Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Ballad of Axle: Part, the Second

Bug Bath

After a couple of days, Axle was behaving like a healthy, happy kitten. She played with her ball, she ate wet food and drank milk (and was insistent about their provision), she very much liked to be petted and to fall asleep on my chest or my lap.

She also, however, clearly had some fleas. I suspected as much, and on her second day in my bathroom i spotted one. So I bought a flea comb to check and brush her out, and yuck yup fleas.

Little kittens are apparently too fragile for the chemicals you’d usually use on cats to kill fleas. What the interwebs instructed me to do, instead, involved this:

I shit you not.
The idea is you bathe the kitten in dishwashing soap and then have the Vaseline to hand to dab any fleas who try to escape. This does not kill the eggs – you need the chemicals for that – but does eliminate the hatched fleas and as such makes things nicer, aids in the long-term goal of flea eradication, and of course has all sorts of other salutary effects for the kitten since it is bad for the health to have fleas.

Here’s the video, which is really all you need. 

The aftermath was rough: a shaking, shaken kitten whose world took some time to reassemble itself around her. But Axle is nothing if not resilient: after about 30 minutes of gentling and drying she bounced back, and her coat was notably cleaner and softer. It was also, if you're wondering, very effective flea-wise.

Almost dry.

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