Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh, Awesome. Now I Am Going To Freak Out.

Among all the other reasons to get rid of our cats, I just thought of a new - very big - reason. Several of them have decided they need to be indoor-outdoor cats and they kill things and leave them outside the house. Until I found a dead bat outside just now, it hadn't even occured to me to worry about rabies. Awesome. Especially since Piper will body-slam and wrestle the cats all the time and some of them have bitten her almost hard enough to draw blood over it.

Nobody is up to date on their shots because we can't afford to keep 9 cats up to date. We can't even afford the $18 rabies shot times nine. It wasn't an issue before, since nobody went outside. But now they won't stop going out. I think they are also bringing a variety of extra bugs in. I woke up this morning with a TICK on my EYELID. Oh, yeah. A bloodsucking bug burrowing itself into my ocular cavity. We had found ticks in the house before, but we weren't sure that's what they were because they were HUGE. We were under the impression that ticks were small and unobtrusively-sized, the better to surreptitiously suck your blood. Surely, we thought, these monster-sized pointy bugs MUST be something else. Until this one attached itself TO MY EYELID and Ryan had to use a heated-up hairpin to get it out.

Possibly the worst part is that I didn't even find it - he did. While we were kissing. He was giving me a getting-ready-to-head-out-the-door kiss when his eyes got all big and he said "You were right. I think those bugs are ticks. You have one on your eyelid." He scratched at it and it wouldn't come off. "Uh, yeah, you have a tick on your eyelid," he said. "And it's not coming off..."

I did not freak out, though. I guess a tick on my eyelid sent me past hysteria into "oh my God, this cannot be happening" territory. I sat there calmly while he went to find something to get it out. I stood there calmly while he pressed a hairpin to a stove burner. I did flinch the first time he poked me with the red-hot metal, but only the first time.

Between the tick and the giant flying cockroach that found its way into our living room last weekend (also due to the outdoor cats), I think I am so over The Glorious South. And having pets.

A NC native friend told me that giant flying cockroaches are referred to as "palmetto bugs" down here, in order to make everyone feel better about the fact that (as our exterminator told me) they live in the trees and there is nothing you can do to avoid them.

I don't feel better.

Edited to add: Oh, and did I mention that fleas are a when, not if type of thing down here? I have been obsessively checking the cats and administering drops to the ones who go outside and vacuuming the couch every single day and the entire house every 2-3 days, but every time I see one of them scratch I want to rent a flamethrower.

Piper likes to run around the house naked (she's become quite the post-bath and mid-diaper-change streaker) and sits on the carpet like that; every time she does I pray pleaseletusnothavefleas please let us not have fleas pleasepleaseplease because if she is sitting naked on a carpet with fleas in it I will have to kill myself.

I can't wait until we can afford to have hardwoods put in.

Also, as I told my husband this morning: Screw camping. I am never going camping again, except maybe in Antarctica, because if I got a tick on my eyelid when I haven't so much as set foot in the backyard in two weeks, let alone gone near the (small strand of) woods behind the back yard...well, I just can't handle it.

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