When we got Kippy Angel Face was four – at that age where she was almost ready to give up naps but not quite. I was at that age where I was definitely NOT ready for her to give them up!
Thinking I could bribe her into napping with the kitten I settled them both onto the couch and told her to go to sleep.
“I can’t – he smells too bad!” she told me.
She wasn’t wrong.
He had a cold and the greenish-yellow goo coming from his nose and eyes had a definite odor. And he smelled like he’d been playing in manure – which he pretty much had been.
I decided to give him a bath. I’d heard that people bathed their cats and if you start them as kittens they’ll learn to like them. Besides, he really did smell!!
So I grabbed the baby shampoo, a couple of towels and Kippy and headed for the laundry sink in the basement. I made sure the water was nice and warm but not spraying too hard, wet him down, shampoo’d gently, used my hands to rinse him, then wrapped him in the towel. He was so young and sick that aside from a few tiny mews he didn’t protest. After gently drying him I buried my nose in his side to take a whiff.
Whew! He still stunk!
So I repeated the wet, shampoo, rinse, wrap procedure. This time Kippy didn’t protest at all, which I took to be a good sign. Until I opened the towel to see him laying on his side, motionless.
“Oh no – I killed the kitten!”
I grabbed a dry corner of the towel and gently rubbed him. “Please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead… How am I going to tell Teacher and the kids that I killed the kitten?! Please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead…”
After what seemed like forever he weakly raised his head and looked at me. I started crying, “You’re not dead! I promise I will NEVER give you a bath again! I am so sorry!” I wrapped Kippy in a dry towel and brought him back upstairs to Angel Face. She cuddled him as he slept off the horrible experience and I silently thanked God that I hadn’t killed him.
Little did I know, that was just the first of our adventures with Kippy.
PS- In case you’re wondering, this photo was taken two years later than this story took place. Obviously she loved cuddling Kippy when he smelled better.