Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Lather the cat well for four or five minutes then rinse.
-Directions on the bottle of flea shampoo.

Note to manufacturers of flea shampoo: please include a heavy sedative in your products! Lather cat for five minutes and then rinse? Oh yeah, that works.

Me after the war.

Currently, my left index finger is swollen to twice its normal size and a rather nasty shade of purple. I'm going to try and get into the doctor's office tomorrow.


So, somehow our two inside-only cats ended up infested with fleas.

Sweet looking, aren't they?

The Enemy!

My first attempt at removing the fleas involved a vacuum cleaner. The less said about that the better.

Plan B involved little tubes of toxic goo squeezed onto the cats' shoulder blades. Damn lying flea-killer marketers and their false advertising. No dead fleas, just gooey, toxic cats. Little black dots would pop up, waggle their tongues at me, then disappear back into the fur. Okay, it was time for war.

It was me and Misseswether versus dozens of fleas with two cats of unknown loyalty caught in the middle. We were vastly outnumbered, but I had superior firepower. Would it be enough? Taking notes from Sun Tzu, I carefully picked my battlefield: the tub in our girls' bathroom. It seemed the perfect spot to attack.

The battle begins!

We went with Oz first. Normally he's the grumpy, aggressive one of the two cats. You can pet him but picking him up is a good way to get shredded. I figured he'd be the tough one. Suprisingly, other than some pretty horrendous sounds he submitted to the wash without a struggle. I guess he knew we were trying to free him of his misery. Dozens of dead fleas fell from him as I rinsed him off. Sweet!

Battle #1 goes to the Homo Sapiens!

Flush with victory, we brought Shine into the bathroom. Shine is our incredibly mellow, surfer-dude sort of cat. You can pretty much do anything you want to him and he'll just go with the flow. Dress him up as a princess, use him as a pillow, Whatever, it's all good. Washing him should be a peice of cake.

Anyone familier with pyscho killers can see where we made our mistake...

Did you know a cat when properly motivated can crawl up a tile wall by clawing into the grout?

The battle started out badly. As soon as the water hit him he started thrashing and hissing. He's a lot more wirey and flexible than Oz and there's less of him for me to hold on to. He got free twice before I was able to bring the flea shampoo into play.

Oh boy, if I thought he didn't like water it was nothing compared to the shampoo! Suddenly I was holding a chainsaw by the wrong ended!

Starting to go bad.


Shine twisted his head around and managed to sink his fangs into my finger deep enough for two of them to hit bone! His front paws tore at that same wrist while his back paws shredded my right forearm! I couldn't get him loose! He continued to chew on my finger while Misseswether sprayed him in the face with water hoping it make him to let go. He just pulled his rear claws out of my right arm and dangled from my left hand by his teech and front claws! I yelled at Missewther to stop spraying Shine, hoping he'd stop trying to tear me apart. Apparently I yelled loudly and used a certian word that, unfortunately, Miniwether heard and used the following day...oops.

Once the water was no longer spraying him he released his hold and dropped to the floor in a soapy, pissed off ball of wet fur and homicidal intent. Meanwhile Misseswether already had a cup of hydrogen peroxide ready to bath my wounds. I washed them with the peroxide, then soap and water, then hand sanitizer. Judging from the shape and color of the finger, none of that worked and it's currently raging with infection. Hopefully I'll be able to get in to my doctor tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Shine still needed to be rinsed off. There was no friggin way in hell I'd hold him in the tub again. I caught him in a towel and took him to the shower in our master bathroom. I held the shower door shut with one foot while I stood on a chair and sprayed him with water.

Don't let the sad eyes fool you, he's a vicious monster!

Eventually all the shampoo and many dead fleas were washed down the drain. I released Shine from the shower, he stepped out, looked at me, then peed on the carpet.

I suspect he's plotting even more of a revenge...

So, today I decide to search through the cats' fur to see if we were successful. Almost immediately I spotted little black dots scurrying around deep in their hair.

Sure, someday bards may sign of our epic war, but right now there's nothing but blood, pain, and ruin. Alas, it was all for naught...

Adventure! Excitement! Antibiotics!

UPDATE: The damage was worse than I thought.


Anonymous said...

According to my frined (I don't have any pets),the Hartz goo for the shoulder blades does not work, need to use Frontline. Good luck at the doctor's office. Hope the cats stopped peeing on the carpet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks...this is great ammo in my battle with my wife to keep from getting cats! -Chad

Merriwether the Adventurer said...


Ammo and cats, two great things that are great together...

No, just kidding. Before the Wethergirls the cats were the princes of our realm. Alas, they've fallen far...


Misseswethwer is off to the vet today to get either Advantage or Frontline. Both supposedly work wonders. Meanwhile I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. The finger is huge, purple, and oozing white goo...uh, that sounds kind of bad.

E6B said...


You've got to get the fleas out of the carpet. Vacuum then put down boric acid in the carpet. Wait a couple of weeks, vacuum again and put down more boric acid. Then, every six months or so, more boric acid.

We've been doing this for over 20 years and haven't seen a single flea in that time. In fact, we have so much BA in the carpet now that we only put it down after a deep cleaning every 18 to 24 months.



Leslie said...

Wow, quite an adventure. Good luck with the cats and your injuries.

I would've laughed but I fear for you when they finally get revenge. :)

the elephant said...

Yeah, I totally feel your pain, man. I just had horrifying experiences with my three cats with ProMeris, Frontline Plus, and a fogging of my house.

I have been mangled while bathing our little guys. I have never, ever had a bite go South like yours, however. Man, but that is a bad one.

Read my linked post above. It is a long rant about Frontline Plus and ProMeris; especially the ProMeris.

Hang in there. When your two kitties are able to revert to their former dismissive and disdainful behavior towards humans you will have achieved a major victory. If they cannot grasp that it was you who saved them from their misery then that is nature. Oh well. I will give you a pat on the back and an "atta boy" since they cannot. Good work!

Kristen said...

You need to flea-proof your house, not just your cats.. I don't know how to do that, though, so please look it up before you get your face scratched off :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for reminding me how much i hate cats, you just cant trust them

Laura said...
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Laura said...

I just finished a 3-4 week battle with fleas. Here to tell you, Frontline is worthless! You have to use Advantage, and get the bombs that require you to turn off all ignition sources.
Also, you can catch the buggers with a white plate with water and dish soap mixed into it and a light above it.
And, I did have to vacuum every day, and empty the container outside. ( I also sprayed good old bug killer onto my vacuum filters)
Good luck all, nasty year for fleas!

shadowlands said...

Sprinkle Borax on the carpets. You can easily get it at the grocery store or Walmart as 20 Mule Team Borax. It will not hurt the cats and it kills the fleas. Flea larvae are killed by contacting it and it is such a fine powder that it is virtually impossible to vacuum all up (unless you have a Dyson, in which case you will have to borrow a vacuum cleaner that does not suck so well), so a certain amount remains in the carpet which helps to kill the fleas. Sprinkle a thorough coating over all the carpets and on any fabric furniture, rub it into the furniture and carpets with a corn broom or stiff bristle brush, let it sit for 20 minutes and then vacuum it up. Do this again in two weeks, and then again in another two weeks. You should have gone through the entire life cycle and should have no more recurrences.

namesconnie said...

This was just an amazing commentary on your cat! I think you ought to submit this to the Jay Leno Show, seriously! Or Ellen Degeneres. You are a great writer and I could totally empathize with you for your whole ordeal!

Jenni Lee said...

Just received a cat bite yesterday morning. After seeing your finger (bites look like mine) then the swelling (mine did too) then the oozing... yikes! I saw your finger after four days and ran to the e-room last night. it's still just as swollen today and sore, but I think the antibiotic shot in the butt prevented it from getting worse. I'm on oral antibiotics for 10 days. I am in a splint now and I certainly feel your pain. I am right handed and it's on the right index finger. It does feel like fire ants or something like that. The pain has radiated up to my elbow, so they splinted me to help keep the infection from spreading (due to movement). Not that the swelling allows much room for movement to begin with. My cat freaked over my stupid vibrating chair. I went to pick him up while it was on and he bit down to the bone and ran! It felt like he bit my finger off at first and there was blood everywhere!

Anyway,thanks for sharing your story, it really really really helped me out!

Jackie said...

That story is hilarious...I have dogs who fight me about baths but never anything like that. They just run outside and when they come back don't look at me or give me attention but you got attacked by the cat :) that's funny...and i mean no disrespect when i laugh at your story it's just something I've never heard of

Anonymous said...

I was just googling for images of fingers with puncture wounds (don't ask) and happened upon this blog. Even though my search is work-related and I need to get busy looking for fingers, I was unable to stop reading this post. Hilarious! Hope your cats have stayed flea-free!

Anonymous said...

I didn't see a date on this, but to all who find this in whatever Google search you do:
Sprinkle Borax all over your floors and carpets and leave it. Let it work in to the carpets. Sweep it in.
The fleas will all die.

PS, don't bathe cats.

Brian and Shawntel Ashcroft Family said...

Found this post while searching for information about flea's. Having troubles with our cat. Laughed so hard. Thanks for sharing with strangers.

Violetwrites said...
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Violetwrites said...

This is all kind of amusing if you hadn't been so hurt with all that pus. I've actually squeezed people's pus out of wounds that looked like yours. Guess I'm crazy too, or a nurse, actually am a poet social worker. Found your blog entry doing searches about how to deal with fleas which my indoor cats on the 16th floor got. Damn this is bad because I have to deflea the apartment too! This is really no fun!