Terror begins to fill me. She’s locked me in the room again. I pace between the two doors trying them in turns even though I know they will not open. She’s back and making me lay down. She runs a brush through my hair just like she always does before…I want to get up and hide, but she keeps pushing me back down.
She tells me she loves me, yet she tortures me so. She is speaking in her “soothing” voice. She’s trying to calm me down and, I have to admit, it’s working a little. She stops brushing me and I come to my senses. I rise up, ready to run, but she grabs me again.
No, not there I try to say, but only a squeak comes out. She mimicks me chuckling. As she lifts me, I cling to her. Maybe if I hold on tight enough she will realize how scared I am and not go through with it. She tries to pull me away from her body and laughs when I reach for her shoulder, her shirt, anything I can hold onto.
“It’s OK. You’re fine.” She keeps saying over and over in that soothing voice she uses. It’s not OK. I won’t be fine. I’ll die. I just know I’ll die. I look into her eyes and try to gain sympathy there. I see her resolve fail for a moment. “Aww, it’ll be fine Buddy.” She says again, kissing the top of my head before she puts me in the water.
I look around for an escape route. She seems to have every exit blocked. When I move toward one, she pulls me back toward her. The water rages as she sprays me. It soaks through and into my very being. I plead with her, begging her to let me free. She keeps reminding me it’ll be OK, but I know otherwise. I know this is what will kill me. I start to shake as understanding, like the water, sinks into my bones.
She keeps me here in this tub for what feels like eternity. I wait for that final moment, but it doesn’t seem anxious to come. It eludes me, but at this point I’d rather just accept my fate. At least then I wouldn’t be in this goddam tub! After hours, maybe even days, she lifts me from the tub. I try to run, but she holds me firm. She wraps me in a towel and holds me close. “Good boy.” She says nuzzling against my face. “Good boy, Gus.”
And that is the story of each time my cat gets a bath. I imagine that’s what’s going through his mind anyway.