A week in the life of a cat owner

Okay, so it’s been almost one week since my last post. I didn’t mean for it to be so long, but things have been just crazy around here! So, I thought since I haven’t had time to craft or take any photos or anything else, I’d just tell you all about what’s been going on…

As usual, much of my time has been spent making sure the kitties stay out of trouble. They have been fully introduced to the entire house now, and so far, no plant chewing, curtain climbing or closet scrounging. They are well-trained in using the litter boxes, so now we can let them have free reign of the house during the day, even when we are not home. All in all, they are very well-behaved little kitties. I think they even are starting to learn what the word “no” means!

The crazy part of the last week has to do with our all-to-frequent trips to the vet. At first, the anti-diarrhea gel the vet gave Max and Maggie seemed to be working. But then on Thursday I was in the room when Max went potty, and it was horrible, the worst I’d seen yet. So, I made a call to our vet’s office, but they told me he was out of town for the next few days. I was referred to another vet in the area, and I called them to set an appointment for the next day. The only problem was that they needed a stool sample. Wouldn’t you know that I couldn’t ever catch him going again before we had to leave for the vet? Thankfully, since Maggie and Molly were a little sick also, they said they could test one of them instead. So, after a long wait at the office, I finally learned…well, not much. See, the vet said they couldn’t find any parasites, but they did find “bacterial overgrowth.” I have no idea what that meant, but he gave me some medicine to administer for the next week that was supposed to get rid of whatever it was.

Well, the medicine seems to be doing the job, at least for one kitty. But I don’t know which one! They have gotten really good at going potty when I’m not around, so I’m finding some bad stuff in the litter boxes but don’t know whose it is. It’s kind of hard to tell who needs to go back on their diarrhea gel when I can’t tell who is having it in the first place! Grrr… So I’m hoping to catch them all in the act today. If not, well, I guess we’ll have to talk to the vet when we go back for their shots on Monday. Yeah, shots…as if they haven’t had enough medical stuff done to them already!

Oh, and then there are the fleas… Did you really think my rant was over? Well, sorry, but there’s more! I was sitting with the kitties on my lap the other day, and I found this teensy tiny black bug on my shirt. I didn’t think it was a flea, just a tiny beetle or something, so I just wadded it in a tissue and threw it in the trash. But then a little later I looked down at Molly and saw a couple little bugs scurrying around like crazy under her fur. “Oh dear, now what?” I said to myself. My family has always had indoor/outdoor cats and dogs, and I don’t remember ever having to deal with fleas. So my internet search was on… I learned quickly that the over-the-counter sprays, shampoos and collars are bad news for cats. Apparently most of them can be fatally toxic, and yet the stores still sell them! Isn’t that horrible? I also quickly learned that the safe flea/tick meds the vets recommend are very expensive, to the tune of $600/year to treat my 3 kitties! I’m sorry, but I’m just not made of money.

So, I found a couple of home remedies that are supposed to help, at least until I can talk to the vet and find a better solution for a reasonable cost. Yesterday I gave the kitties a bath with some Dawn dishsoap, supposedly mild enough not to bother their skin. Then I went over them with a flea comb to get the dead or stunned fleas off. That went pretty well, considering it was their first bath. I tried to make the whole experience as calm and quick for them as I could. Max did not like the bath, catterwalling the whole time, just like he does when we put him in the carrier…He lets you know when he’s not happy! But as soon as it was over and I had him wrapped in the warm towel, he was purring to beat the band. He loved that warm towel massage! I mean, he didn’t want to get out of it, even when he was dry! It was hilarious! Maggie was next, and though she was quiet, she was not at all pleased with getting wet. And it took me longer to wash her because her fur is at least twice as thick as Max’s and Molly’s combined! (I keep wondering if she will actually turn out to be long-haired when she grows up.) And unlike Max, Maggie didn’t like the warm towel massage any more than the bath. She just wanted down out of my arms to lick herself dry, thank you very much! She also does not like the flea comb…except as a chew-toy, that is. Molly was last to bathe, and I think it scared her the most. Being the smallest, she was harder to hold onto with slippery, soapy hands. But being the lightest colored, it was alot easier to see the fleas! I think we found at least 5 or 6 on her…and only a couple on the other two cats. She enjoyed the warm towel massage almost as much as Max, though, so that made up for the scary bath water. They all slept hard most of the day after their baths, but they didn’t act mad at me at all. I think they are pretty unconditional in their love, at least for cats!

So now I’m going over all the carpets sprinkling Borax and rubbing it in with a stiff brush. That’s another home remedy that’s supposed to kill the adult fleas hiding in my carpet. Tomorrow I will vaccuum it up, then we’ll just wait and see what happens. I am going to keep using the flea comb on the babies a couple times each day and see if I can find any more. I hope, oh, I hope they just had a few stray fleas left over from their previous home and that we’ve pretty much gotten rid of them now. But I fear that the fleas actually came from the carpet here. You know, this house was filthy when we moved in, and the previous “tenants” did have a few dogs, one of which lived inside. Not to mention the mice…yes, the mice may have brought in fleas, too. I wish someone would have warned me before about how much more it would end up costing me to adopt “free” kittens from friends instead of adopting from a shelter or rescue where all these problems would have already been dealt with adequately! Oh well…

I love my furbabies, and I wouldn’t trade them now, even though they are costing me a ton of emotional and physical energy, not to mention money! But who needs money anyway…right?

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4 thoughts on “A week in the life of a cat owner

  1. Here are my home remedies for dealing with fleas:
    1. put a pan of water on the floor with a couple of drops of dish soap. Put a lamp shining over the pan of water. A desk high-intensity type lamp works well. The heat of the lamp attracts the fleas and they fall into the water. The soap breaks the surface tension of the water so the fleas can’t jump out.
    2. Keep combing the kittens every day.
    3. When they are a little older, sprinkle nutritional yeast (also known as brewer’s yeast) flakes on the cats’ food. My cats love it. The yeast makes their skin repel the fleas.

    God bless you in your new home and blessings to your husband in his work as pastor.

  2. Wow! The vet, the fleas, the sick kitties! Not to mention the spiders and cockroaches . . . sounds like loads of fun 🙂 I had to laugh as I pictured you on potty patrol! Seriously, though, what a blessing to have your own home!

  3. One thing I also do with the Borax is sprinkle it between the cushions and the sofa/chair and leave it.. This way if any of those buggers get on the furniture they won’t last long!!!!

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