The good news is that Slinkie does not have a mystery disease, or cancer, as I had feared. The vet said she'd put on weight and was disinclined to torture herself with the Kitty-Yoga poses necessary to keep herself clean.
The diagnosis was made from a distance, as my, usually sociable, cat hissed and growled from her solidly anchored position on the table top scales. 14.8 lbs is just over a pound more than she weighed three months ago, when she came in for her yearly shots. The vet had suggested that I start feeding her some dry kibble to keep her teeth clean. It also kept her from waking us up in the pre-dawn hours, begging for breakfast. That's been lovely, but no more. Kitty diet is on.
I bought cat shampoo to go and once home with my grumpy feline, donned an apron as I filled a plastic bowl with tepid water. The kitchen sink has a movable shower head attachment which is great.
Lifting Slinky into the waiting bath, holding strategically to the scruff of her neck with one hand, pointing the rearing, clawing side of the cat away from me, I was able to give her a good soaking, despite her vertical position and charming commentaries. Next was time to add shampoo to the mix. I flipped the cap, inverted the bottle and squeezed...nothing.
Technical hitch being the interior plastic seal that was unbroken. Wet cat at arm's length in one hand, shampoo bottle gripped under same arm, I managed to unscrew the cap, find a knife and perforate to allow free flowing shampoo. After several applications and rinses, Stinky cat has been reborn as soft and silky cat. Once she finished drying herself off and was served her carefully apportioned dinner, she seemed much happier.