Let Me Tell You Kids About the Legend of Shitmas 2016

The circle of trust has been broken.

All day long, I keep having a sensation that only pet owners will understand- I’ve been sitting somewhere or doing something, when all of a sudden a smell captures my attention, my eyes get wide, and I shout “DID SOMEONE JUST SHIT IN THE HOUSE?” It’s happened a dozen times or more, and I have searched the entire house and come up with nothing, which made no sense because I had smelled it multiple times and in different rooms. At any rate, I was sitting in the chair in the living room, and it happened again. I got up, looked around and found Steve and Thurston behind my chair, and I could sense the smell was coming from there but there was no shit to be found.

And then Steve walked by me. And to my horror, attached to about four inches of his tail near his rear was a ginormous log, as if he had shit outside, and then just lay in it. Horrified, I grabbed him to rush to the bathroom, and when I did, I discovered that his entire belly is also covered with shit. I put Steve in the bathtub and tried to shut the door, but he kept trying to make a break for it. So I did what any smart person does (DUH!), I took off my t-shirt, used it to wrap up Steve and cover his head so he could not see, and put him in the tub, so he could lie there squirming, working himself into a lather while I raced to get towels and stuff to deal with this disaster.

To recap:

I have shit all over my hands.
I am not wearing a shirt.
I have shit on my shorts.
Thurston and Rosie are fighting because the noises Steve and I are making are freaking them out.
My 25 lb cat is covered in shit and in a t-shirt straightjacket in my tub.
I’ve never bathed Steve before.

I put on some workboots so there would be no slippage, grabbed some towels, and headed back in. Steve was now just lying there lifeless in the tub in my jury-rigged restraint, and now I thought “oh fuck me I choked Steve out and killed him.” I turned the water on and got it to warmer than room temperature, and not really knowing how to start, I just grabbed the shower hose nozzle and started hosing him down.

This ENRAGED Steve. He now morphed into Wolverine, basically shredded what remained of my shirt around him, and the only way I could get control of him was to grab him by the scruff of his neck and push him to the ground in the tub. My shower nozzle only reaches down to about knee level, so I had to angle his ass towards the nozzle while keeping him in the tub. Large clumps of shit were flowing from him in a nonstop stream. Visual reference:

Scene notes: (I am yelling in my not calming panicked as all hell voice “I’m sorry buddy but this has to be done,” Steve is making sounds I have never heard before, and Rosie and Thurston are still barking).

And then it happened. The combination of stool and cat hair (which was also coming out in clumps) clogged the drain. We are now at DEFCON 1. Knowing I had to A.) retain control of Steve, B.) unclog the drain, my brain fried and I forgot that I also had to C.) maintain control of the shower hose and nozzle. I let it go reaching for the drain, and it started twisting around shooting water in a 360 degree direction while I went with my right hand to mash shit down the drain to unclog it. I got the drain somewhat unclogged and went back to Steve.

Because the hose was not long enough, I had to grab Steve by the root of his tail and angle it towards the hose, at which point his front paws kicked into high gear scrambling to get away. This went on for a little bit until I finally felt that he was clean enough. While holding him down, I turned off the water, grabbed two towels, and smothered him.

The bathroom is a god damned disaster, I had to take a shower, and Steve may never speak to me again. Also, the bleeding has mostly stopped but Thurston is following me around trying to lick it anyway.

Thus endeth Shitmas 2016. And yes. That is the best picture I can get of Steve right now.

180 replies
  1. 1
    bigfatdrunk says:

    This might be the best recap of the year 2016 we’ll ever see. Well done, Cole.

    (Also, it’s been wonderful following the work on the house. It’s looking beautiful, and I’m more than a little jealous. Best to you and your fur kids.)

  2. 2
    Sarah in Brooklyn says:

    That’s my most favorite Christmas story ever!

  3. 3
    Anne Laurie says:

    Just be grateful it didn’t happen in your new house, John!

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    I am sorry , but..


    I do not kid…
    Your home needs to have cameras. You are a reality show.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    I literally laughed so hard that I cried. Thank you, I really needed that.

    Merry Christmas, every one (except Steve).

  7. 7
    RobertDSC-Mac Mini says:

    At least you didn’t show the shit like you did with Walter. Small favors.

    I bet Steve is looking at you with murder in his eyes.

  8. 8
    Cckids says:

    Oh, John. My sympathies; I’ve been there with my cat Olivander, but not nearly as entertainingly as you & Steve. Mine walked by me & just as I had that “what is that horrifying smell?” thought, I saw his entire backside was coated in shit, as though he was wearing poo pants. Longhair ginger boy.

    Thank you for a much-needed laugh.

    Good luck with the bathroom.

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, we came home from Christmas dinner to discover that someone had horked a lovely hairball up on the couch while we were gone. I’m assuming that was our gift from Annie — it wasn’t messy enough to be one of Keaton’s.

  10. 10
    Msilaneous says:

    This is truly a gift that keeps on giving. I can’t stop laughing.

  11. 11
    Rosalita says:

    Maybe Steve needs one of those grooming jobs on his back end so the shit clears the butt floof?

    OMG sorry John but I’m LMAO. I’ve had similar scenarios but thank the FSM I have sliding show doors on my shower that prevent escape.

  12. 12
    mai naem mobile says:

    I would either kick Steve out of the bedroom tonight or not sleep tonight because you may not live to see the morning otherwise.

  13. 13
    randy khan says:

    I’m sure Steve’s view is that he would have taken care of it himself if you’d just given him enough time. Probably by rubbing against some upholstered furniture, but that would have been your problem, not his.

  14. 14
    Eric NNY says:

    Between Pestivus and Shitmas, I’ll never leave this here blog.

  15. 15

    I was upstairs when I read this and started laughing so hard my husband came to make sure I wasn’t sobbing. Merry Christmas, Cole!

    @Mnemosyne: I just saw that evil cartoon musical made by white people, it was pretty good!

  16. 16

    You need two people to bathe a cat.

  17. 17
    Gravenstone says:

    My cats are looking at me as one mad, as I bark and bray and howl at your tale. Unfortunate for Steve (and you), but I definitely needed the laugh.

  18. 18
    Betsy says:

    Did I see something about a Post of the Year contest a couple of days ago

  19. 19
  20. 20
    lamh36 says:


    This is all of us here at BJ after reading this story John… Throws back head in laughter!!

  21. 21
    Drunkenhausfrau says:

    Wow, and you are still sober!

  22. 22
    p.a. says:

    I hope you have a direct line to Werebear to get some advice on How to Make This Right With Steve.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Betsy says:

    Yeah, Steve needs a Potty Patch grooming treatment, as mentioned by @Rosalita: above.

    Also, I am having the worst Christmas night and this account made me laugh before I cried a little,* so thank you, Cole.

    * as only a truly horrible episode turned into a whattheseriousfuckingly,-really-only-actually-very-*slightly*-humorous account could do.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Did you remember to stick around for the post-credits scene?

  26. 26
    muddy says:

    Just think of all the places Steve has sat himself down this week. A dab here, a dab there…

  27. 27
    Emma says:

    I’m gasping for air here!

  28. 28

    @Mnemosyne: nope! Nobody told me or, evidently, the rest of the theatre in the first place, how could I have forgotten?

  29. 29

    And now I’m looking at my phone and laughing, which is confusing the hell out of my husband.

    I miss my long-haired Phoebe, but I don’t miss the… um… back-end maintenance.

    (On a mostly unrelated note, Iggy’s Christmas was kind of disappointing. But it’s not over yet.)

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    It was the crab. Now you’ll just have to see it a second time. 😉

  31. 31

    @Mnemosyne: just email it to me 😉

    I loved the little things like how then went with the chicken of all the animals, lol.

  32. 32
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Cole, I was literally laughing out loud as I read this. You paint quite the vivid picture, and you have such a way with words. I’m glad nobody was harmed in the making of this story. Thanks for brightening my night.

  33. 33
    Mary G says:

    I kinda feel bad for laughing so hard, because that was truly traumatic for both you and Steve, but there are hiccups. Like @Gravenstone: my cats are worried I’ve crazy. You are such a vivid storyteller, John, thank you, Merry Shitmas to you too.

  34. 34
    daryljfontaine says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Well, Tamatoa hasn’t always been this glam
    He was a drab little crab, yeah

    That’s Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords”, definitely channeling their song “Bowie”.

    John, you have a flair for spinning a tale of personal horror-comedy. I hope the rest of your Christmas was better than that, and that Steve at least scored some tuna for his misery.


  35. 35
    Genine says:

    That sounds like a very 2016 Christmas- a classic the moment it happened.

  36. 36
    eemom says:

    Perfectly normal episode in the life of a well meaning animal lover whom the gods delight to mock. Been that, done there, got the T. Except all doggies in my case.

  37. 37
    Mary G says:

    @Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA: Iggy story too. YAY!

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:


    Lin-Manuel Miranda said that his improv rap group opened for Flight of the Conchords at the Aspen Comedy Festival, so it’s not a coincidence.

  39. 39
    Sandia Blanca says:

    This is the best blog post ever, John Cole, and just what we needed as we prepare for this horrible year to end.

  40. 40
    GregB says:

    Leave it up to Cole to redefine the meaning of yule log.

  41. 41
    Eljai says:

    Just showed this to my sister (who has a long-haired cat and, suffice to say, empathises) and we are laughing so loud I’m afraid the neighbors will call the cops!

  42. 42
    Manyakitty says:

    Dude. This blog has made me laugh/cry so many times in the last few days. Thank you. It’s one of the few things keeping me remotely sane.

  43. 43
    fuckwit says:


    When I was a kid, we had one of those stand-up showers, and I could throw my cat in there, shut the door, stand on the sink, and lean over to reach the hose, faucets, and shower-head thing to turn the water on. Cat could jump well but not high enough to clear the shower wall, so a miserable but effective shower was all but assured.

    I now have two MaineCoon-ish mutt kittens who are about 9 months old and already over 10 pounds each. They eat and shit like goddamned champions. I shudder at the thought of them getting to be 25 lbs; maybe they won’t since they’ve got plenty of tabby and tuxy in them too.

    Hopefully I won’t ever have to bathe them.

  44. 44
    greengoblin says:

    I read this to my hubby and we both had a good laugh. Merry Christmas, everybody!

  45. 45
    daryljfontaine says:

    I had this clip of “You’re Welcome” on repeat for a week or so after I saw the movie. The LMM flavor is strong in that track.

    And here’s “Shiny” for Major^4. Enjoy!


  46. 46
    brilliantatbreakfast says:

    God, I hate myself. I am laughing so hard I have tears coming out of my eyes and I feel like I’m going to have a coronary. OMG, this is horrible. I cannot imagine the hell both you and Steve endured. Like I said — I laughed but I hate myself for it.

    Hope tomorrow is better.

  47. 47
    waynersT says:

    This should be a new holiday tradition, with annual re-postings.

  48. 48
    OGLiberal says:

    My wife and i just cried at this story…so funny.

    As a former Maine Coon owner (our guy died a few years back…almost 16, good, long life) I can relate. Not this bad but turds often didn’t fully clear the abundant coat.

    Funniest was when he was about four and I was single in my apartment in NYC. Had a candle burning on the coffee table and he was there looking to get pet. I started smelling burning hair and saw the tip of his tail on fire from the candle. He soon noticed as well, freaked, and ran away, which put the fire out. He had so much hair that the flame never came close to his skin but the look on his face when he realized what was going on was priceless. Sweetest cat I ever owned…not the brightest guy but a big, hairy sweety.

  49. 49
    Yarrow says:

    Well, you can’t say your pets didn’t give you something for Christmas. Your story had me laughing out loud. My bruised rib was not happy with me. It was worth it.

  50. 50
    TFinSF says:

    Merry shitmas to all, and to all a good night.

  51. 51

    @Mnemosyne: @daryljfontaine: I know he co-wrote the songs, but I was so happy to hear LMM singing one of the songs in the movie — it was just so much fun to hear his voice. I swear, the man is like human comfort food. I hope he stays busy on a million projects over the next four years — we’re going to need him.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:


    Our oldest cat Keaton is part Maine Coon. He once managed to burn off all the whiskers on one side of his face by trying to smell a candle.

  53. 53
    Morzer says:

    Saladin Ahmed ‏@saladinahmed 31m31 minutes ago
    2016 is drinking in a bar.

    satan walks in.

    the bartender says to satan ‘we don’t serve your kind.’

    2016 stands up and says BUT *I* DO!!!

  54. 54
    reality-based says:

    oh, John – THIS is why I love this place! at the end of a horrendously shitty year, with major shitty weather here in NoDak, and a Christmas Eve “car takes a shit” (check engine light and suddenly rough idle) that ruined my Christmas plans –

    I’m just sayin, amongst all the shit and despair that has been 2016 – –

    – – – – well, there’s john, making me laugh until I cried with your tail of shit, despair, and BLOOD!

    I once bathed a skunked Persian cat. Your day sound much worse. But you are a great guy,the BJ community is the absolute BEST, and you are going to have a dream kitchen kitchen – – –

    So take heart. Hydrogen Peroxide and Neosporin four your bleeding wounds, and ice cream for the internal ones. 2017 is gonna ROCK!

  55. 55
    Chris T. says:

    Well, I feel a little better now, I guess.

    My spouse is furious with me because I forgot her Rule of Special Days. I had gotten birthdays and anniversaries wrong in the past, so I made myself a reminder file with the Special Days rules.

    Then I forgot to apply it to Christmas. Sure, I got her various things this year including the important stuff, but the rule—which for the life of me I can’t remember—is that on the Special Day there must be a wrapped present (and a card), even if it’s just some little side thing.

    I don’t know why I couldn’t remember that this applies for Christmas too. True, if it were just me on my own (as it has been for many years) I completely ignore which day it is anyway. But I know she doesn’t work like this. Why can’t I remember? I don’t know, I have a mental block of some sort. OK, so that’s why, early this year, I made the file of Things To Do for Special Day. Then I remembered (and consulted) the file for both birthday and anniversary, but then forgot about it for Christmas…

  56. 56
    RoonieRoo says:

    I think Grumpy might have strained a muscle from tearful laughter as I read this to him. As a four cat household, we offer our sympathies to Steve.

  57. 57
    joegy says:

    “It’s shite like this that gonna make this MF’er come to a head!”

    Serious comedy gold, John. Kudos!!

  58. 58
    Darkrose says:

    I just hurt something laughing. This is both the ultimate John Cole pet story and a perfect metaphor for 2016.

    God bless us, every one.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    Late December night in WV and you’re wearing shorts and a T-shirt?

  60. 60
    trollhattan says:

    Goddamnit I was holding my own until “I put on some workboots…” because reasons. Mind, I’ve never had a cat much less a cat the heft of a sack of gravel but that’s the Coliest thing I can possibly imagine.

    Merry Christmas/Festivus y’all. And mind the felines. And the poo.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA:

    I wish I could find the clip, but there’s footage in one of the PR pieces of John Lasseter telling LMM that they’re going to use his vocals in the final film.

    Being LMM, he cries, and then, because it’s Lasseter, they hug.

  62. 62
    Aaron says:

    Wow, sounds like a real shit show.
    Consider yourself lucky. My older cat, a 9 pound female I found as a kitten outside my office 7 years ago, would have shredded the shirt, and both of your arms if you tried that with her. I saying “no survivors” in Bane’s voice as I type this.
    John, you are a pet owner. detachable shower head, with at least a 6 foot long hose is mandatory.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris T.:

    I’m sorry, but IMO if you have a special rule, then it’s the responsibility of the person who has the rule to do the reminders.

  64. 64
    Hungry Joe says:

    Cole should collect his pet stories, self-publish, sell copies to Juicers, and donate the profits to his pet-shelter people. Or not; it’d be his well-earned money. But I’d buy a few to give to my critter-loving but non-Juicer friends.

  65. 65
    Felonius Monk says:

    Next year we can fondly recall this episode as the “Ghost of Shitmas Past”.

  66. 66

    @Mnemosyne: I’m just happy they managed to squeeze in a queer villain song.

  67. 67
    Couldn't Stand the Weather says:


    Yikes. Just sitting here shaking my head at this. It’s a bit like that story that Gordie tells in Stand By Me.
    That tussle is gonna leave a mark. Just glad that both of you are okay.

  68. 68
    Chris T. says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s a pretty normal rule, from what I gather. I’m the one who doesn’t fit in society…

  69. 69


    Being LMM, he cries

    Of course he does. And I want to hug him too.

  70. 70
    Morzer says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Cole should create a Juicers playlist, featuring Steve’s Theme: “I shat the sheriff”.

    Sheriff John Cole always hated me,
    For what, I don’t know,
    Every time I plant a seed,
    He said kill it before it grow,
    He said kill them before they grow.
    And so

  71. 71
    Olivia says:

    OMG! And I never LOL or OMG! Too bad this didn’t happen on New Years Eve because it is the perfect story to end to the worst year ever. And at my advanced age, I have experienced some incredibly shitty years.

  72. 72
    Suzanne says:

    I just laughed so hard as I read this post to my entire family.

    Boxing Day better bring another cat-ass-shaving post.

  73. 73
    NotMax says:


    I shat the food guy
    But I did not shit the big cat tree

  74. 74
    PeakVT says:

    I noticed Lily wasn’t mentioned so I image she had enough sense to stay out of the way.

    Pets are sometimes smarter than their owners.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    J R in WV says:

    Pro Tip:

    When washing a cat, FIRST get your thickest longest gloves – leather welding gloves or fireplace gloves. This keeps the bleeding and first aide down.

    Second, get help from someone, to wash while you hold the cat, or to hold the cat while you wash. If you have a harness for the cat, put it on to help control him without the wrestling around.

    Third pro tip – Dawn dish-washing soap is WAY the best, especially for engine oil type problems, it’s used by the oil-spill animal rescuers to remove crude because it rinses so well.

    When we washed our 20 pounder cat, he had leaked engine oil and transmission fluid on him, which was more dangerous to the cat, but less disgusting to the humans, so we did him in the kitchen sink. We had the water adjusted before taking him into custody.

    Not a Pro Tip, but advice from experience… You should probably have laundry sinks somewhere if you intend to wash crap off you critters indoors. Since you’re rebuilding a house to be your home, I guess this is a good time to mention this, unless you have let the plumber get away already.

    Thanks for the clear description of the havoc let loose in your bathroom… amazeballs funny, in a slightly sad way.

  77. 77
    Morzer says:


    Boxing Day better bring another cat-ass-shaving post.

    We’re going to need a bigger hedge trimmer.

  78. 78
    Gemina13 says:

    We’re dying here, John. We’re currently having our own cat issues – our housemates each have a cat, and while the 2-year-old tabby and the 3-year-old Siamese (both fixed females) are sweet, loving cats on their own, they hate each other. Hate with a capital HATE. I read your story aloud and said, “I can’t decide who I feel worse for – John or Steve.” And my SO gasps through laughter, “I have no fucking sympathy for a cat that rolls in his own shit!”

    And then he saw Steve’s picture, and howled, “Oh, poor kitty!”

    Definitely get Steve’s back end shaved to avoid future Starship Enterprise missions. Yikes.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris T.:

    Well, neither do I, but that’s why my husband and I make sure to discuss things every year.

    This year, we did no physical presents because we’re going to Disneyland in January, but my husband re-checked with me a few days before the holiday just to make sure we were still on the same page.

  80. 80
    Original Lee says:

    Thanks for the laughter, John Cole. I’m glad you still have a sense of humor about an incident that would have made me very grumpy.

    I also want to put in a PSA for all of the BJ-ers, because y’all are too sensible to drink and drive, but therefore might not be quite as alert to the really unusually large number of drunk drivers out there this year. Be really really careful out there, people. After I was able to walk away from a hit-and-run on Friday, and in talking to the nice state police officer who was taking my statement, he told me that I was his third drunk driver accident in 90 minutes. He asked me to pray for him, if I was so inclined, because he was working Christmas, too. Then the other passenger in the tow truck that came to get my totalled vehicle told me she had also been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, except in hers 6 vehicles were involved and she had to get a ride from my tow truck because there were too many people needing rides for her to be in the same tow truck as her vehicle. I suspect the next week will be at least as bad, culminating in a really bad New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

    Also, seatbelts!

  81. 81
    Batocchio says:

    On the one hand, sorry for the turmoil!

    On the other hand, hilarious story!

    It reminded me of this:


  82. 82
    Morzer says:


    Definitely get Steve’s back end shaved to avoid future Starship Enterprise missions.

    “Captain, I believe I was mistaken in identifying the creature moving towards the quarterdeck as a tribble”.

  83. 83
    NotMax says:


    mrs efg 7++ moths pregnant. Now it’s funny.

    Enough of a nudge to what’s left of the memory to call up a timeless Buddy Hackett bit. Still funny after all these years.

  84. 84
    Death Panel Truck says:

    the Legend of Shitmas 2016

    Can’t wait to see the Claymation version.

  85. 85
    Morzer says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    The Tao of Steve:

    “Be excrement in his presence.”

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Original Lee:

    You are making me very glad that our New Year’s Eve tradition is to stay the fuck home.

  87. 87
    danielx says:

    The only thing that this lacks to make it the ultimate John Cole post is a jar of mustard. It’s got everything else: pets, disasters, Cole injuries, etc. But it did make me laugh out loud, which is a good thing in these parlous days. But it’s got the essential part in spades – this is something that could only happen to John Cole.

    And we truly appreciate it.

    Edit: I’d completely forgotten about the shaving-the-cat’s-ass episode, which I believe Cole also posted.

  88. 88
    Morzer says:


    It’s got everything else

    The Naked Mopping Up II: Vengeance of Steve

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    Why should you hate yourself for laughing. John knows his audience, he knows that laughter is going to be the only response. I’m not even sure he doesn’t do things like this just for the laughs. I mean why else would he tell us about all his trials and tribulations. There are only two responses possible. Laughter or….. No I was wrong, laughter is the only possible response.

  90. 90
    danielx says:


    If I were Cole I’d be afraid to sleep. Some cats hold grudges.

  91. 91
    jacy says:

    Poor Steve. Poor Cole. But funny. One of the things I am grateful for in my life is Balloon Juice.

    Good Christmas here. Survived meeting The Boyfriend’s family last night. My boys got the gifts they really wanted and didn’t know they were going to get. Dinner turned out perfectly. And The Boyfriend came over to share Christmas game night with us. (And this is all a pretty big deal, because there were lots of things beyond my control that made this year difficult, and it’s easy to get maudlin about the past….And it’s hard to negotiate a new life with new rules and new people) The Christmas before last I was doing chemo, and last Christmas I was having another surgery, so this one really feels finally like the start of new life. Tomorrow is my birthday, and my daughter will be driving up, so almost all the kids will be together, and, dammit, I’m going to enjoy it all and not worry too much about what’s coming after the new year!

  92. 92
    Ruckus says:

    In some cases the rule isn’t for the listed purpose, it’s to make sure someone knows who’s in charge. Forgetting the special rule means either you don’t give a shit or control must be shared. Some people don’t like that sharing thing.

  93. 93
    Morzer says:


    Judging by the photographic evidence thus far, I suspect Steve is part Sasquatch. I hope Cole doesn’t mysteriously disappear into the West Virginia woods.

  94. 94
    Ruckus says:

    To go along with what you and @Olivia: said, we’ve all had bad yrs, some much worse than others. And while this one may have had a shitty ending, in more ways than one, it’s good that we can still laugh.

  95. 95
    Beautifulplumage says:

    Now I understand why John wants that needlepoint of “Home, Crap, Home”.

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    Staying home is my all holidays tradition, but especially New Years eve, and St Pats day.

  97. 97
    Honus says:

    @Eric NNY: yes, you really can’t get this kind of thing at any other blog.

  98. 98

    @Eric NNY: @Honus: TBH I basically haven’t left this blog at all since the election. I think I’ve read here and Slate and a little DKos.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    So Season 2 of “The Great Holiday Baking Show” (aka Great British Baking Show: American Edition) is now on Hulu. It’s a slavish imitation of the British one, but I like how soothing it is.

  100. 100
    Mary G says:

    @efgoldman: That makes me smile, and more determined to fight the Orange Menace and leave your little one a better world.

  101. 101
    Suffragete City elftx says:

    And a Merry Shitmas to All!
    Thanks for this blog. Been reading it for years. Simply the best!!

  102. 102
    SWMBO says:

    Well John, I groomed pets to put myself through college. If you are going to bathe a cat, you need to build a cat stabilizer. Get a piece of wood and cut a rectangle out of it. Screw the corners together, then put lead sinkers on it. Put chicken wire on the wood frame and cover the rough edges with cloth (so it doesn’t scratch the tub.). Put the cat on the frame and pull the tail. The cat’s claws should hook on the wire. Pick up the cat and frame and put in the tub. As long as you maintain tension on the cat’s tail, it won’t be able to unhook its claws and go Wolverine on you. The chicken wire will let the shit through and the frame should hold the shit back without clogging the drain. The tricky part is letting the cat go without losing a limb. We groomed multiple cats and this worked. Don’t wait until the next incident to make this. Make it fit whatever tub you use to bathe the pets in.
    And thank you for the story. We laughed til we threatened to take my mom’s oxygen so we could breathe.
    Merry Shitmas to you and the piglets.

  103. 103
    NotMax says:

    Mmmmm. Just opened a bottle of very nice Bordeaux and sitting comfortably whilst sipping a glass (in one of the good wine glasses) before the holiday feast., which will be ready in less than half an hour.

    Prefer a late-ish dinner hour.

  104. 104
    Chris T. says:

    @Ruckus: Ah, that’s the thing … she thinks it means I don’t care. I do care, so I need to remember. And I didn’t (remember)…

  105. 105
    Morzer says:


    Put the cat on the frame and pull the tail. The cat’s claws should hook on the wire.

    Something about the use of “should” rather than “will” makes me uneasy.

  106. 106

    @Morzer: The part that started to make me uneasy was “you need to build a cat stabilizer”…

  107. 107
    Morzer says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Any plan that involves pulling a cat’s tail and confidently expecting to escape retribution can only lead to the emergency room and plastic surgery.

  108. 108
    SWMBO says:

    @Major Major Major Major: @Morzer: Sorry. It’s what we used to bathe a beautiful Persian chinchilla cat (among others.) and the retribution part happened after they were taken home. This works wonders and you don’t lose nearly as much blood using it. It can be used by one person but two is better. I used cat stabilizer because I didn’t know what to call it.

  109. 109

    @Morzer: I just don’t bathe my cat.

  110. 110
    EBT says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Same, here, wonkette and youtube are the only pages I go to since the election. (And this last week a little TPM).

  111. 111
    Morzer says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    In Putin’s America cat bathe you!

  112. 112
    Morzer says:


    the retribution part happened after they were taken home

    Now you tell us! Don’t you realize that the internets of America are full of Juicers bleeding out after they attempted to waterboard unwilling cats using your infernal machine?!

  113. 113
    Mary G says:

    One of my other favorite writers, John Scalzi;

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that 2016 was a monumental shit-show of a year, not only for itself — which would be enough! — but also because it’s now clear that it’s merely the beginning of a shit-show epoch, the depths of which have yet to be plumbed, and the best of which one can say is that hopefully incompetence will save us from true horror. 

  114. 114

    @Mary G: End of the 20th century, in the same way 1914 was the end of the 19th.

    ETA: Crumbling Europeanism, utopian free trade capitalism crumbling, AI ascendant, unions crumbling… the end of The End Of History.

  115. 115
    Morzer says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    The Age Of Voluntary Ignorance and Self-Pitying Bigotry

  116. 116
    Mary G says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The World Cyberwar I era

  117. 117
    Larkspur says:

    @jacy: jacy, happy happy birthday! Since the last several years have been…challenging…. I hope that 2017 is going to change things up, just to be weird and quirky, and surprise you with some good fun rewarding stuff. Anyway, that’s my wish for you.

  118. 118
    Tokyokie says:

    Another pro tip:
    Before giving a cat a bath, wrap each of the critter’s paws heavily in masking tape. This keeps kitty from clawing the hell out of you and from being able to grip the porcelain surface of the bathtub. The cat will still hate you afterward but will be more concerned about removing the tape from its feet, and by the time it accomplishes this, the cat will pretty much be dry and groomed.

    I’ve used this technique with several of my cats (I believe my Tuskegee grad veterinarian suggested it to me) without any of those involved suffering physical harm. Although admittedly we haven’t had to employ it with our corpulent (I’m guessing he’s about 17 pounds) lilac-point Siamese, Marvin, but then he has short hair and impeccably grooms himself.

  119. 119
    ThresherK (tablet) says:

    This is beyond words! Once I stop laughing I’m extending my most healing thought to our Host and the critters he serves.

    Our Xmas trip was to a home with a 90 lb gentle goofy giant of a dog and a new 5-6 lb stripling of a juvenile cat. Cat, 5 months old (?) was nicely interested in her home bring full of strangers, got along well with the dog. Great to see pets in peace.

  120. 120
    Morzer says:


    Before giving a cat a bath

    Don sackcloth and ashes and scourge yourself liberally. That way, the pain of feline chastisement will feel less.

  121. 121
    MomSense says:

    This may be your best yet. Spent most of the day dealing with the flood in my bedroom and needed this laugh. Hope you and Steve are ok now.

  122. 122
    Pogonip says:

    @Eric NNY: I missed Pestivus, what happened?

  123. 123
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Betty Cracker’s tender reminiscences of riding on a Christmas parade float as a child. She and her sister were, respectively, a rat and a roach. Hilarity ensued.

  124. 124
    Singing Truth to Power says:

    @jacy: Happy birthday, Jacy!

  125. 125
    ET says:

    I am sorry you had to go through that but you give the best presents to us.

  126. 126
    Citizen_X says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    you need to build a cat stabilizer

    New tagline!

  127. 127
    Josie says:

    What can I say? I’m in tears. Thank you, John Cole, for being you.

  128. 128
    brettvk says:

    @Aaron: I second this, I have an extra-long hose on my hand-held showerhead, which also has an on/off button, for just this reason. I added a wall mount for the unit which I can reach while holding on to a quadruped in the tub.

    My mother did this one better by having a local sheet metal shop form a tub sized for her dog; it was fitted into a 2×4 frame and put in a utility room. The dog could step in and out of it and she didn’t have to lift him.

  129. 129

    Coming soon to a theatre near you: John Cole in “Gross Encounters of the Turd Kind.”

  130. 130
    Lavocat says:

    John, your ability to capture in writing the surreal absurdities of everyday life is something like a cross between O.Henry and Irvine Welsh and ALWAYS results in my howling with laughter. You should give very serious thought to collecting your funniest posts over the years as vignettes and creating a book or anthology, perhaps for sale on your site, to benefit the site. I’ve been following this site from the beginning and I know you’ve got a solid hundred or so posts like this. I, for one, would love to be able to reread them all in book form. Think about it. Your humor is far too good to let go to waste. So long, and thanks for all the shit.

  131. 131
    CaseyL says:

    Poor John! Shaving Steve’s butt was such a disaster (see previous episode of “Misadventures in Bethany with John Cole: The One Where He Shaves Steve’s Butt”), he decided not to try that again; and this is the result.

    “The One Where John Wrecked His Shoulder Taking Rosie for a Walk on the Ice” sets a high bar for true apocalyptic comedy, but that one happened before our host quit drinking. So “The Legend of Shitmas” gets extra points for happening after John got clean and sober.

    Really and truly, John: Your life is the stuff of legend, and should be on TV.

  132. 132
    Gretchen says:

    Good idea. I’d buy it.

  133. 133
    brilliantatbreakfast says:

    @Chris T.: Tell your spouse she should be glad you are still alive. Many of us would be happy to have such problems. Just sayin’.

  134. 134
    Gretchen says:

    @Chris T.: if it’s so hard to please your Significant Other on special days, maybe she’s the problem, not you.

  135. 135
    Gretchen says:

    @Chris T.: has SO put as much thought and effort into making sure you had a great Christmas as you put into hers?

  136. 136
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    This was the best story freaking ever.

    Hubby and I could not stop laughing while I read it out loud–mostly because It really, truly HAS happened to us before but we were thinking it was because we are terrible pet owners and it was our secret shame.

    Those frigging 360 degree shower wand hose downs are the WORST!

    Love you, John Cole❤️👍

  137. 137
    fergie says:

    I’ve had two Maine Coon cats. Both near 30 lbs, and both needed their butts shaved and bathed because of the long hair capture of turds. The first time for Sam, we tranquilized her and took her into the groomer. She loved her haircut and bath and was never tranquilized again. The cats grew to tolerate the butt shave because they two hated the embedded turds and recognized that as much as they hated the shave, and bath, they liked the clean. Get some clippers and a friend to help hold him while you lift his tail and clip!. Takes about a minute.
    Happy new year all! (love reading about the new house!)

  138. 138
    lurker dean says:

    @jacy: happy birthday! and it’s great to see good things happening for you after all your difficulties the past couple of years.

  139. 139
    Birthmarker says:

    @Chris T.: Well, I’ll wax on marriage a moment. I can understand your spouse requesting at least a token wrapped gift. As a female sometimes I wonder how I get so much done while the SO can’t get a very simple thing handled. But I don’t understand being ‘furious’ about the slight. This is worth a 15 minute pout, max. Also, a hint or two to you before Christmas would have been better than ‘furious.’ Reminds me of the Tim McGraw song ‘Angry All the Time.’

    @jacy: Can’t imagine going through Christmas during the most intense part of chemo. Glad you are through that!

  140. 140
    RepubAnon says:

    @Aaron: I recall the Japanese cat washing machine:


  141. 141
    Ruckus says:

    @Chris T.:
    Well there is a third thing that I didn’t mention. Some of us have a difficult time recalling things that we don’t use all the time. Names of people we see very occasionally, street names of places we’ve been once, calendar events……
    Also all of us are getting older and our memories are as well. Joints creak, so does our brain.

  142. 142
    No One You Know says:

    I’m seriously considering printing Steve stories as an appendix to my copy of The Bloggess book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.”

    I’m finally uncurling from a miserable period and glad to be rejoining the world again, thankful that it’s got BJ and BJers in it.

  143. 143
    Lavocat says:

    @RepubAnon: I always have a sick mixture of curiosity and dread whenever dealing with a Japanese take on ANYTHING. For starters, your first thought will be “Holy shit, though I’ve actually THOUGHT of this, never in my wildest dreams did I EVER imagine someone would make it a reality”. Moral of the story: NEVER dare the Japanese to do ANYTHING.

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    Had a cocker that was old and ornery but could grow hair. And he hated to be groomed on the legs or below about half way down his body, of course the places his hair grew the most. Two groomers told me to never bring him back, the vet refused to trim him no matter how much I offered to pay, so I had to do it. Ended up the only way I found to groom him was to muzzle, sit on the floor with my back to a wall and him in between my legs, one arm under one front leg, holding the other. Switching hands so I could do the other half was one challenge, watching for about an hour after to make sure I remained bloodless was an even bigger one. About 2 months later have to do it all over again. I miss that ornery bastard.

  145. 145

    This is why we have to stop Donald Trump. If he starts a war or something, and all life on Earth ends, we’ll never have any more posts like this. And that would be tragic.

  146. 146
    chopper says:

    and here I was just wondering why we haven’t heard a Cole story in a while. you were overdue.

  147. 147
    Kay Eye says:

    @J R in WV: Good advice.
    Additional tips from a long-haired cat lover (Roxie in the BJ Calendar) – get a bath chair for your tub. Put a towel on the side of the tub, another on the bath chair, the cat on the towel, warm water from a detachable shower hose at the ready, along with a soft wash cloth from the baby department at any good store. My cat preferred Aveeno baby shampoo. Swaddle the front half of the cat if necessary, while gently soaping and scrubbing the offensive part. Rinse and pat dry; if the cat leaps from the bath chair before you can dry her/him, be sure that a large bath mat is on the floor to receive the animal. Get out of the bathroom quickly, leaving the cat to lick dry.
    Invite the cat into the bosom of the household after two or three hours.

  148. 148
    hovercraft says:

    This is why we come here.
    Thank you so much for living and surviving these ‘episodes’, they are a welcome glimpse into the real life adventurers of John Cole. Please never stop being you. And I’d invest in a lock for your bedroom, and make sure that you do not nap in an area where Steve can get to you. Because if he does, there will be blood, lots more of it.

  149. 149
    lurker dean says:

    @RepubAnon: oh man, that was brutal, lol. cole’s story now has me thinking about how i would handle this with my own cats. even with manual washing, i’m sure they would be as unhappy as the auto washing cat.

  150. 150

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Yep. But I’m taking a couple more days off.

    Currently in a house divided – hubby’s Mississippi State Bulldogs are playing my Miami (OH) Redhawks in a participation of ESPN greed bowl, and it’s dueling T-shirts all around.

    Then I’m in full resistance mode.

    And although I’m late to this thread (and don’t comment much, but I usually read everything) I concur with the commenters. We need this place, and we need each other. I am too old to be much use in The Resistance, but I’m ornery enough to not go down quietly…

    Happy Boxing Day…. ;-)

  151. 151
    Pogonip says:

    Cole, why don’t you have at least one CAGE? Animal owners, particularly cat owners, need cages on hand for precisely these types of problems. * Had you had one, when Steve was lying there limply, trying to remember when you had developed this T-shirt bondage fetish, you could have stuffed him into the cage, carried him outside, and hosed him down there. Buy a cage today. And take Steve to the groomer every six weeks or so to have his fluffy pants and the back of his tail shaved down. Both of you will be much happier.

    *Granted no one but Cole has exactly these types of problems, but a cage would still make his life easier.

  152. 152
    SWMBO says:

    @Morzer: What?! Did you think I could remember all of that after these years?!

  153. 153
    The Lodger says:

    @Lavocat: “Lavocat” would actually be an excellent name for a cat-washing device.

  154. 154
    Lavocat says:

    @The Lodger: I quite agree.

  155. 155
    J R in WV says:


    Jacy, tomorrow is also my birthday. Amazing how B-J has at least a couple of everyone’s type, if you know what I mean.

    Trying to think of something interesting to do, will be 66, obviously some days are better than others. So glad you have overcome your health issues and have someone to be with you and your kids. Not so long ago I recall your ex got custody, and you decided (accurately, I see) not to struggle with him over it because he wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long.

    Merry Birthday to you, here’s hoping you see this wish.

  156. 156
    Shell says:

    As another pet owner, I’ve always been amazed at the incredible adhesive qualities of shit.

  157. 157
    Pogonip says:

    @Shell: Yes, and the way Cole described the mess it sounds like Steve decided to plump firmly down in it and wiggle his rear around, for whatever reason. Who knows what goes through a cat’s mind? “Gee, Thurston gets a lot of attention for poop incidents. Maybe if I thoroughly beshit myself, Cole will give me attention! Maybe even tuna! By God, I think I’ll go for it!”

    And go for it (so to speak), he did.

  158. 158
    J R in WV says:

    For folks who really like the humor here, another web blog that has some well written and funny comments is Lawyers, Guns and Money , named for a somewhat well known song by the late great Warren Zevon, and also recorded by Hank Williams Jr and later on by the Wallflowers.

    Just pick a long comment thread and dive in. There’s also lots of politics, like here, but the humor and expertise available there reminds me a whole lot of B-J.

    I also highly recommend the archive of the recently passed SEK (Scot Kaufman) who like our beloved John posted about his cats often and well. It may have been mentioned before here, I don’t recall for sure…

  159. 159

    I too vote for grooming. Not that Steve will like a butt shave either. But it will make things easier. Meanwhile, I think I’d just dry wipe and settle for less than perfection. At least if you decided to wash afterward, you wouldn’t clog the drain.

    I thought sure that in the middle of you bleeding and soaked, wearing big boots and shit-covered shorts, with every pet in the house howling, you were going to have to go let your Christmas company into the house.

    Get Steve his favorite treats, some nip or a pootie pad. He’ll forgive you. https://www.facebook.com/PootiePads/

  160. 160
    Feebog says:

    Happy Birthday Jacy!

    This story is why we are a dogs only family.

  161. 161
    Paul in KY says:

    That may be the most Cole thing I have ever read. I have tears in my eyes from LOLing. Hope you are ok. Know Steve is.

  162. 162
    Paul in KY says:

    @waynersT: Hear, hear!!!

  163. 163
    ChrisGrrr says:

    Phenomenally candid tale, phenomenally well-told. Happy Boxing Day, Cole.

  164. 164
    pluky says:

    @Feebog: Wait until one of them decides to roll in a well rotted raccoon carcass behind the wood shed, then comment.

  165. 165
    Pogonip says:

    @Feebog: Dogs? Dogs, you say? “Wow! That possum’s been dead for at least two weeks–just about how long this heat wave’s lasted. I gotta roll in that. It’d be a sin not to.” “A skunk! Showing his ass when I bark at him, the dirty…skunk! CHAAARGE!” “Good thing my owners opened the door right away, it’s pouring. Gotta SHAKE!”

    Coming from a poodle family, meaning we raised poodles, not that we were poodles, I can tell you dogs also need what people cutely call the ” sanitary trim” these days. Back then dog groomers were only to be found in cities. My mom did all the trimming herself, sanitary and otherwise. Fortunately puppies were let go at 6 weeks back then so she did not have to trim oodles of poodles; 6 weeks just isn’t enough time to grow a good poop-catching coat.

  166. 166
    CaseyL says:

    @Feebog: You have obviously never heard about the Dogs in an Elk Carcass. This is an internet classic, from many years ago, but it never gets old and I challenge you to read it without wetting yourself:

    Dogs in an Elk Carcass

  167. 167
    stinger says:

    I haven’t found much to laugh at, in the last 1/6th of 2016. But now I have tears rolling down my face and a sore stomach from laughing so hard. I’ve actually experienced something a little like this, only instead of a furious 25-lb cat, it was a mildly disgruntled 10-lb Yorkie, who was actually relieved to be clean when it was over.

    And CaseyL, thanks for the link to Dogs in an Elk Carcass — I didn’t know that was still around. I have it printed out somewhere from a dozen years ago, as it is both nearly unbelievable and unbelievably funny.

  168. 168
    RL 大芒果 says:

    Shit like this makes me want to crawl into bed pull the covers over my head and wait for 2017 and pray that it is better than 2016…

  169. 169
    stinger says:

    @stinger: Forgot to mention, the “visual reference” was where I really lost it and thought I might have to be taken to the emergency room.

  170. 170
    Paul in KY says:

    @CaseyL: IMO, the owner is a bit lame. If I owned those dogs, they would know they damn well better get the fuck out of that carcass or I would be going in after them.

    And they would not want me doing that.

  171. 171
    FarmerG says:

    This post is amazing.

  172. 172
    Duane says:

    … And a Crappy New Year!

  173. 173
  174. 174
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    Here’s the classic take on bathing a cat: cat bathing as a martial art cat bathing as a martial art

  175. 175
    Pogonip says:

    @Paul in KY: “Come out! You are surrounded! Exit the elk carcass slowly, in an orderly fashion, paws up!”

    [Pause while dogs wonder how they are to exit anything with their paws up]

    “All right, you had your chance, I’m coming in! Assume the–ghaaaaccckkkkk! Stop LICKING me, elk-carcass-breath! And you, stop wagging your tail and flinging bits everywhere, and all of you, for God’s sake, stop rubbing against me! Hello? Hello, 911?..Yes, the nature of my emergency is I am trapped in an elk carcass with my 3 dogs, and they won’t let me out…What do you MEAN, fake 911 calls will be prosecuted? Lady, this is the realest goddamn emergency you ever saw, these dogs keep jumping on me and knocking me over and climbing on me, and I CAN’T GET OUT OF THIS ELK CARCASS, and–hello? hello?”

  176. 176
    SW says:

    John please listen to this. I learned the hard way, just as you appear to be doing, that a long haired cat is susceptible to this sort of thing as they age. Many years ago when I was a stupid kid, I had a wonderful long haired cat. The first I ever had. He was fantastic and always clean until he was about seven years old. Then I had the same experience as you. Plus he slept in my bed. I freaked out pretty much like you did and spent hours fighting with him, trying to wash that stuff our of his fur or cut it out with a scissors. I remember the poor little guy howling while I put him through this. He later contracted some sort of kidney disease and wasted away. I have always felt guilty about this. I was poor and felt I didn’t really have a choice, but if it is possible the way to deal with is to take him to the VET. They will trim him up and perhaps give him something that will help. Don’t try to fight it yourself, it is a losing proposition. It seems that once a long haired cat gets to be a certain age, the oils on their coat start to break down and they have a particularly difficult time grooming themselves. Particularly in that area that is so necessary to being sanitary. Cats pride themselves on being clean and to suddenly find themselves smelly and dirty is really almost as hard on them as the people they live with. Take him to the vet. This is not his fault. It is natural and is simply one of the prices one must pay for being the care giver to a long haired cat.

  177. 177
    Paul in KY says:

    @Pogonip: That might be how it would have gone down!!!

  178. 178
    mr_gravity says:

    Shit happens. I paid extra for the longer hose.

  179. 179

    Oh, I have SOOOOO been there!

  180. 180
    taylormattd says:

    Omfg, how did I miss this??

Comments are closed.