How we almost poisoned our cat

Our cat Snurp, who is probably mentally retarded, received his first bath yesterday after Sally unintentionally dosed him with the Frontline for 88-pound dogs, instead of the cat stuff for wormy 10-pound Snurps. As you might imagine, applying that much flea medication to a cat’s skin is bad.

Like causing-seizures bad.

Like going-into-cardiac-arrest bad.

Like finding-a-dead-cat-on-your-bathroom-floor bad.

Fortunately, Sally realized her mistake almost immediately and knew from her vet tech days what to do: Scrub Snurp raw. If we cleaned him well, she informed me, Snurp would likely not go into shock and die, which is, you know, nice. The cat living, that is.

Anyway, Snurp’s first bath.

Sally, after realizing her mistake, told me we needed to wash Snurp immediately. She picked him up, and Snurp purred. Snurp loves to be held.

Sally carried Snurp to the garage. Snurp continued to purr. He could handle this, being held, being petted. This is the life.

Sally stuck Snurp in the garage sink. Wait a second. The floor is wet! What in the hell. . . Snurp stopped purring.

I turned on the water.

Snurp moaned and tried to escape and descended into cat hell.

But there was no getting out. We held him down, soaked him, and worked a half a bottle of oatmeal dog shampoo into his fur and scalp. And to his credit, he didn’t bite or claw or bound for freedom. Snurp just stood in the water—his back arched, his ears down—and took it, miserable, defeated, and now howling.

snurp bathing himself When we finished, we put Snurp outside on the deck. After a few minutes, I looked out the window and noticed Snurp was cleaning himself. When I looked out half an hour later, Snurp was still slurping away. In all, he probably spent an hour licking himself.

Eventually, Sally noticed Snurp had stopped the cleaning. “Snurp just raced up the big oak tree,” she noted. “Looks like he’s going to be okay.”

“Okay?” I asked. “I’m not sure Snurp has ever really, truly been okay.”

Snurp came tearing back down the tree. “Good point,” said Sally.

That night Snurp sauntered into our bed, curled up in my armpit, and purred noisily. He’d already forgiven us for the bath. Considering all the vacant space in his brain, he’d probably already forgotten, too.

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3 Responses to “How we almost poisoned our cat”


  1. 1 Teri May 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Good ol’ Snurp. He’s a dare devil. He’s feisty. He’s vindictive. What’s not to love? He has all the best cat qualities. You just think he’s dumb — he’s planned it that way so you keep feeding him.

  2. 2 lesleyfamily May 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I suspect you’re right. He’s smarter than we give him credit.

    Also, I have this friend, we’ll call her, um, Thierry, who is getting married soon and likes cats. I’m thinking I might tape a bow on Snurp and give the cat to her as a wedding present. I’m sure she’d love the gift. She’d probably think it was the best present of all time.

    • 3 Teri May 14, 2009 at 7:07 am

      I have no idea who you are talking about, but I’m sure she would love it. If you think Snurp would transition to being an inside kitty. I bet she lives in a dangerous place for outside kitties.


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