Geelong have held North Melbourne to the lowest score in the Kangaroos' 95-year VFL/AFL history to win by 55 points at GMHBA Stadium and regain top spot on the ladder.
The Cats have been well below their best since the mid-season bye -- winning four of eight games -- and they were well short of their absolute best on Saturday night.
But they still proved way too good for the dreadfully disappointing Kangaroos in a 9.15 (69) to 1.8 (14) victory.
Scoreboard-shy North Melbourne's only goal came via a free kick from ruckman Todd Goldstein early in the second term.
Their previous lowest tally was 2.7 (19) way back in 1930 - also against the Cats.
Geelong will be guaranteed the minor premiership if they win their remaining two home-and-away games against the Brisbane and Carlton.
"Even more than the win-loss the issue we had (in recent weeks) was we would have liked to have been playing more in our style," said Cats coach Chris Scott.
"I thought tonight was a better reflection of that.
"We were hard to score against; the conditions weren't perfect but they weren't as bad as we expected them to be.
"Some execution issues in front of goal aside it was a pretty complete performance."
Playing his first senior match of the year, livewire Quinton Narkle kicked two spectacular goals and had 21 possessions, while small forward Gryan Miers continued to impress with a game-high three majors.
Mitch Duncan marked his 200th AFL game with 27 disposals.
Two days after announcing his retirement at season's end, veteran defender Scott Thompson was North Melbourne's best player, even though he sat out the last quarter after receiving a heavy knock to the head.
The first half was a hugely forgettable affair with the Cats managing just three goals while holding the Kangaroos to a solitary major to lead by 16 points at the long break.
And neither side could use the weather as an excuse, with the forecast rain staying away until the final quarter.
The Cats were much better in the second half, while the Kangaroos slipped even further off the pace.
Forward Mason Wood had the chance to kick a goal in the dying minutes which would have at least let the Kangaroos avoid the ignominy of their lowest score.
Somewhat fittingly, he butchered the shot, spraying it out of bounds on the full.
"It just happened to be one of those nights," said Kangaroos coach Rhyce Shaw.
"I'm more worried about the way we played more than anything, than the score.
"We need to be able to defend a bit better.
"Our midfield needs to lift in a few areas and we need to try and score as best we can.
"The score really doesn't have any effect on me whatsoever."
In the expectation of wet weather, the Cats made a late decision to omit ruckman Zac Smith, preferring instead to have tall utility Mark Blicavs to contest most of the hitouts against Todd Goldstein.