Monday, November 30, 2009

War on Fleas

The great epic tale of ...

I know, it's just fleas, but this has been a horrible season of them. My poor dog and cat have been really suffering. We've flea bathed, sprayed, doused, you name it since May, and the suckers keep coming back. These fleas just laugh at Frontline, dip their mini shot glasses in it and toast to what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

So I did the next thing available before bombing our house full of poisons, and the dog and cat, too. I googled.

Borax is good for sprinkling on carpets and furniture, etc to get rid of eggs, larvae and fleas. But don't bathe your pet with it and don't leave it lying around for the kids to do the silly things kids do, like Baby C rolling around on everything for new perspectives and eating everything. Yet to kill them in your carpet, you're supposed to leave it on. But back to the suffering mammals.

Poor Lucy, the dog, has been so miserable and I hate to see her suffer like that: scratching to no avail, leaving little drops of blood wherever she curls up for a quiet minute or two. (Ew factor apologies). Babette, the cat, doesn't seem to be suffering so much, but I do occasionally spot a moving dot on her belly or catch the rhythmic fst-fst-fst of a cat scratching behind her ear.

So in my google searches of the morning, as if I have nothing better to do...I found one site that suggested a bath in Head & Shoulders shampoo. "Aha!" I exclaimed, and promptly ran up the stairs to grab the bottle from the shower.

Thank goodness for the big sink in my garage next to the washer and dryer. Yes, I was already into my third load shift of the Monday. I usually bathe Lucy in this sink anyway, she's about an eighteen pound little terrier mix. She saw me coming down the stairs excitedly carrying a bottle that suspiciously resembled her pet shampoo bottle and dodged away from her curl spot the living room sofa as I approached overly friendly-like which she knows even on lesser days, means a bath. Onto the next victim, who being a generally fastidious cat, is non-plussed by my approach.

Poor Babette. She is a beautiful fluffy long haired tabby who has lived a life of luxury, suffering only minor indignations at the hands of small children. She's tough and queenly, having been born on the porch of an abandoned building in a less desirable real estate market, back in my Boston days. She can stare down the best of them in a less insane version of "Are you looking at me?" popularized forever by Mr. DeNiro in Taxi Driver. Even if she met a real Travis Bickle down a dark alley, she would win that stand off without even lifting a claw.

And then I stuck her in the sink. And then I turned on the water in a steady gentle stream. And then I squirted the perfumy, toxic to fleas, I hope and pray, shampoo. Then the washing began, and she was not pleased. I was being Travis Bickled like nobody's business. She yowled, she clung to the edge of the sink and tried to escape. She looked like a skinny drowned rat. But she nobly suffered, and did not fight it so much as endure her fate. But I fear I have lost her trust forever. This was much worse than a trip to the vet when they, there's no nice way to say this, retrieved a poo sample from her.

She was horribly humbled. Although I don't believe it humbled her in the slightest. I sure hope she doesn't catch pneumonia since she will not allow me near her again with a towel and brush.

I think I am going to be Bickled for the rest of her kitty days.

Lucy, when I caught her because she was too busy laughing at Babette, was much easier, and gladly waited for K to come home from school to walk her. She's always extra frisky after she suffers through her baths, and this one was longer and scrubbier than most.

This better work. I'd feel even worse about putting Babette through that if it doesn't.


  1. I cna relate to your pain! we were infested (and I mean WE WERE INFESTED) with lice.. i couldn't sleep for the samn thigns and we just couldn't get rid. Every time I got rid of Daisy's she came back from school two days later with another head full which she duly passed on to Poppy and me. No joke! Glad you got through it though.

  2. yikes! i'm happy to say that the fleas largely kept to the dog and cat. so sorry!


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