Now, before you start thinking I'm just naturally masochistic,there was a reason why I gave him a bath. I don't know why, but every year about this time, despite that they don't go outside, my cats seem to get fleas. I know the house isn't infested, they're probably jumping through the window onto my cats.
Chrissy is the type that she gets one flea and she will dig her skin to bloody ribbon. When I see this, I bathe her. She's a dark haired cat with dark skin, so I rarely see any evidence of fleas, I just bathe her. Now, some might say I'm doing it because I enjoy seeing her look like a drown rat.
So, I give her a bath the other day. I put the flea shampoo on her, I let it sit for ten minutes while she screams and claws me into bloody ribbons. I rinse her off and send her on her way. Inside the sink I see two dead fleas floating in the water. When I brush her later, I find no fleast alive or dead on her. Once dry, I put that "Once a month" stuff on her, along with a brand new flea colar. She hates me, but then again, what's new?
Goten, in the meantime, is one of those cats that won't even scratch until he's completely infested. In fact, if I didn't have Chrissy to warn me of impending doom, I probably wouldn't notice Goten had a problem until he had become just a massive flea swarm with eyes. So, I figure I better bathe him too, so I wait until yesterday, to give my arms a chance to heal a bit.
He showed his great delight in being bathed by screaming bloody murder and trying to shred me into bits. Also, in throwing great amounts of water about. But even though he has nary a scratch, I find lots of fleas on him. I wash him once, rinse him, then put the flea shampoo on again and hold him with it on for fifteen minutes. I'm glad my landlady is not at home, because the noises coming out of his throat sound like we're doing nasty things to him with BBQ utensils. Todd has to come out and help me hold him, because my arms finally give away and the blood begins to make it way to slippery to hold him.
Once he's had the stuff on him for fifteen minutes, I rinse him off, dry him as best I can with a towel, and let him on his merry way. He runs off, and I can hear his little kitty voice in my head, suggesting I fuck off and die.
I figure there's nothing much I can do, so Todd goes to bed, I go for my walk. Five and a half miles later, I come home and there is no Goten. I'm not worried, he's pretty pissed at me and a couple hours isn't going to be enough to cool his wrath. I make dinner (fish) Chrissy comes out and demands her share, but not Goten. I make mental note that he's really pissed and don't worry about it.
Day ends go to bed. Sleep, wake up, new day dawns. Goten does not come for canned food. I am beginning to worry, because that cat is such a lardbelly that he thinks he's starving to death if he doesn't have a full bowl of crunchies to munch on 24/7, it's not like him to skip breakfast. Even if he hates what I'm serving, he'll sniff it, give me a disgusted look and then go and eat a bowl full of crunchies, shooting me the occational dirty look.
Todd says that maybe he snuck out last night for food and is hiding now to show me how much he hates me. I'm fine with that. We go about our business of the day.
Todd finally goes to sleep. I start to worry about Goten. I look for him... no Goten. Finally I go to one of the two closets we have. This one closet is interesting, because it is built under some stairs. This gives us a fair bit of space to store boxes, which we have of course. It is also designed in such a way that hanging clothing in there is pretty much useless, so it's become quite cluttered. There is also a hole in the drywall. A hole I thought was rather small and since it was hidden so nicely behind the boxes, I never worried about it.
I check the closet, because a couple years ago, Chrissy was sleeping there, in an ancient 20 cup coffee urn we own for some reason I have yet to figure out, because we don't entertain that much, and only Todd drinks coffee. But, the urn was Chrissy's hideyhole. It's much too small for Goten, but maybe he's behind some of the boxes. I call out, "Goten!"
I just get this odd feeling (Compounded by the fact that I'd pretty much checked everywhere else in the house except for under Todd and since he's sleeping, I figure Goten ain't there) that he's in the closet, so I call again. "Goten!"
Very softly, "Meow!"
Maybe the meow is, "Still hate you!" but it's soft enough so it could be, "mommy, I'm kinda scard!" I call out again. "Goten?"
I make little tisking noises. No Goten. I go and get a can of pounce and shake it. No Goten. I look in a couple of the boxes, no Goten.
As I'm pulling one box out, I notice the hole in the drywall again. It looks a little bigger that I remember. Not a huge difference, but enough so I suppose a pissed off cat could get in there. I go and grab a flashlight and come back. Wriggling around a bit, I get near the hole and beam the flashlight into it.
No Goten of course. But then again, the flashlight doesn't light up much. "Goten?" I call again.
I'm figuring he had a long time to go prancing about between the walls, he could be a fair distance from the hole. But I keep the light shining and call out, "Goten? C'mon boy!"
I'm remember horror stories I've heard about animals dying between the walls. I'm remembering stories I've heard about people who spent hundreds and thousands of dollars to get a trapped kitten out between walls. I'm thinking my landlady won't like that, nor will she embrace the idea of a cat dying and stinking up the place. "Goten, c'mon boy, c'mon out! It's okay Goten, Mommy's here."
I start to feel very sorry for Goten. What type of mother am I to bathe him when he hates it? Okay, the fleas had to be delt with, but did I have to be so cold? I could have handled it better. I could have at least not laughed at him when he looked like a drown possum with a big fluffy face. I'm a lousy owner, this is my punishment. My cat will die between the walls and for the rest of my life I'll suffer, knowing it was my cruelty that killed the sweetest cat that ever lived!
Yeah, I was a little bit hysterical. "Goten!" I call out, trying to sound sweet, but demanding, "Please come out, right now. I will give you anything you want, you just have to come out. Please? Pretty please with salmon on top?"
My crying and shouting wakes up Todd. I don't care. My poor kitty is trapped between the walls, no doubt scard out of his mind, covered in dust and drywall and things too disgusting to mention. He's probably starving to death, so he's going to start nibbling on those electrical wires soon, electrocuting himself, which will in turn cause a fire, which will burn down this house, then, because there is an abandoned house next door, the fire will spread there, then so on and so forth, until no one ever remembers Mrs. O'leary's cow, but they remember Darqstar's cat who burned down the entire city of Woonsocket.
Todd goes to the bathroom, because I guess you don't want to deal with a hysterical wife with a full bladder. Then, he puts on his shorts and comes into the room (which is his office, by the way.) "What' s wrong?" he askes. I hear him messing around in the dirty laundry hamper and figure he's making sure his "lucky socks" are still in there, that I didn't really pull them out and throw them away, as I've threatened to do every day since we were first married.
"The cat is stuck between the walls!"
"Really?" I hear him coming closer. "How do you know?"
"I can hear him."
"Him? Don't you mean, her?"
"No, I mean him. The other cat. Goten, the orange one!"
"You mean this cat?"
I turn around and he's holding Goten. Who had, of course, been napping in the clothes hamper.
Determined not to look like a total idiot, I go, "No, I mean the other orange cat we have... the one I adopted earlier today and was going to tell you about at dinner."
"Nice try." He yawns and hands Goten to me. "I'm going back to bed."
Goten purrs in my arms. I can hear his little voice in my head going, "Wow, sure does suck to be you, doesn't it?"