I've never had to bathe a cat, thank heavens, but I did on a couple of occasions have to bathe a duck.
Yes, that's right. A duck with a fear of water.
My duck Lucy has always been somewhat strange. A couple of years ago, when she was still quite young, she suddenly decided that she wasn't going to get into the water to wash and preen herself. She waddled around the garden looking really cross and uncomfortable, with all her feathers fluffed out, and she would stand next to the water and make 'washing' movements, but she would. not. get. in. (In hindsight, I think she was probably getting jumped on by the drake every time she tried to wash.)
After about a day of this, I decided enough was enough, so I chased her down - no mean feat, she can corner really fast - grabbed her up and popped her into the water, whereupon she flapped about in panic and then ran away again. I chased her down again, and this time I held her in the water and started scooping water over her. She decided that this was acceptable, and joined in with gusto, leaving me covered in ducky water.
She also managed to preen one of my fingers instead of her pinion, which hurt like the dickens.
Ducks are weird.