This business is bizarre as hell! Maybe its a bit unprofessional for me to say that but its so true! Service industry people probably see some of the most wonderful and disturbing things ever! In Atlanta, we see our share of famous people, retarded scene-sters, various nationalities, yuppies, hippies, hicks, and more. The city is booming with all types of people doing all types activities at every point in the day! Its not New York but its big and busy for the south!
Today I'm just sharing an odd but tender moment. Clients have all types of requests for all types of cleaning that they'd rather not do themselves. Some of the cleaning is even lewd or sexual in nature and I am most certainly not into that. Still, someone out there probably is, and in a city this big, I just tell them to keep looking, because they'll probably find what ever it is that they are looking for.
As I vacuumed the floor of a house outside the city proper, the owner came up to me and lamented that he had a strange request. He asked "Do you ever clean cats?" Holding the vacuum hose in hand, my brain logically granted me the vision of me vacuuming the poor creature clean. I stuttered out some "uhs and ums" and then asked what he had in mind.
Houdini was the little kitty, a stray that had crept into the house many years back and weaseled her way through an air vent to set off the alarm when no one was home, who loathed baths but was now too old to clean herself. Thinking of the animal, I decided that the man would probably need help, if anything just to hand him soaps and brushes. I was actually pretty thoroughly against doing any of the cleaning myself, having never cleaned a cat before.
So I accepted the invitation to assist him in her bath. He picked her up and took her to the kitchen sink where he had made a little bath of luke warm soapy water. As he held her, we both started to spoon the water onto her with our hands and rub the soap into her fur. She let out some loud yowls of protest but seemed overall rather pleasantly surprised to have so much attention.
The man fumbled with the water and I could feel it was too hot and then too cold. At some point I think I must have just taken the cat, the water, the soap and continued to soothe and bathe the kitty independently of his help with out realizing it. He stood there in a strange silent awe. Kitty was almost purring....but still yowling to continue her original argument against baths.
I rinsed her thoroughly and wrapped her in a towel. She lay in her towel in my arms like a tiny baby and i rubbed her head with the terry cloth to whisk away the water from her face. The man was drenched in appreciation and sincere thanks by the end of the ordeal. As I put Houdini down, he began to brush her. She was pretty much done with the whole thing by that point and had really lost all patience for anything going on, even if it was on her behalf and for her enjoyment. She scampered off to a corner to silently express her disdain for being wet and annoyed.
I don't know what one should charge for such experiences. It was odd and heart warming but still work. I don't know if I even charged him 20 bucks for it. I don't know how much they charge at those grooming shops or what the difference in service is. From a business stand point, it was kind of a rediculous activity to be involved in since it was not normal and difficult to price with an unknown time span. Still, its a good story to tell, and that's pretty much priceless!