Peter Patter cartoon for 9/10/20
Peter Patter cartoon for 9/10/20

When it’s time to ‘flea’ a cranky cat’s clawing

AS A kid in North Queensland I remember our family having a long line of dogs and cats at the house.

Yet, and I may be wrong here, I don't remember that we ever had to worm or de flea our pets.

It appears that not the case these days.

Before she left me the second-hand cat, its one previous owner had shown me how to apply the flea and worm tablets which it apparently requires regularly.

Now, the one previous owner grew up around animals - cats, dogs, horses - and spent a lifetime caring for same.

She made it look easy popping the tablet into the cat's mouth and then holding its mouth and nose closed until he had no choice but to gulp the pill down.

The cat didn't seem to mind much and always got a little treat afterwards.

However, despite having a series of cats and dogs when I was a lad, I was spared such medical treatments of the pets.

I grew up surrounded by creatures that probably should be wormed and de-flead regularly, but enough of my mates.

The time came when I had to address the second-hand cat's health needs and effect the tablet gulping procedure.

Now, I can't walk past this cat without it throwing out a claw at my ankle from its preferred position of laying back on the floor, now we've got to get up close and personal.

I sat on the loungeroom floor and coaxed him in close with a handful of his favourite treats while I had the tablet strategically placed in the other hand.

Once he had settled, I pounced, shoved the tablet in his mouth and clenched down on his nose and mouth.

Naturally, while had his mouth and nose covered with two hands, it left the rest of my body exposed to the cat's claws which he flailed about, scourging my forearms and thighs.

After what I thought was an appropriate time for him to swallow the pill, and before I passed out from loss of blood, I loosened my grip - and he spat the tablet across the room.

Bleeding and defeated, I crossed the room and picked up the tablet ready to go back into fray.

By then, the second-hand cat had bolted out the door.

Upon seeing my wounds, a mate asked what the hell had I been doing.

"Did you fall into a rose bush?" he asked.

Upon hearing my cat's tail, he said: "Just mash it up and put in with his food."

This, I thought, was a stroke of genius but I suspected the cat's one previous owner would have known this but deviously left out such a suggestion.

My suspicions were raised even further when I check the cat appliances she had left behind.

Among the cat brushes, feline treats and toys, I spotted a box titled "Worm and flea treatment for cats".

No tablets, just little plastic tubes that you simply snap of the nozzle, brush back the cat's hair near the back of it's neck and squirt straight onto the cat's skin and presto - worming and de flea done for a month.

I think, yet again, I've been had.


Originally published as When it's time to 'flea' a cranky cat's clawing