Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sanitizing for my cat's sanity

Ginger and I have fleas. Well, technically she has fleas, but as the vet told me, if I hadn't caught it early, they'd multiply and come after me. On top of which, Dr. Brown informed me that I gave her the fleas, as she is an indoor cat and one must have come in on my clothes. Living next to a field filled with ladybugs, spiders, crickets, ants, and grasshoppers, I'm not surprised there are fleas in that field as well. Great. So we have fleas.

Today was my first time meeting Ginger's vet. She's been there a few times, but they've always done her medical stuff when I'm on vacation and she's there for boarding. I absolutely love him! He's older and friendly and didn't once make me feel like an idiot for not noticing the fleas. He even showed me how to find where the cat and her fleas have been in my apartment so I could sanitize. He suggested I have the exterminator come, but after I told him about the field and the other pets in the complex, he decided it wouldn't help. My indoor cat is now on monthly flea treatment, and I have to be more pro-active about grooming and vacuuming. I was, of course, bemoaning the fact that I'll be spending the day washing everything, but he assured me fleas were more fixable than stress or allergies (which was what I thought was going on). He shook my hand on the way out, commented on how beautiful the day was, and told me to open the windows and enjoy it. "It's a beautiful day to kill you some fleas!" Ha.

So that's what I'm doing. I'm starting on one end of the apartment and working my way across it. My room is first, as Ginger doesn't spend any time in here until the evening and I can close the door without her freaking. The doc said her fleas will be dead in 12 hours, and told me to call if she didn't stop itching within a couple of days. We went three hours ago, she's already stopped itching. Fantastic! In fact, and this is kind of gross, but it made me happy, she was sitting on one of my piano books and you could see the dead fleas falling off of her. My baby is going to feel so much better!

Praises for me, by the way. The vet tech who was helping the doc told me Ginger doesn't look even close to her age. Her eyes are clear, her body functions are good, she's well groomed and at a perfect weight. I'm a good mom. And after I told the vet that Ginger was an old lady, he said, "Naw! She's not old yet." That made me feel so good. He said she hadn't scratched herself raw or anything, just a couple spots, and wanted to know how I knew something was wrong. "Honestly," I said, "she started sleeping on the other side of the bed." She'd stopped sleeping on my left and had started sleeping on the right. Can you tell I have no kids? I know my cat's sleeping habits enough to be concerned when she's being weird.

Well, it's time to switch out the laundry. And sanitize the bedroom, since the bathroom is finished. After that, I'm shutting her out of here and waiting for the flea meds to finish their job before I do the rest. May as well get it all at once.

Today's lesson: Never underestimate the knowledge you can gain from being observant. It may keep you from being attacked by fleas.

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