Thursday, September 15, 2011

Flea Circus

With our pup coming in and out of doors so often, it’s no surprise that fleas catch a ride every now and again. What is a surprise is at how fast they spread in spite of my religious every month flea dosing on the dog. ( I keep all of her vaccines, heartworm pills and flea & tick stuff on a little calendar in her doggy basket). I don’t know if it’s because we bought the cheaper version or Juneau just has to much hair to hide in, but the fleas multiplied faster than a pair of bunnies in a bush.
So first I gave her a flea bath and gave her a flea color and then did all of our laundry and washed her bed. Fail. Somehow the fleas multiplied still. So Charley picked up a Flea bomb- fogger thingy. We put off putting it to use for a few days because it would take so much time. We had to turn off everything, unplug the refrigerator, turn off the fans, turn off the AC, check for any ignitable sources, wrap tightly any open food source and cover our monitors. Then we had to pack  up the hedgehog, cat, and dog and leave the house for two hours. Then re-enter and open all the windows, doors, turn the AC and fans on full blast. Wait another 30 minutes outside, then vacuum/ sweep/ mop all the floors, upholstery and bedding. In short, it was a lot of work.
Catching a psychotic cat that hates people is not fun. Zack’s cat was found living under a fancy restaurant and lived for three months as a feral cat, often getting pricy cuts of meat and seafood from wooed customers. So not only is it persnickety, its wild and never lets anyone near without a warning scratch. I’ve been trying to develop trust with it, slowly approaching it, letting get used to me, giving it treats, playing with a ribbon ect.  I’ve successfully petted it twice without my arm getting ripped to shreds.
The game plan was to slowly lure it towards the carrier by using treats and ribbon. After 45 minutes, this turned into grab-the-cat-with-a-towel-and-wrestle-it-in-the-cage. Alas, she was quicker and ended up hiding inside of the box spring mattress. Charley came home from work and joined in the fun. Together we tried forcing the cat out of the mattress with a broom, only to make it more stubborn. Then charley picked up the mattress entirely, the cat slipping through a hole in the back and darting to the cover of a desk. Repeat the scare-cat-out- one-side technique and a scratch and a hiss later, Charley has grabbed the cat via towel and she is dumped unceremoniously into her carrier (sorry kitty).
The cat and Bruno got to wait on the front porch and Juneau in the courtyard. By then we had decided we needed a well earned treat. We went to eat while the bomb  did it’s magic.
Then we had to give all of the animals thorough flea baths. Starting with the smallest, Bruno received his bath in the sink. We’ve given him baths before but limit them because he maintains his own hygiene. Did you know hedgehogs can swim? I sure didn’t when we first got him…it’s rather humorous to watch. He got a little extra scrubbing from an old toothbrush.
Then the Cat had her bath. I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details except to show you our victory pictures:
It’s proof that it happened. It’s also an epic picture because it’s the first time she’s been held by charley or I.


Washing the cat was definitely a two person job, allowing for no photo narration. By the time it was Juneau's turn we were too pooped to even think about pictures. Now hopefully, this house had better be flea free.

I must add that the now-less-itchy dog decided to dry on charley's pillow while we were cleaning in the other room so we had the joy of remaking the bed all over again. If a wet dog on your pillow doesn’t make your day, I don’t know what will!

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