Tuesday, 22 February 2011

That Old Gang of Mine

It's not merely wedding bells that are breaking up that old gang of mine. Matrimony, motherhood, work commitments and health issues has made it harder and harder for my friends and I to continue playing for the Malaysian Bar Ladies Football Team. Several have left the country for greener pastures. Others have left legal practice. With the departure of several senior players, other (mostly younger and fitter) players have come to take their place. I had to stop playing football with the team in 2007 when lymph node infection left me almost at Death's door in Nov 2006. It took me a few years before I felt I had the strength and confidence to participate in high-impact activities again.

The past year has been good to me. I was fortunate enough to succeed in climbing to the peaks of Mount Ophir and Tabur East (Klang Gates Quartz Ridge) in 2010. Thanks to the encouragement and support of That Special Someone, I decided to play football for the team again.

The team as it was in 2005, at the lobby of Rendezvous Hotel, Singapore. Grow old along with me, my friends. The best is yet to be.

Exhausted but in high spirits after our match against the ladies of the Singapore Law Society in Langkawi, 2006.

I was touched and grateful to receive a warm welcome from my friends on Saturday when I attended football practice with them at Sportsbarn Petaling Jaya. Of our original team, only 4 attended practice last weekend. Still, I see it as an opportunity to meet and befriend my new team members and to try to fall back into my old position as a last-line defender.

Post-game gossip session at Sportsbarn. As this photo attests, time did seem to rush by in a blur!

The years have been kind to my veteran teammates and I, and our stamina has not suffered greatly. We have all, without exception, lost weight over the past 3 years, though mine did not come from exercise but from falling in love. Nothing can burn calories as efficiently as having my heart do somersaults and having stars come out of my eyes.

We had a scrumptious brunch at Kanna Curry House after our game and made arrangements to meet up again for practice the following weekend.

I went to the SPCA Shelter after football for my customary 4-5 hours of bathing and tickwashing dogs, treating minor ailments and injuries, counselling potential adopters, training new volunteers and cleaning the shelter.

In light of the recent Poodle Abuse Incident, Glyn will be conducting an Animal Welfare Legislation and CSI Workshop, and I am to assist him with the presentation on Malaysian animal protection laws and procedures. I'd appreciate any positive publicity for this workshop, so if you know of anyone who might be interested in learning how an animal cruelty investigation is conducted, please help us spread the word.

The weather has been quite unpredictable, and due to an unexpected downpour on Saturday evening, I was not able to attend a Frogging Workshop with my herpetology companions in the Malaysian Nature Society or go to the plant nursery in Sungai Buloh to pick up a rambutan sapling for one of my latest "special projects". I did, however, manage to bathe 3 - 4 shelter cats with ringworm and other skin ailments in the afternoon, which aroused the curiosity of the shelter staff. Many people have inquired as to how I manage to bathe stray cats, shelter cats and my own Rowdies without being scratched or bitten, and so I'd like to share my cat-bathing tips here:


(1) Get an escape-proof bathroom ready. Secure the windows and bathroom cabinets, remove all breakable items and toilet paper and get an old towel and the medicated shampoo ready.

(2) Stroke your intended feline victim to reassure him or her. Pick cat up and put gently into an empty cat carrier. Bring to bathroom.

(3) Cats are unlike dogs in that they don't respond well to negative reinforcement. If you corner a strange dog and manage to loop a leash or choke chain around his neck, he will probably go into submissive mode and trot sullenly to the wash stand/bathroom with you. If you were to corner and leash a cat, on the other hand, the cat will pull harder in the opposite direction out of fear and may strangle himself, eliminate waste or go into shock in the process.

Shut the bathroom / shower stall door and let cat out of the carrier. Cat will probably look nervous and may start yowling. Do NOT grab or leash the cat. Let the cat explore his or her surroundings but beware that cat may get hurt if he/she tries to escape, so be watchful and firm.

(4) Use the shower to spray the cat with warm water. The flow of water should be gentle and not forceful. Cat will yowl and walk around the bathroom, trying to find an escape route. Do NOT grab the cat or hold him/her still. Let the cat think that he/she is the boss and is in control of the situation.

(5) Once cat is wet and miserable, lather and rub cat with medicated shampoo. Once cat is completely covered with shampoo suds, open the carrier door. Cat will usually enter the carrier without much coaxing, as it appears to be the darkest, smallest and safest place in the whole terrifying bathroom. Keep cat in the carrier for 10-15 minutes to allow the medicated shampoo to take effect.

If you have another cat which requires treatment and another empty pet carrier, now is a good time to get the second cat into the bathroom for his/her bath. By the time you are done lathering Cat #2, Cat #1 will be ready for rinsing.

(6) Once the 10-15 minute soaking period is up, let cat out of the carrier and rinse with warm water. Cat will probably be quite subdued by now and quite willing to let you wash the offensive-smelling shampoo off. Again, do NOT grab the cat! Let him/her find a comfortable spot to sit and sulk as you follow him/her with the showerhead. Talk to the cat and use firm strokes to reassure and comfort the cat. The key here is always to let the cat find a place where he/she feels safe and not so threatened. This often means higher surfaces like the toilet seat or the bathroom sink. There's nothing wrong with this. The toilet will be wet anyway, and you can always rinse it clean later.

(7) Dry cat off with a towel and let cat out of bathroom to go sulk somewhere else.

Until my next weekend adventure beckons, I bid you Adieu and Good Day.


Cat-from-Sydney said...

You and my Dad should exchange notes. Dad is the designated hydrotherapist in this household. Everyone becomes ragdolls in his hands. bliss...... purrr....meow!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Really, Kitties? Good idea! When I meet your Mama and Dad, we will discuss you cats all day long. I just want the cats to have their medicated baths without being traumatised by the experience. Now my friends are learning not to grab and manhandle cats that need to be bathed or treated too. Shall I offer tuition classes?

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Tuition classes? That's swell. Oh....but Prof Dr Angelina needs to be booked well ahead. Popular ma..... Do you play futsal too? purrr....meow!

Unknown said...

You're in good form judging by the activities you're engaged in. Let me be one of your supporters when you have a game. Trust me , I break ear drums when I cheer!!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Keats,
Wow, you are a very good friend to want to support my team! I don't even talk about football to my friends who are not into football because I don't want to bore them! Thanks, Keats!

Ellen Whyte said...

LOL, I shouldn't but your bath description is purrfect - including the wet and miserable sulky kitty descriptions.

Great news, Ee Lynn: Au is eating 3 times as much as he was on Monday. This FIV miracle drug he's testing seems to be working. We're over the moon!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Ellen,
So very happy to hear that Au's condition is improving. He is very dear to me and I have been sad since I heard of his illness. Whenever anyone mentions "bathing a cat", I think of the photo of Scoop doing the "octopus spread". LOL! Cats shouldn't have to go through that!

louis said...

How is it you ladies manage to look so clean and healthy after a football match and practice? Aren't you supposed to look grass-stained, muddy and bruised?

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Louis,
We were dirty, muddy, grass-stained, bruised and very sweaty and stinky, by female standards! We used to joke that we'd never be able to get a date if guys came to see us after a match!

Pat said...

Good luck with all your games, E and gang!

How to bath a cat? I've never had to bathe one, and I think I'd be shred to bits if I had to! Don't they hate water?

My doggie-girls hate water, too. But once the hose is on them, they just sit there and let me get on with it until it's time to shake all the water off on me :(

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Thanks for your good wishes, dear Pat! The first time I tried to bathe a cat (Chloe), I ended up with a terrified and traumatised cat and lots of scratches and bites all over my arms and legs. I developed my own dog and cat bathing techniques through trial and error.

mNadeshiko said...

thanks for the tips for giving cats medicated baths!!
i'm sure it will become useful for me someday~!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Hi, Ili! Thanks for dropping by! Hope the cat-bathing tips will work for you!

Crazygirlclub said...

Hey. Great Advice on the cat thingy. I may have had 11 cats in my past but giving them a bath has never actually cross my mind!!! I always learned that cats are capable to heal themselves and clean themselves. Thank for this!!! =D I learned something new!!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Hi, Amelia, thanks for dropping by! Hope the cat-bathing tips help. It has worked for me so far. How was the Jumble Sale today?