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December 6th, 2003

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.

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