like a charm.

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So I introduced Lorelai to the cats and apartment, clipped her claws and popped her into the laundry room sink. I hadn’t gotten any Jerob Parisian Purple shampoo yet, so I had to make do with their Snowy Blue, which I use on Alfred and used on Logan. I certainly wasn’t going to wash her with Jake and Angel’s Mahogany Gold!

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First, I got her completely wet.

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Then I turn the water off and lather her up. Jerob shampoos should be diluted, and I usually add some of the De-greasing shampoo as well, to clean up the oils from hands petting their fur.

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Never put soap on a cat’s face though. I don’t lather beyond the ears.

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(Pause while all of you go Awwwwwwwww…)

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After she’s good and clean, it’s time for the rinse cycle.

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It is essential to make sure your cat’s fur is completely free of shampoo, or the fur will be dull and sticky.

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When you’re sure you’ve gotten out every last bit of soap, rinse one more time.

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After we’re all rinsed, it’s time to dry off.

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I use microfibre pet towels, and they really do suck up a lot of water.

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Finally, a little playtime with big brother Freddy…and the bath is forgotten.

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“Bath? What bath?”

Aby-a-Day: 11 April: Wordless Wednesday (Post-aBATHalyptic)

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Aby-a-Day – 11 February: Angel’s spa day

On Sunday, I decided to give Angel a bath.

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The second I shut the bathroom door with her inside, she knew something was up.

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She hasn’t had a bath in a very long time…at least two years (and probably more like four or five). Her fur was starting to look and feel a little greasy in a way that Jacoby’s fur never does.

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Angel’s spa day started off with a mani-pedi, and then a good Furmination. I actually got this Furminator with an “eject button” as a free gift from Blog Paws, and I have to say, it’s much better than the non-ejecting model.

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Don’t worry, Angel. Your hair won’t go to waste. I have plans to make Jake a Trump wig out of it. It’s just the right colour!

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Then, I put her into the tub…she wasn’t thrilled with that. I have to say, though, having sliding glass doors on the bathtub really makes bathing cats a lot easier!

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See? She can’t escape!

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No matter how hard she tries…

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…she can’t get the doors open.

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It really makes a difference. I can bathe a cat without any help. It’s nice. When we move, we’ll be back to shower curtains…but we’ll also have a hand-held shower head, so rinsing will be easier. It’s a trade-off I can accept.

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Finally it was time to dry off.

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I usually blow-dry Jake, but if I tried that with Angel she would freak out.

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So with her, it’s towel dry, lick, and shake.

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Angel, doesn’t it feel good to be all clean and sparkly?

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Er…I’ll ask you again once you’re all dry.

Aby-a-Day – October 9: Rub-a-dub-dub (Fashion Friday)

Getting all pretty for a cat show requires some effort.

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Namely, a bath. Luckily, Jacoby doesn’t mind baths. Of course, his baths are a lot less work than our showcat friend Summer‘s baths!

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It’s especially easy now that we have a sliding glass door on the tub instead of a shower curtain. He just sits in the tub and lets me wash and rinse him.

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I think he likes the bathing better than the blowdrying, to be honest. Luckily, he air dries fairly quickly.

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I feel very fortunate that he is such an easy cat to bathe. They’re all pretty easy, but he’s the only one I can really wash without another person helping me. I often brag I can wash him with one hand…or, actually, no hands.

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I wish I had photos of his very first bath. I don’t know what I was thinking, not taking any. Sherry brought him down from New Brunswick, and gave him a quick bath in our kitchen sink. He was completely unfazed by it. It was adorable.

Aby-a-Day – April 30: Bathing beauty

You may recall a couple of years ago when provided photographic evidence that I can bathe Jacoby with one hand. Well, as easy as it was to bathe him in our old apartment…

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…It’s about 100 times easier in our new apartment!

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The secret is the sliding glass doors.

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Which Jake cannot open.

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So I don’t need to hold onto him at all, unlike when we only had a shower curtain.

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This is so awesome. The only thing that would make bathing him even easier would be if we had a Shower Massage or some other kind of sprayer. Unfortunately, our building has some crazy Euro-fixtures and nothing we can buy will fit.

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So I have to rinse him under the faucet, or with cups.

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Having a door that shuts, though, makes a huge difference. I almost look forward to our pre-catshow bath, now.

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Can’t exactly say the same for Jake, though.

Aby-a-Day – April 2: Wordless Wednesday (After a bath)

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Aby-a-Day – October 10: It’s not easy being pretty

Thursday night before a show is bath night. Everyone has their own grooming tricks, so I thought I’d share mine.

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I use a mix of a degreasing shampoo and a colour-enhancing shampoo for red and brown coats. Jacoby’s coat tends to get a little greasy from being petted all the time. I mix the shampoos and let them sit for a while.

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While the shampoo is melding, I clip Jake’s claws and clean his ears. I use Q-tips first.

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Then I use ear wipes to finish up. I’m not sure I need them…

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…but they’re meant to be used on Abys, obviously!

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Then, I Furminate Jake’s coat to get all the loose hair off before he goes in the tub.

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It never fails to amaze me how much hair comes off a cat who barely seems to shed!

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Then I give Jake’s chin a special scrubbing with a mix of benzoyl peroxide and the degreaser to help his chin acne.

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After all that, it’s into the tub.

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First I wet Jake down.

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The soap combo I use doesn’t get very sudsy, which is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to rinsing. It’s easier to rinse out of his fur, but it’s really hard to tell that you’ve got all the soap completely rinsed out.

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The rule is, rinse til you’re certain all the soap is out. And then rinse two more times.

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Jake gets dried off with a super-absorbent microfiber towel first.

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Then he gets bundled into a big bath towel.

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I blow dry him until he’s about half dry.

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After that, I figure he can handle the rest.

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Jake dries pretty quickly. After he’s done, I take a shower (well, I’m wet anyway) and by the time I’m done, he’s mostly dry. And then he gets a quick spritz with bay rum and a polish with a chamois cloth, the traditional finish to Aby grooming.

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Jake is one of the few cats I’ve known I could wash by myself. He is definitely the only one I have ever been able to wash with one hand!