Gir the beagle has a scar across the top of his muzzle now, from his last encounter with Ben. He deserved it, but I still roll my eyes whenever I get a glimpse of it.
Last night, we had to pill the entire menagerie, as part of the ongoing Flea Wars. (The enemy's numbers are severely reduced, so now we're in maintenance mode, 'cos if you let the little bastards get a foothold...) This stuff called Capstar has been working well for us--you give it to the cats and the fleas on them all die within about an hour. God only know what's in it, but none of the cats have had any adverse reactions, and it works amazingly.
The problem is that pilling a large quantity of cats...uf da. (Would anyone like a cat? We have two rescues, male and female, that would love to go to a good home...the male is pleasant and dumb, the female...is...err...female. I am actually pretty well resigned to this cat living in the office until she dies of old age. She was a feral that never got over her mistrust of humans, and so is a silent presence in the office and occasionally at the top of the stairs. She offers neither violence nor affection. Until you want to pill her.) Unlike dogs, who think anything wrapped in bread is OMGTREATYAYTREATFOODSNARF, cats...blargh.
Most of the cats get pilled easily enough. But there's always the problem children--in this case Nikki, who will allow occasional petting but is still pretty well feral, and Angus, who's a fabulous cat but doesn't like to be restrained in any way. He hates being picked up, and he REALLY hates being pinned and pilled. He doesn't want to hurt you, he just wants to get AWAAAAAAAY.
Our general method for the problems is to corral them into the master bathroom, shut the door, and then Kevin pins them and pries the jaw open and I pop the pill gun into their mouth. Angus went pretty easily last night, for a wonder, but Nikki did a ninja move on Kevin's hand (naturally we couldn't find the gloves, and she's so tiny, you can't get her mouth open with clumsy fingers anyway) and then, in the crowning indignity, crapped in terror.
The poo of fear is extremely potent. Pilling was conducted in an eye-watering atmosphere. I pilled. Kevin bled. The cat hissed.
You hate to scare 'em like that, but when it comes to fleas, there's a greater-good problem going on. Kevin treated the punctures with the resigned air of a man who has accepted that his lot in life is to do unpleasant things to ungrateful cats for their own good.*
Still, at least it's done. Until the next time.
*His mother told me at dinner t'other day that people will have completely the wrong impression of Kevin from reading my blog. "They'll think he's soft-spoken! And patient! And...and..." At that point, she ran out of words and could only gesture wildly. And there is a grain of truth to this complaint, although I would say that he IS soft-spoken and patient, assuming you are either a cat or a dangerously PMSing girlfriend. The rest of the world, eh, maybe not so much.