Here we are engulfed in a blazing hot summer in beautiful New Hampshire. As you all know, this season brings numerous insects and creatures out. Many thrive with the intense heat, such as those annoying fleas. I’ve heard people mention fleas on their pets nonchalantly so I never thought twice about it. Slap a flea collar on and they should be all set, right? ( at least that was my belief) Think again.
I haven’t written as much as I’d like lately for my household has a lot of activity. As most of you know, our son’s getting ready and packing for college. Not only do we have that chaos of boxes and trash bags, but unwelcome visitors once again. ( see my blog in December about flying red squirrels!) This time our family had fair warning of their arrival, but we all looked passed the signs, not considering the possibility of fleas.
About 6 weeks ago our cat Smokey started itching all the time. A few weeks into it, he started losing quite a bit of hair. Patches would fall on my rug, a sure sign of something wrong. So I took him in the crowded cat carrier to a vet twenty minutes away. It was a haunting ride of terrified squeals and meows, he was a poor little fellow of ebony with uncertainty floating about him.
The vet thought Smokey had anxiety. Had any new changes happened to our family? Was he depressed? I laughed at this because I didn’t know cats had depression. No, no changes, the same comfty window waited for him, a scratch of love everyday, comforting talks from us, a nice bowl of water,and two feedings a day.
When I got home that afternoon I noticed our other cat furiously scratching as well. Then I knew. Parting her brownish gray fur, it took a scant few seconds to spy little black bugs scurrying in there. Fleas! Yuck! We have had cats for almost twenty years. Never, never, never had we had to deal with or even think of fleas! Now it’s our turn to suffer and fight the fight!
Not only did we have a good month of cats harboring fleas, but our home was simultaneously being infested. Unfortunately our livingroom diningroom, stairs and upstairs hallway is all carpeted. It’s a breeding ground for these pesky insects and really difficult to eliminate.
After reading much information on the Internet, we decided to buy Cat Armour Plus, similar to Frontline topical medicine at Wal- mart. You apply it to the cats back of neck where they can’t reach. It’s supposed to work within 24 hours and last a month. Let me tell you, as a concerned mother and house wife with most of the responsibilities of their extermination, you can’t always believe the package. 24 hours passed by, then days and finally weeks with little results. Meanwhile I started my new exercise routine of swinging the 45 pound vacuum here and there for three hours a day. I pulled out furniture and snuck in the tightest spaces to vac in cracks and crannies. I sprinkled Borax down every night and kept our pets secluded in an untreated bedroom. My son and I religiously combed their fur once a day ( sometimes twice a day for good measure) and found numerous critters.
Okay, so this is how Im spending my summer off from school! Most teachers and paras are lying on the beach, traveling or doing what they love and I’m inside vacuuming and picking fleas off my cats. All I can surmise is that God is teaching me patience and this is a test that I must pass to be flea free. At my lowest moment in this mess, I was feeling sorry for myself and even crying in misery when I received a phone call. It was my co worker who has fought cancer for about three years. I was telling her about my flea situation when she filled me in on her vacation…that she had just had brain surgery last week to remove a tumor. Silence. Stupidity. I was tongue tied and shocked. That’s when I knew in my heart that this was a lesson and that my God had dealt it. I guess fighting fleas wasn’t so bad or the end of the world, while this woman I know was fighting a much bigger fight. Cancer.
I won’t ramble on about outrageous flea baths, a bombing incident that lasted a day or the silly soap and water traps I left out one night. Now our kitties have Seresto flea collars on their necks. It’s been one day and I noticed they’re not scratching. I know this isn’t over yet….for we have to rid the house of them. So the vacuuming, spraying and paranoid drama continues. And that was my summer.
As I write this and lovingly watch my cats sleep with some relief, I realize there are bigger and more encompassing problems in this life. If anything ,this is a nuisance but it will pass. The fleas will die and life will carry on. If I can give any of you advice, it would be this, embrace difficulties, take them for what they are, lessons. Remember this too shall pass.
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️