Lawdy, the cat in the carrier looks vewwy vewwy angwy. Is that a Persian? My friend who bathes her cats has a Persian. She said you just have to bathe them, it's not optional.
About the towels, I'm way ahead of ya here. We had two beach towels, and still bled. Ass Cat fought & squirmed as if we were setting him on fire. Mind you, we eventually did get him in the carrier, because I was deadly determined after he sliced me, but it wasn't without significant cost to my time, skin & mental state.