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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

WE'RE INTO FALL

Halloween is over so is the NYC Marathon and flea season.  We survived again this year learning a few new tricks along the way.

We generally comb our babies multiple times a day with a flea comb to catch the critters drowning them in water. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. We discovered adding a drop of Dawn Dishwashing liquid to the water created a film the fleas could not penetrate resulting in all the fleas remaining underwater with no chance of escape.

Vacuuming daily is essential. I discovered apple cider vinegar soothed Annie's bites as did a dab of coconut oil rubbed into her belly. While I personally do not advocate using any commercial flea remedies, cutting a flea collar into pieces then adding a section to each new vacuum cleaner bag helps kill any fleas you vacuum up. Also frequent washing of  pet bedding
helps to eliminate eggs.

Most likely because Belle was still an outside cat this year the problem was worse than usual. We solved that issue by putting half a dose of Paradyne on both Belle and Handsome. Because of Annie's cancer and Orphée’s FIV+ status we did not use any on them.

The colder weather is here, the fleas are a thing of the past (at least until next summer) and I'm hoping and praying no 2018 infestations are in our future since Belle is now inside. We can look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas and the end of the year without thinking about fleas.

HAPPY FALL!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

IT'S FALL AND HALLOWEEN IS NEAR!

What happened to the year?  It seems we've just about finished with flea season and wouldn't you know it Halloween is just days away.

We're ready for it - Belle is in (a story for another day). This year I won't have to worry about her safety. Handsome is living with me on a permanent basis only to be confined to the inner hallway when I'm out for a long stretch of time. He's a cat after all, he will never learn the dangers of climbing certain places so this restriction is for his safety as well as that of Annie, Orphée, my belongings and the house in general. Orphée on the other hand is a couch potato. The highest vantage point he enjoys is the back of the recliner. As far as Belle is concerned, she's confined to 2 rooms and a long hallway so there's no way of knowing how much climbing she will do until she's integrated into the family.

As I've mentioned in years past, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I guess dress-up was the most attractive part of it, getting to be someone or something you could never be. Plus all the goodies you could have that you couldn't have if it wasn't Halloween, the imaginative decorations and the whole trick or treating thing.

This year we will do our usual - make comfort food, listen to Halloween songs and watch a few scary movies as we relax with Annie, the boys and Belle.

Enjoy the holiday but don't forget to keep your furry family members safe and secure. To brush up on the best way to keep your pets safe just search my website using the word "Halloween" then read my previous years' posts on this subject.

This year I found a great post on "Money Talks News". Follow the link to read up on their suggestions for a stress-free Halloween:


Monday, July 3, 2017

FLEA UPDATE

The day after my last post was the worst ever!  Poor Annie was scratching up a storm. Pink, itchy and terribly uncomfortable, Artie kept combing the flea comb through her fur catching a couple of fleas in the process. 

I applied cold compresses to her belly and inside of her legs where I could see little red marks and rashes on her skin. Later on I rubbed some coconut oil into her skin which seemed to ease the itching making Annie comfortable again.

For good measure Artie combed the boys finding two more fleas. 

After our last walk of the day I decided to wipe Annie's coat down with a mixture of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar which I purchased after reading an article about natural flea remedies. As soon as I finished Artie went over her coat with the flea comb snagging yet another flea. I guess the apple cider vinegar doesn't bother them as the article I read claimed it would. However, Annie found it refreshing so I've continued to wipe her down with the mixture and Artie continues to find the occasional flea but Annie is back to being her happy, bite-free, rash-free self.

I know the constant vacuuming is helping too. Today I'm going to try saltwater mopping as the article suggested; that might work better than the apple cider vinegar and water rub.


Thanks Mom, the compresses, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar rub feels so good.



Saturday, June 24, 2017

SUMMER AND FLEAS ARE HERE!

It seems everyone is itching and scratching - we have fleas!  A fact of life during the summer months in Brooklyn with only one or two summers in memory where we avoided them completely.

Since we try to handle this summer scourge naturally we spend our time vacuuming daily and constantly grooming Annie and the boys with a flea comb to capture the little buggers. We grab any fleas that turn up in the teeth of the comb between our fingers immediately putting them in a bowl of water to flush into oblivion at the end of the grooming session. Weekly baths for Annie are part of our regimen.  I use an olive oil soap on her which is very soothing.

The battle will be ongoing because Belle who is still living outside will not let us handle her so I'm sure she is the major source of  fleas.

Annie gets some garlic in her food which will discourage most of the fleas from bothering her but garlic is dangerous to cats so we have to be very careful to confine Handsome when she's eating then clean her bowl thoroughly before releasing him from his carrier. Handsome is an opportunist always on the hunt for someone else's meal or treats to eat and that includes human meals and desserts! Definitely great survival instincts he developed during his years on the streets not appropriate behavior as part of a family of 4 pets and 2 humans. On the other hand, Orphee is never interested in anything Annie is eating but is definitely interested in anything Handsome, Artie or I have.

Recently I read using salt water to wash the floors, sprinkling salt on the carpets before vacuuming and misting the cats with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water will deter fleas. I'll be testing those remedies out this summer for sure.

Sorry about the fleas, Mom but there's a lot of them out here!