1 August 2011

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fleas, ticks, and heartworm day, part 3

Andy must have told Dougy a story because Dougy definitely wasn’t as easy to corner as I thought he’d be!

I took a mug over to the kitchen sink, then doubled back to the spot where I give the boys their Greenies treats. Dougy’d stopped by there moments before I went to the kitchen, but finished the Greenies Andy left before I doubled back.

I sat down on a chair by the table, gave a little thought to a new development. Dougy, when he saw me come back, hopped on a section of cottonwood branch the boys like to perch on. It’s only two or three inches high, but it seems to meet some cat perch specification because the boys “argue” about which cat gets it every chance they can.

Had Dougy eaten too many Greenies to be lulled into my flea, tick, and heartworm treatment plot? Andy tends to eat all the treats if Dougy doesn’t come over for his share fast enough, the treats are that tasty! Dougy sat on the cottonwood perch and eyed me warily.

“You want some more Greenies, Dougy?” I asked. I shaked the bag, the way I let the boys know I’m about to put out treats. With their cat-sharp hearing, they come running from anywhere in the apartment when I shake the bag. Andy came back to just outside his safety zone in case he needed to run from me. No trusting me today! Not after that indignity!

Dougy sat there, immobile with indecision. He noticed Andy’s nervousness. I think he snooped at the trash where the discarded treatment tube used on his brother was, too, and his cat-sniffer recognized the unwelcome scent. As noted in part 1, cats are not stupid!

Little by little, enticement by enticement, I thought Dougy was about to get down on the floor to eat more treats. Then he curled up on the perch.

I thought about it. At worse, I’d miss the opportunity by moving toward Dougy too fast or by under-estimating how securely I could hold him down by the nape of his neck when he wasn’t stretched out straight. At best, though, I could surprise Dougy, secure him by the nape of his neck, and squeeze the treatment between his shoulder blades without incident!

Whew! A rush of adrenalin took me to Dougy’s safe spot (he thought). I grabbed the loose skin of the nape of his neck, squirted the treatment out so fast he didn’t have a chance to protest, and like a rodeo cowboy tying off three legs of a calf in the calf roping event, I tossed up my arms to show I’d completed the task! WOOHOO! I set a new record!

This was the best fleas, ticks, and heartworm day ever. I’m glad I watched how their veterinarian secured Andy the last I took him in. I used his technique today with great success! I mean, if a veterinarian wants to have good control of a kitty any time more than any other, it has to be when he takes the cat’s temperature! (You do know how they do that, don’t you?!)

fleas, ticks, and heartworm day, part 2

Andy’s a Greenies cat treat kitty. His expectation is I’ll bring out the treats around 8:00 am or so, which, per expectation, I did.

There was little Andy, head bowed over his kitty treats…

So I grabbed him by the nape of the neck, pushed his head down to the floor, and squirted the flea, tick, and heartworm treatment between his shoulder blades! It happened so fast, even I couldn’t believe the worst part of the month, giving Andy his treatment, is over for this month! DONE! WOOHOO!

Andy gave me a wounded look, and ran off. Usually, Andy’s the blinky-eye cat of the two. We give each other blinky-eyes, and he relaxes in the knowledge he is loved and safe.

But not today! Every time he sees me the rest of the day, I am sure he’ll be wary, even at supper time. Even when I refill the crunchies bowls for leisurely snacks. Even when I offer to rub between his eyes, the old nose rub he loves!

A short time later, Dougy walked by me, unaware of what Andy’d endured. He’s next. I just have to find him relaxed and ignorant of my plan for him. He’s on the cat lounger by the back door now. This might be my chance!

Oops! He must have read my thoughts. He just ran into the kitchen.

Dougy? Where are you. I have something for you!

fleas, ticks, and heartworm day, part 1

Today is the day I need to round up Andy and Dougy for the monthly hell of squirting a few drops of flea, tick, and heartworm treatment between their shoulder blades. It’s never pretty.

Though it is great fun to have two brothers that play well together, cats that quickly evaluate events they feel will result in wetness or travel in a carrier aren’t fun at all.

Cats aren’t idiots. If they sense wetness or travel in a carrier, they find the farthest, least accessible spot under the heaviest piece of furniture in the darkest part of the apartment to hide. I’m not getting any younger…

TACO could infect my cats with diseases they, as inside cats, otherwise aren't exposed to. He's one reason my boys are inside cats.

TACO could infect my cats with diseases they, as inside cats, otherwise aren’t exposed to. He’s one reason my boys are inside cats.

Andy is particularly clever. If I catch him first, I usually finish the task at hand with the least pain to cats or me. Even then, I have to pin him down, wrap him up, or endure nine and a half pounds of mad, frightened cat…with claws! I handle pain well, and heal fast, though I’d rather skip the blood and scars over application of a few wet drops of flea, tick, and heartworm treatment.

Dougy’s main character flaw is likeability with trust. He’s so cute when he tries to avoid something he doesn’t like because he’s not too good at it. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t manage to make flea, tick, and heartworm day miserable for us both if he can. And he can!

Dougy’s physically bigger than his brother by three-quarters pound or so. He can handle me if it means not getting his treatment. He’s surprisingly fast, but I’ve learned I need to close as many doors as possible before I begin. Of course, once I start closing doors…!

Yeah, the boys figure something they won’t like is afoot, and Andy hides immediately! Dougy’s strategy is a zig-zag gallop of escape and evasion through the clutter of our home. I’m not fast, so I’ve learned which places both boys like to hide as my strategy to get through flea, tick, and heartworm day.


[Remember this video? TACO looks a lot rougher since the time three years ago he and Louie, above, had their first tête-à-tête encounter.]

I eventually get the job done, but always wonder if flea, tick, and heartworm day is necessary. The treatment is pricey. The boys are inside cats. Heartworm isn’t common where I live, and, according to their veterinarian, cats with it typically are cats brought here from other states, not local cats. I am unaware of fleas or ticks in my neighborhood.

I apply the hated drops anyway. Like health insurance for me, it isn’t necessary when I feel well, but invaluable when the risk of illness threatens or becomes a fact. I’d rather put up with the boys’ resistance now than deal with sick or afflicted cats later.