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.