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Poisoning the Kitties

Tonight we poisoned the cats. Apparently, the flea treatment Advantage is no longer legally sold in the United States without a vet's prescription, so Shannon bought it online ... because of course you can get anything online. When the Advantage arrived in the mail last week, Shannon was surprised to see that it had been shipped from Australia. Guess that explains why they would sell it to him, eh?

Anyway, so tonight we girded our loins, armed ourselves with our contraband Australian Advantage, and headed into battle.

Poor babies. They are always traumatized by the flea treatment ... especially Cobweb. I figure Munchkin is too dumb to figure out that she should be objecting to this undignified treatment, so she just huddles there and yowls while I squirt poison on the back of her neck. Then she hides under something for a minute after we're done.

Cobweb, on the other hand, lets her objections be known quite clearly. On past Advantage occasions, I have seen her launch herself like a missile, straight into the air, upon the first feel of the liquid squirting on her neck. Pretty amusing ... unless you're the person chasing her around the entire house trying to finish the dosage with a second squirt.

We were smart this time, and shut ourselves up in the dining room with the cats before starting the process. Hardly anywhere to hide in there if somebody (i.e., Cobweb) got away from us. Cobweb seemed a bit suspicious of this unusual door-closing behavior, but sat on the table uncertainly trying to decide whether to make a run for it. The French doors, however, were already closed. There was no escape. Bwaaaa haaaa haaaaa!

We grabbed Cobweb first, because I know from experience that doing it the other way around is extremely ill-advised. See, Cobweb is smart enough to figure things out based on what she sees and hears happening to Munchkin. Munchkin, on the other hand, blithely sits there hoping to be petted, even as Cobweb is bouncing off the walls and ceiling, all claws and fury, in her efforts to evade us.

So we grabbed Cobweb and I asked Shannon whether he wanted to be neck-guy or squirt-guy. He chose to be neck-guy, which means he was responsible for holding Cobweb by the scruff of her neck, which is the method most likely to keep her reasonably still for a short period of time. I prepared the Instrument of Torture, and then applied the first squirt. She immediately escaped from Shannon's grasp, which is the usual result at this stage. Shannon, however, managed to keep her still by just holding her body, sort of hemming her in. Miraculously, she did not leap away, even when I approached with the second deadly squirt. I credit her affection and trust for Shannon.

So when Cobweb was finished, we let her go, and she raced under the table and raced around and just generally expressed extreme distress. We let her out of the room so that she could go hide under something more comforting until she felt ready to face us again.

Munchkin was much better behaved. Shannon wrapped her in a towel (this doesn't work for Cobweb, but Munchkin seems to find it somewhat reassuring) and I gave her a couple of squirts of illegally-obtained Australian Advantage. She made unhappy noises, but behaved herself admirably.

The pathetic part came much later, when Shannon and I were watching TV. Both cats were sleeping in the living room on the couches, and both kept having nightmares, twitching and jumping and gasping. Oh no! It's my people! With the squirting poison! They're coming after me again! Made me feel kind of guilty, traumatizing them like that. But it's for their own good. It'll be good to see them not scratching so much ... Cobweb in particular has seemed rather preoccupied with the fleas for some weeks now. Still ...

Poor babies.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2003 05:31 am (UTC)
Y'know, flea-dipping the cats sounds like trying to trims my boy-child's nails...

Terrific entry, by the by. I hope your furry ones recover without too much therapy.
Dec. 6th, 2003 07:38 am (UTC)
I can't believe Shannon doesn't think you're funny.
Dec. 6th, 2003 08:10 am (UTC)
Could they be somewhat allergic to Advantage? I mean, nightmares and twitching over a little drop of liquid? Isn't that kind of wierd? Ollie wasn't thrilled when I dosed him the first time. But he didn't go crazy either. Well, maybe he is crazy. He likes to stick his head under running water, after all. OH well, Ollie is an indoor kitty since he didn't seem to like his leash and harness, so I thought, fine, don't have to give him meds then. He seems to be happy looking at the squirrels through the window. He just seemed scared when I brought him outside. I might put a bird feeder up so he can look at the birds. Do squirrels hibernate?
Dec. 6th, 2003 10:04 am (UTC)
It's possible, I have a mild allergy to the stuff myself. But I put up with it because 1. it works and 2. I can use it on stray kittens without thinking they're about to die.... too many stray kittens in my area, too many fleas on them.

So what's up with the prescription thing? That stuff is the safest flea treatment I've found! My vet has used it on newborns, no problems. She claims that the manufacturers tested it at several times the reccommended dose, no problems.
Dec. 7th, 2003 06:40 am (UTC)
We just bought some Advantage about 2 wks ago at Pet Food Express. When did it get pulled off the market? My vet said the same thing - ultra safe stuff.

Except to me. I get really sick from it, if I get it on my bare skin. (And they do advise you to keep it off yourself - must be some reason.) So, it seems entirely possible that one of your cats is made ill by it. (My husband does the cat greasing, because he doesnt get ill from it, or at least not like I do.)

We have 2 (of 7) that really hate it. One of them is indoors only, so we dont put it on her, anymore. The other goes out, but we use a bit less than the full dose on her, now, which seems to help a little.

The thing is, they shouldnt be getting fleas if they're indoors only, unless there's some reservoir of fleas in the house (where they sleep, rugs, upholstery, etc). But even then, I'm wondering how the fleas survive, during times when both cats are poisoned? What do they eat, when they cant get cat?

I think I used to have "domesticated" (indoor) fleas, but used a pyrethrin product to kill the eggs (only) and that broke the cycle. Matt definitely had that problem, in a very big way, once, in his apt. Here in the temperate Bay Area fleas can really get out of hand. We seem cursed with them, sadly.
Dec. 7th, 2003 10:22 am (UTC)
Fleas can make it into your house by stowing away on a person's socks or whatever. So even indoor cats can get fleas occasionally. All it takes is one flea to find its way inside and lay eggs.
Dec. 6th, 2003 01:16 pm (UTC)
Could they be somewhat allergic to Advantage?

I've seen no evidence of it. Munchkin started foaming at the mouth when we used a different flea treatment, so we bathed her to get rid of it, but neither of the cats has ever exhibited any strange behavior (except fear and resentment) when treated with Advantage.

I mean, nightmares and twitching over a little drop of liquid? Isn't that kind of wierd?

They have similar reactions to having pills shoved down their throats.

He likes to stick his head under running water, after all.

Ours like that, too. The upstairs bathroom sink is "the cat sink", where one cat or the other can often be found. Frequently a cat comes to be petted, we touch it, and then exclaim, "Wet head!"

Do squirrels hibernate?

I believe they do in some parts of the world. Not here in the Bay Area, though. Our cats get to watch Squirrel TV all year round.
Dec. 6th, 2003 03:54 pm (UTC)
Cat dreams
Both cats were sleeping in the living room on the couches, and both kept having nightmares, twitching and jumping and gasping. Oh no! It's my people! With the squirting poison! They're coming after me again!
Instrument of Torture -- hee :-) They'll forgive you for disturbing their regular dreams (of mice, birds, and fish?) when the itching stops.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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