I spent a large part of my recent trip to the land of the palms with my sister Nan, her ‘much older husband Chuck’ as she likes to call him and this little creature named Duke for the John Wayne-lead-from-the-hips style of walking he has had from his baby days, when Chuck first found him hungry and mewing outside their house:
Now Nan has been a softie for stray cats all her life; this I know. For every poisonous snake she’s beheaded on the patio there’s been a new kitten in her arms getting saved and adopted. Her big black cat only added to the fun by producing a string of kittens, one after another appearing in the standard dissolving baggies Nature favors as packaging. (“Mom!” the child screamed on discovering this. “Shadow is falling apart!”)
Nowadays at their house, a whole section of the sofa is given over to Duke’s use, the good upholstery covered in lengths of terrycloth. (“Welcome to Towel-Town, have a seat!” Nan told me when I first entered the room. ) So all this time I thought SHE was the fool for cats.
Turns out the real softie is Chuck who is so beloved by Duke that the little cat actually comes when he hears him in the shower, hops up onto the wall of glass tiles and “asks” Chuck to wash his face. Which Chuck does, reaching up as you see in the picture above.
The cat loves it and that’s no surprise. Who doesn’t love to be groomed? It’s the great loss we the ‘civilized’ suffer: no more getting held tight between momma monkey’s legs for a thorough scrub and a good looking over. I miss it myself.
And now for you groundlings out there who like to see a girl clad in little but her eye makeup and her undies, here’s the whole-body version of cat bathing, sweetly done on a little creature who never even mews: