The Plague

Beauty Sleep(s)

Really, is there anything cozier-looking than a sleeping cat?

Even if they are responsible for The Plague.

Last month, I noticed that Audrey was scratching a lot. I also noticed that my legs, never my best feature, looked as if I were experiencing a third round of chicken pox*, itchiness and all.

I spent about a million dollars on Advantage – hey, it made a change from spending money on the car – and applied it to the cats. Their reactions to the cure were the same as their reactions to the cause. Audrey: scratching and furious. Roscoe and Clyde: whatever, dude.

Then I took the bed apart, washed everything that could be washed, and hung it out in the clean sunshine to try while I sprayed the bed, featherbed, and carpets with some stuff that is supposed to kill fleas and keep them that way for 140 days.

Toxicity all around!

Problem solved, I thought. But, as usual, I was wrong. Besides being death-defying, these fleas seemed to be some kind of mutants, equipped with Super Itch**. Even after I scratched the bites until they bled, they still itched. They still itched when scabbed over. I had bruises from the scratching. Audrey was super scabby under her soft fur. The boys: nothing.

One evening, I actually saw a flea on the bed. I crushed it, and ordered more disAdvantage on line. Exactly a month after the first application, I gooed everyone again, hoping for the best. So far, so good. Let’s hope that the fleas are gone for the rest of the year. Pretty soon I’ll need to spend my flea allowance on propane.

*I got it when I was nine and again when I was 15. I got out of mid-terms the second time. Woohoo!

**One of life’s enduring mysteries is why anything that drinks our blood leaves an itch behind. They’d be welcome to the blood if they were itchless. Definitely a design flaw.

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3 thoughts on “The Plague

  1. I think the solution is the same as for Alaskan mosquito repellent – the fleas are so big you need a shotgun. Seriously, hootardville fleas are in training to be zombie vampires – they don’t die and they take a quart of blood.

    The one thing that I found helped is Diatomaceous Earth. You can pick it up at any of your friendly ‘alternative agriculture’ stores in the boonies, and I think I recall it being between $10 to $20 for a years’ supply (about a pound).

    Naturally, it works better when it’s dry. Feel the love from hootardville.

    So it’s a fine powder, you don’t want to breath too much of it, so swath your face in 3 Hermes scarves and dust it freaking EVERYWHERE. Under the bed, along the carpet, under the stairs, on the stairs, in your planters, and in a 12″-3′ radius along the outside of your house (this last bit only works until it rains, but it’s a GREAT spot to hit).

    Wait a little while and fan yourself. Then throw the boy and cats out, have a small drink, re-swath in scarves, and get out the broom. Brush (gently, you don’t want to breath it) the powder into every crevice, smush it about, yell that they can’t come back in, finish up. Feel somewhat faint, have a shower, then call a car and go out to Le Cirque for a restorative supper. Failing that, have a Mike’s with M. and stay out for an hour until the dust settles, literally.

    The stuff is made of the tiny silica-based (think glass) bodies of diatoms, and it slices the )(@#&@(*&@ out of fleas, and means that they die as soon as they hatch. Mwa, ha, ha, ha! It won’t get rid of them, but between that and advantage it should minimize them. Little )(#()@* I don’t miss them a BIT!

  2. Hope you soon get relief from these flea bites, I feel for you Suzy, I can’t imagine how these poor animals feel with all the fur and all, not able to explain their feelings and how uncomfortable they must be.

  3. Thanks for the advice! I’ll try it. These fleas really do seem to be mutants. Now with Extra Itch! 🙂

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