This is a sponsored post.
The day before I signed the papers to buy my home, I picked up two kittens from a local shelter. I called them George and Gracie. (My mom suggested those names, of course a nod to the Burns and Allen comedy team.)
Unfortunately, George died about six weeks later, and Gracie turned out to be the most neurotic catÂ ever.
But look at her. She’s beautiful, and her fur is as soft as the softest bunny’s.
Being neurotic as she is, she spends about twenty hours a day in my closet, sleeping on old bath towels. A few times a day, she scurries down the hall to eat and get a drink and screech at me, and then she scurries back to the closet in my bedroom.
(The screeching is a complaint; she wants to go outside. What I didn’t realize when I picked up my kitties is that one does not necessarily move into a home the day after one closes on the home, especially a home that’s been sitting empty for 5 years. We stayed in my parents’ home for three months longer, and my mother let Gracie outside every night after I went to bed. I didn’t learn this until many years later.)
Anyway, Gracie-cat (as she is now known to differentiate between the cat and the child) likes to climb up on my bed when I do, and she lays on my face purring for most of the night. It’s terribly annoying, but whatever. I try to position my face so that my nose and mouth are free of cat and cat hair.
Awhile ago, Gracie-cat’s beautiful, silky fur began to fall out.
At first, I thought it was her neurosis. She was clearly itching, scratching and licking the hair off right off of her body. I thought she was probably sitting in the back of my closet, licking her haunches to soothe her harried nerves. (My children do not exactly inspire peace and calm in the household. Do anybody’s?)
This went on for a long time, months. The hair grew more and more sparse, especially on her back and legs. The only hairs left were white ones, stiff and scratchy.
I felt really bad, but I didn’t know what to do to help her.
My mom came over to visit, saw Gracie-cat, and was aghast. She insisted I do something about the poor, balding girl.
A several hundred dollar trip to the vet was not in the budget, so my mom suggested PetArmor flea treatment (because it’s the generic equivalent of Frontline, available without a prescription in Walmart, Target, and other stores).
I used PetArmor religiously when my cats went outside because we have a lot of trees and brush around our yard, and we are loaded with ticks. At some points, I was pulling at least one tick off of somebody almost every day.
Since Molly died, my cats have not been outside (except for the occasional escape and the melted bead incident). Gracie-cat had not been outside to feel the grass under her feet in many months. I was certain she couldn’t have fleas.
I tried the flea treatment anyway, mostly to get my mom off my back, and it worked. Very slowly, Gracie-cat’s hair came back. I kept treating all of my cats every 30 days, and the fleas stayed away. About six months later, her fur was all back to normal, silky and smooth.
How does that work? How can cats who don’t go outside get fleas in the winter?!
I did mention this to our vet when we went in for shots, and he said it’s because it’s summer in your house all year round. (Makes sense.) Fleas can come in on our shoes or pant legs, lay eggs on our pets, and have a big party. That’s all it takes.
Treating all of my cats with PetArmor every month kills any wayward fleas that manage to get in, and it keeps Gracie-cat’s fur looking nice.
We all let things slide now and then, and I stopped using PetArmor every month. I forgot to pick it up and no one seemed to be getting fleas, so I just let it go.
Over the summer, I noticed Gracie-cat’s fur starting to get thin again, then I noticed the scabs under her chin. (Her itchiness is caused by a mild allergy to the fleas or their bites or something. There’s a name for it.)
Immediately, I drove down to Walmart, picked up PetArmor, and applied it to each of my cats.
Three days later, I found a flea on Zeus. If your cats do have fleas, it can take a couple of weeks (and some serious housecleaning) to totally get rid of the infestation. The adult fleas will die when they bite your pet. They won’t be able to lay more eggs.
Make sure you mark the treatment date on your calendar and re-apply every 30 days. Your pets will thank you.
This post is sponsored by PetArmor via the Mom It Forward Blogger Network.
© 2013, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.