I like baths. I find them relaxing. I find filling up a tub to be just as relaxing as soaking in the water afterward. I think the running water - something many people find soothing - combined with the warmth of its temperature makes for a pleasant experience. And I know I’m not alone in my feelings.
Renn loves bath-time. One wouldn’t expect that of a cat. It’s true that, though he loves studying water, he doesn’t much care for its application direct upon his body. It’s not the actual bathing that he loves, it’s the process that surrounds it. When he hears the water running into the tub, he too runs, straight for the bathroom. Sometimes, I must disappoint him. When I wash the tub I of course run the water. He hurries in expecting bath-time, but is turned away, sorrowful.
What does he do when it’s bath-time? Usually, he knows it’s time even before I start preparing. Showers are the order of the day during the week, when, facing another work-day in the morning, there is little feeling of relaxing the night before. But Saturday night is bath-night, especially enjoyable now that the cold weather is upon us. So Saturday nights, as I start turning off lights, I find my big boy waiting expectantly by or in the bathroom.
Renn becomes very excited, moving about, his back arched - a sign of joy for him as much as is purring - bumping into walls and doors with his flanks, rubbing against all and sundry. He wags his body like a dog does its tail. He continues this while the water fills the tub. I sit with him and rub his chest and the top of his head. He likes that; I rub vigorously, as if I’m massaging liniment into his skin. But he’s too excited to lie still. he gets up, waggles about, bangs into me half a dozen times, then flops over like a heat-stroke victim to lie, purring, for another dose of rubbing.
He will sometimes stretch, curving like a bow, kneading the air - or the bathmat - at the same time. He’ll roll onto his back, his paws in mid-air, immodestly spread-eagled, purring. Then he’s up again.
This goes on for some time until, at last, the tub is filled and I can use it. Then Renn will settle down. He will either curl up and lie on the bathmat while I bathe, or he will watch for drops of water that may be splashed. The latter activity may succeed the former non-activity, depending on the situation. But he remains with me, even after I am finished with the bath.
It’s time for bed now, but Renn, happy in the warm air of the bathroom and the furry comfort of the bathmat, will stay, usually until I get into bed. Then I will hear the soft thumping of his big paws on the hardwood floor. Up Renn jumps to join Tungsten - not too near, mind you - who will probably already be on the bed. Josie comes in a little later, and Tucker likely soon after.
And so we’re all relaxed and ready for sleep, no one more so than my big boy, who will lie unmoving through the night, thankful for a hot bath - a dry one, in his case - and maybe dreaming already of next week’s.