I hear some of you’ve been battling the fleas this summer? That’s too bad. I’ve not had fleas yet, but all those who’ve read Tigger’s book will know he had lots. So many, in fact, that he had to have a *whispers behind paw* BATH to get rid of them. Imagine!

TammyActually, this is quite easy for me to imagine, because Tammy had to have one too, a few days ago, and it was High Excitement! Now: you all know I’m not exactly fond of Tammy, right? She’s boring, bad-tempered, bossy and she tries to make me feel bad about myself. But even so, I still couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry for her. Call me soft, but a bath? In water? It’s the ultimate humiliation!

I was alerted to the drama by her shrieks early one morning, as I was dozing in the sun outside the back door. It sounded as though she was being tortured, but considering how Mum dotes on her that seemed unlikely. I was naturally curious to see what was going on. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t have been, okay?

So I tentatively stuck my head in through the cat flap, and there they were: Mum in her nighty, soaked to the skin; Dad in his dressing gown, trying to keep out of the spray of water coming from the trough; and something that looked like a wet mop, struggling fiercely. The shrieks were coming from the mop! I would have liked to rub my eyes, but as my paws remained outside the cat flap and every instinct advised me to keep them there, I couldn’t do that. So I just blinked hard and listened, bewildered, as Mum beseeched the mop to be good. She kept calling it ‘good girl’, so eventually it dawned on me that it must be Tammy in there!

Still: what was I to do about it? Most certainly, I wasn’t going to attract attention to myself and run the danger of being next in the trough. No way! I retracted my head carefully (there was no need to do it completely noiselessly, because they were making such a racket anyway), walked to the very back of the garden and settled behind a dense bush to think things through.

Eventually, the shrieks stopped, and a little while later Tammy emerged from the cat flap. She looked amazing! Whiter than white, and very fluffy. I sauntered over to her and gave her the sniff test. She was almost dry again and smelt…wow...she smelt…like a flower! Like a bunch of flowers! She’d lost all her cat smell! I really didn’t know what to make of her any more. But, being polite, I asked how she was feeling after her bath. And here’s something you need to know about Tammy. That’s if you haven’t yet read Tigger’s book, of course. If you have, then you’ll know already. She has a memory span of exactly 0.001 seconds. She remembers nothing. Nada. And sure enough, she looked at me with her big, innocent eyes and asked, “What bath?”. I rest my case.

Tammy's bathIt wasn’t until later on, when Mum was dressed in dry clothes and the laundry room looked clean and tidy once more, that I found out what had happened. Mum told me Tammy had something called ‘Harvest Mites’, and they gave her big itches and scabs all over her neck and head. I’d noticed she was even grumpier than usual, scratched herself a lot and had been to the vet again. Now it all made sense. Mum assured me the bath had been her very last resort, and that she really hoped it had worked. She also promised I wouldn’t have to have one, because I didn’t have Harvest Mites. You can imagine my relief!

And I have to say in Mum’s defence: the bath did the trick! Tammy no longer scratches herself, the scabs are all gone, and she is as cheerful as Tammy ever can be – which isn’t very, but then again, she is very old and we have to make certain allowances. So Mum tells me.

One thing I’ve learnt from all this: I’m NEVER going in for Harvest Mites; or fleas, for that matter. And I’d advise you all to do the same!

Till the next time,

Bilbo.

Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)