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Emergency Cat Bonding

Well, I hadn't planned to try picking Buddha up any time soon -- I figured just him letting us pet and hand-feed him was major progress. However, laurie_robey spotted an enormous bloated TICK hidden down in his fur, and we decided that this demanded prompt attention.

We weren't sure how Buddha would react to being picked up, so in case he got scrappy about it I put on my thick trenchcoat and some work gloves. Turned out they were unnecessary -- he really is a very submissive little guy. If he can't escape (which is his first attempted course of action) he just hunkers down and hopes for the best -- with the occasional squirm just in case he can catch you off-guard.

Anyway, I got him in the old gentle-but-unbreakable kung-fu grip, and Laurie went to work on the tick with the tweezers. Once that was done and some hydrogen peroxide had been applied to the wound, we flushed the little bastard (the tick, not the cat) down the toilet, and I gave Buddha a very thorough scritching around the ears and neck while Laurie got him his dinner.

He is now a contented little fluffball (the cat, not the tick), and when he was put down didn't go streaking for the corner but instead hung around wanting more attention. The turkey seems to have insta-socialized him, which is bizarre but not unwelcome. I think the tick was probably bugging him, too (it was about ready to pop, as they say), and that it was a relief for him to have it removed. Thus he is learning to associate us with good things.

I am learning to associate him with sneezing and itchy eyes, alas.

We have no idea how long that tick was on him or how it got there. It could be that it was there all along and both the vet and Alley Cat Allies missed it -- that's what we suspect -- but it's also possible that it got on him in the garage. If so, that's a much more disturbing prospect, due to its implications.

Anyway, we're not going to find out tonight. But hey, at least Buddha is de-ticked (as far as we can see) and we got to pick him up and generally give him some TLC.

-The Gneech



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
this is ANOTHER reason I recommended he be completely shaved...
and then you'd know....I'd just keep a closer eye on him (easier now that he responds well to luncheon meat)....

good luck with the ORPHAN....

May. 2nd, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
Re: this is ANOTHER reason I recommended he be completely shaved...
Yup. Shaving would probably be a good idea. It's easier to bathe all the fleas off then as well, if there's still any left.

A suggestion? You should be able to pick up a fine-toothed comb at a dollar store, and I'd have laurie_robey try to use it on him in the meantime. If nothing else, it will get some of the dead fur out of his coat, he may appreciate the scratching it will give him, and there will be less fur (and dander) flying about to irritate you.

He sounds amenable to the turkey bribe, so see if he can settle down for a piece, comb, then another piece, more combing, etc. It might take a try or two, but usually it works.

Cats are nuts.
May. 2nd, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)
Re: this is ANOTHER reason I recommended he be completely shaved...
Shaving is part of our master plan -- but it requires the opportunity to act on it. May has declared itself one of those "Everything in the universe happens this month!" months -- and just making sure he stays fed and watered is a massive undertaking.

May. 2nd, 2007 12:25 pm (UTC)
Re: this is ANOTHER reason I recommended he be completely shaved...
Heh. And you *just* moved, so you're dealing with the upheavals from that as well. All at once, right?
May. 2nd, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC)
Re: this is ANOTHER reason I recommended he be completely shaved...
i *do* have a mask that would cover your face, and keep out the dander while you worked. I can bring it along, sometime.

BTW, my ipod now has all the Pratchett audiobooks and BBC's Hogfather on it, for you.
May. 2nd, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
Aw bless! You really do seem to be forming quite the bond with that kitty.

Can't they vaccinate or medicate against cat allergies in this day and age? :]
May. 2nd, 2007 11:47 am (UTC)
You'd think so!

May. 2nd, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
It really sounds like he's slowly but surely beginning to turn you into his personal slaves adopt you. It REALLY sucks that he is FIV+, cutting his time shorter. I almost want to say let him stay, allergies be damned. How bad are the allergies anyway? I have 'em too, but it's weird how some cats will trigger it and other cats won't...

Lizard Rat out.
Sneezy Wolf in Albany NY
May. 2nd, 2007 11:47 am (UTC)
The FIV is not that big a problem, if we can get him into the right home. But the allergies are definitely bad -- wheezing lungs and a rash under the skin bad.

-The Gneech
May. 2nd, 2007 05:38 am (UTC)
Is it -known- that you are allergic, or did you just discover it with Buddha?

When I got my first house cat, I was afraid I would have to return her, due to my sneezing and itchy eyes. After 2 weeks of misery it suddenly ceased. I apparently climatized myself to her and become immune.

She is alas gone, but our household is holding steady at 2 and 3/4 cats without any noticable histamine reaction.
May. 2nd, 2007 11:45 am (UTC)
Sometime mid-way through college, I suddenly became extremely allergic to pretty much all critters. One day I was fine, the next day so much as patting a puppy on the head gives me hives. It may be that forced exposure would overcome it -- but I've got enough problems without testing that right now! :)

May. 2nd, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
It may be that forced exposure would overcome it

That worked fairly well with my fiance, he was mildly allergic to cats and dogs, and got reactions for a little while after we adopted our first fuzzball, but now he's fine. I think people can 'acclimate' to individual animals after a time, while still being allergic to others...
May. 2nd, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
Heh...even though I knew you were talking about the tick, it was still an amusing image of you flushing the cat instead.

We have one cat in our house for whom I ended up buying thick leather gloves and the type of apron a blacksmith uses. He goes ballistic if you try to medicate, groom, or bathe him. Not fun. I'm glad Buddha cooperated.
May. 2nd, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
Most common places for ticks: Ears (inside and out), neck, armpits (and hindleg pits) and just in front of the shoulder (imagine the first place a long blade of grass brushes against the animal's body).

If you are petting him thoroughly, fingers working down to the skin through the long hair, there should be no need to shave, just check for ticks as you pet. The fact that this tick was "ready to pop" means it's been on there for quite a while.

If you must shave, I'd recommend having a groomer do it rather than yourselves, so he doesn't get resentful and undo all your good socialization work so far. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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