Let me assure you; you never want to be asked this question. I was faced with a horrible reality today, forced to answer that question not once, not even twice, but three times.
It started out when I told a co-worker I thought my cats had fleas.
"Do you have an infestation?" She asked.
I hadn't thought about it that way. I only really discovered the problem a few nights ago, and I thought it was manageable and I could treat my cats later in the week. Several discussions later, I was convinced I would have a home crawling with critters if I didn't attend to this immediately.
I proceeded to tell my boss I would be working from home for the afternoon. "My cats have fleas. I need to deal with it before my house is overrun." His response? When he stopped laughing, he agreed. "You don't want to bring them to work," he said.
So, I set out for home, stopping at a vet clinic along the way for 'over-the-counter' flea treatment.
"Do you have an infestation?" Asked the receptionist.
I explained my cats had fleas, and I wanted to deal with it now before it got out of control. Turns out 'over-the-counter' flea medication doesn't exist. You have to make an appointment, so they can prescribe it. PRESCIBE IT! Appointment?! I don't need a diagnosis here. I know they have fleas!! I saw one. It jumped on me! Sorry! I didn't warn you the gross part was coming.
I went to the pet store. After reading the label of every flea and tick product on the shelf, I asked an associate's opinion.
"Do you have an infestation?"
WHY DOES EVERYONE ASK THAT? I have fleas on my cats! I hope it's not an infestation, but they're there! They've likely left eggs and gross, little baby fleas all over! Okay, yes! I have an infestation! Are you happy now?! I have a disgusting, flea infestation thanks to my outdoors-loving cats and I've admitted it!!
Snap back out of my imaginary response. Yes, I guess I do. "You need to go to the vet and get a prescription for Advantage. It works far better than any product we have."
Right, I thought. I purchased some flea control shampoo, gels and headed out the door to spend the rest of the day vacuuming, bathing, washing linens, more vacuuming and more washing curtains. I then sprayed every unwashable surface with vinegar and water and sprinkled salt on my rug (both home remedies I saw online). I hope this temporary solution will indeed get most of the fleas, however I do have a backup plan I know will work if needed albeit a tad redneck.
Now, if only I'd taken some video of bathing the cats. You've never heard an animal make such a wretched noise!
Have you ever had to treat pets for fleas? Any suggestions?
1 week ago