A short story in which Treacle learns about dog bath day, thanks to Stevie Mouse waking him up.
Dog Bath Day
Treacle Gets A Sudden Awakening
It was a hot day and Treacle was fast asleep in the upper deck of the cat house, snoring gently. Suddenly, he was aware of a paw poking him and Stevie Mouse saying “Treacle wake up!”.
Coming round slowly, Treacle at first hoped it was food. But then he realized that Stevie Mouse was jumping up and down with excitement. Suffering from a hangover after his annual visit to the vets and vaccinations the day before, Treacle was not best pleased to be woken up. But his curiosity got the better of him. Just what was going on that had Stevie so excited?
“It’s dog bath day, Treacle, you won’t want to miss this!” said Stevie.
Treacle noticed that his dog brothers, Ringo and Spud were looking slightly worried and muttering between themselves. A lot of noise could be heard from the bathroom. Mummy and Daddy’s voices could be heard as they talked to each other. There was also the sound of things being moved. At the sound of running water, Ringo hid under the table. Treacle started to get interested and sat up.
Stevie Mouse sat next to him, sitting expectantly. The only thing missing was the popcorn.
Ringo And Spud Are Afraid Of Water
“Ringo and Spud are scared of water so this doesn’t happen very often,” said Stevie confidently. “We will be lucky if the whole house isn’t awash by the time this is finished”.
“Why are they afraid of water?” asked Treacle, “I don’t like getting wet but it is not the end of the world”.
Stevie replied, “Something happened to them when they were puppies. Ringo doesn’t remember it, he just knows he is scared of water. Spud remembers it but won’t talk about it.”
Spud’s Turn First
Daddy came out of the bathroom and called Spud. Who didn’t move but just looked at Daddy with a baleful eye. “Come on Spuddy, you first,” said Daddy “Let’s just take your collar off and we’ll be ready.” Daddy then picked up Spud and walked off with him in the direction of the bathroom.
“Should we follow and watch?” Treacle asked Stevie who shook her head vigorously. “Only if you want to get very wet!” she said.
From the bathroom came sounds of a struggle, splashing water and Daddy said, “It is fun, isn’t it Spud?”. It was clear that Spud saw it as very far from fun. Mummy was muttering darkly under her breath. And Ringo was now trying to find a crack in the concrete to disappear into.
Everyone Got Soaked
After a few minutes Daddy emerged, soaked from head to foot. He was carrying Spud who was sopping wet. A trail of water and wet foot prints was left from the bathroom, through the living room and out onto the terrace. Treacle poked Stevie Mouse and they both giggled.
Daddy plonked Spud down outside and Spud immediately made a bee line for the sofa to be stopped by Mummy telling Daddy to keep Spud outside. Everyone got a bit wet when Spud shook himself. “Eeeeuw!’ exclaimed Stevie Mouse. But Spud looked mightily relieved that it was all over. Daddy toweled him down and put him on the back terrace to dry off in the sun as a reward for being a good boy. Spud’s idea of heaven is to spend all day with his nose in the flower pots out there, though as he found when he was stung by wasps, it can be a hazardous occupation. Stevie Mouse went with Spud to keep him company, leaving Treacle with Ringo. Who was now shaking!
“Shall we do Ringo tomorrow?” asked Daddy, completely drenched and exhausted and hoping Mummy would say yes. Mummy emerged from the bathroom also soaked from head to foot as Treacle and Stevie Mouse sat open mouthed at the sight. “Let’s get it all over in one go shall we?” said Mummy.
Daddy sighed, gathered his strength, took off Ringo’s collar and carried him into the bathroom. If possible there was even more sounds of struggling and water cascading onto the floor. Mummy could be heard saying, “It’s not near your face Ringo, you are okay,” as she tried to calm him down.
Daddy appeared again, with Ringo leaving water trails everywhere. This time Treacle stood back to avoid the water from the dog shake.
While Daddy was drying off Ringo, Stevie Mouse stood near Spud. “Spuddy,” she said, “why are you so afraid of water?”.
Spud Won’t Tell Stevie Mouse His Story
Spud paused in his flower pot excavation and said, “Bad times, Stevie, bad times.” Stevie nodded sympathetically. “I can’t forget it, I try but every time I see water it brings it back. I know Mummy and Daddy won’t hurt me but that other man…” Spud trailed off.
Stevie decided it was better not to ask any more, but she rubbed noses with Spud to tell him it was okay. She thought to herself how lucky she was that Mummy had rescued her as a tiny kitten and that she had a safe upbringing. Spud and his brother had such a bad start and by the time Mummy and Daddy found them they were over three months old and the fears had become deep set.
Time To Relax
Ringo now joined them on the back terrace and Daddy sat down and sighed another big sigh, but this time of relief. Noise could be heard inside as Mummy cleared up the mess! Eventually she joined them all to enjoy the hot sunshine and give the dogs and everyone else a chance to dry out properly.
Stevie went to talk to Treacle. “How are you feeling now Treac?” she said.
“Well that cleared the cobwebs Stevie,” he replied. “What a palaver!”.
“Dog bath day is always like that,” said Stevie. “It is why it doesn’t happen too often. It takes Mummy an hour to clean up the mess.”
They walked companionably towards the kitchen and their food bowls, avoiding the wet patches on the floor.
“Thank goodness cats don’t have bath days!” said Treacle.
“Well,” said Stevie, “there was that time when Malteser was poorly and got in a dreadful mess and Mummy had to bathe his back end.”
Treacle’s voice could be heard saying, “This I have got to hear,” as they disappeared into the kitchen.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!