Greetings, two-legged readers from Lucinda the literate cat. My CCL (Cantankerous Cat Lady) has asked me to write a review of a book called “How To Massage Your Cat,” by Alice M. Brock. If you would like to learn how to give your cat a massage, read on.
After I read the book, I asked CCL if those techniques worked on a cat. She replied that most of these techniques are used when giving a two-legged a massage, so the author must have assumed they would also work on a cat.
Tell me, does this lady even have a cat? Has she tried all these maneuvers on her cat, or on any cat?
Well, if someone said to me, “Congratulations, you have won a free massage from the noted Alice Brock,” I would say, “Thank you, but no thank you. Give the free massage to someone else. Don’t let that woman come near me!”
Perhaps the best way to review this book is to describe each technique and then give my opinion on it, so here goes.
1) She asks you to arrange the cat nicely on a clean towel, and then to pat it firmly in place.
Well, so far, it’s not bad. I can handle that.
2) Examine the cat well and remove debris and loose hair with a damp sponge
The examination would be okay. Perhaps if I had fleas, she would find and remove them. But why a damp sponge? Why not use a kitty brush as my CCL does?
3) Squeeze lips shut. Then push fingers under rib cage, causing breath to intake audibly. This tells you that the cat is respirating properly.
Proper respiration? I’m already breathing, or I would not be here. What makes my breathing improper?
4) Place cat in normal seated position.
What if the cat doesn’t want to sit upright? Cats are not dolls that you can arrange any way you want. It could take you a half hour or more to get the cat properly seated.
5) With thumbs behind ears and fingers locked in place under kitty’s chin, raise the cat eight to nine inches above the table. Shake cat vigorously.
Do you two-legged readers have a cat? Can you imagine performing such a move on your cat? Picking it up by the head and shaking it? No, no, no! Not even the Cat Torturer does such things.
6) The author tells you in this one that the cat should feel completely loosened, so now you must allow the cat to rest a moment.
Loosened? I think I’d be fearful that some important connections got broken with this technique. That moment of rest might be just the time to escape. At that point, if I could, I’d run away as fast as possible, unless some connection got so loosened that I could no longer run.
7) Approach quietly; palms should be up and open.
If a closed door forced me to remain in the room, when I saw that masseuse approaching with open hands, my sense of dread would skyrocket and I would want a place to hide.
8) Moving from back to front, work around the cat with a vigorous kneading motion.
What did I tell you? Those open hands gave warning of things to come. Vigorous kneading motion? I don’t think so. Vigor might work well with a large two-legged. The byword for interacting with cats in any way should be “gentle.” After all, I am small, and vigorous kneading could do some damage to my insides. Help, help!
9) Bunch up chunks of cat and then spread them out.
No, no, no! Gently stroking and rubbing is very enjoyable, but bunching and spreading? I’m not a mass of potter’s clay that has to be kneaded into shape.
10) Stand in front of the cat. Take an ear in each hand and press it firmly back until you hear a click.
Hear the click? No way, Jose! And do you really expect the cat to lie on the table docilely while the masseuse dislocates his ears? No self-respecting cat will lie there calmly and let you do such a thing. Back off! By now the cat’s temper might be rising.
11) Draw both front legs out at right angles to the body. Then tug them sharply. Then rotate each fully extended limb until it rides free in the socket.
What is the reason for this move? I am not a windmill. If I am by myself, I would never try to rotate my limbs. They seem to stay in their sockets fine without my assistance. Maybe you two-leggeds need such adjustments, but please don’t try them on your cat!
12) Grip the tail close to the cat body and rotate it counterclockwise.
Hey, hey! I’m not a wind-up toy. My tail is an important part of my communication equipment. What if you dislocate it by winding it up? How can I express myself then? Leave my tail alone!
13) Gently turn the cat onto its back
Well, I’m glad the author said “gently.” I believe that’s the first time she’s used the word, and in my opinion, if you approach a cat with the intention of giving him a massage, “gently” describes the only way to do it.
14) Apply sharp, rapid slaps to the cat’s midriff; then finish by rubbing the body briskly
Masseuse, you hold your life in your hands with this one. If someone tried such actions on my tummy, I would immediately grab that hand and arm with all four feet and do my best to bite and claw it off.
My tummy is sacred territory, and no two-legged can treat it with such disrespect. I might draw blood and lots of it on this one. Try it at your own risk.
15) Now your cat should be totally relaxed. Cover face with tea towel to lengthen calmness. Cat may remain in this position for some time.
I suppose that is possible, if your massage techniques have killed the cat. Then he will remain calm forever.
This woman has written a dangerous book that should not be taken seriously by cat owners. Some of these techniques might really harm your cat. I advise against trying them.
CCL, however, has told me that the book is meant as humor, so you should not consider these techniques seriously. She says that cat massage can give a cat enjoyment and cause him great pleasure if done correctly.
You can find videos of cat massage on YouTube. You can also read this fine article on Wikipedia to learn the proper way to massage your cat. Go to wikihow.com/Give-Your-Cat-a-Massage.
Whew! I feel much better after reading that wikihow article. Now, I believe I could really enjoy a massage given as they suggest. I guess you can’t always believe everything you read
If you would like your own copy of this humorous book, you can go to Amazon to purchase one. Just click on the blue highlighted book title or on the picture of the book below, and you will be taken to Amazon, where you can buy your very own copy. Please be aware, that as an Amazon affiliate, my CCL will receive a small commission for your purchase. However, please take my advice and don’t try these techniques on your cat.
by Chronicle Books
Alice M. Brock, author