The cat, as you all know is a fairly new addition, he arrived in May 2009, and much prefers being outside, in all weathers, so he can be quite grubby when he eventually deigns to come in. He's also a creature of habit and very slow to accept new things. And I only have one towel that I can use to rub him down and as a mat to catch muddy paws by the catflap.
All of which led to today's finished project - cat towels, two thereof, approx 30"x20" (as that's the size of the halflanding area giving access to the back door), so it can be used as a washable door mat and/or a rubdown towel if Ivor's very grubby - and hopefully even a straightjacket if we continue having trouble with the tablets. And be easily identifiable by all as a cat towel and not for human use.
He is actually asleep in the headshot above, but his eye doesn't ever close properly on that side, so he looks a bit like he's giving the evils, but he's not!
He's got a bladder infection, was in the vet's overnight last week then came home with 2 different tablets and some powder to take at each meal, and is supposed to be moving onto prescription food.
Being slightly semi-feral he's not keen on being held, so he gets very stressed if you even try to hold him preparatory to manhandling his mouth open and pushing in tablets he doesn't like the taste of... I've tried slitting open chunks of cat food, surrounding them with cheese of various sorts and also the directly down the mouth route. The chunks of cat food and cheese attempts mostly result in him spitting half the tablets around the kitchen (I had a pony once who used to lick the brussel sprouts leaves in his bran mash and then spit them out, all nice & clean - Ivor's a bit like that with his tablets). The directly down the mouth route has resulted in him spitting half the tablets around the kitchen. Same result, but more distress all round, so we're not doing that again for a while, and anyway need any towel to smell of him to even be able to get hold of him.
The technique I've not tried is mashing the tablet up with butter and smearing it on his foot. It might work for clean cats, but Ivor doesn't always wash his feet immediately they are grubby and I'm not sure I can face cleaning up the mess if he doesn't...
Mum has suggested sild or sardines in oil, as these have a strong taste and are already slit to hide the tablets in - so that's what we'll be trying tonight, especially as I don't think he took any of this mornings tablets, just the powder...
So, the finished project:
I cut the towelling into 20"x30" blocks (for two towels) and laboriously pinned the bias binding over the edges of one - and utterly failed to reliably sew it together. So I cut all the sewn bits off, and straightened the edges (couldn't unpick as the binding is quite loosely woven as is the towelling) and starting again, instead pinned one open edge of the binding to the edge of the towelling, and sewed it down, then wrapped the rest over to the other side, and then sewed everything together from that other side. Which more or less worked on the first one, but was much neater on the second one.
So, the original cat towel is in the wash, and the only reason Ivor was prepared to tolerate the towel being gently laid over him for the pics was I suspect drug induced lethargy as a result of his post breakfast marauding outside for an hour or so before he came in and collapsed wearily on the floor. (The towel was actually laid over him to get it smelling of him, in the vain hope he'll accept me using it on him next time it rains/ need some tablet manhandling).