Saturday, September 8, 2012


So Zoie Joy had her first vet appointment the day after we found her.  The vet had given her a flea treatment along with a dose of worming medicine and distemper vaccine.  We took her home expecting her to sleep.  She did much of the day, still eating every hour and a half or so.  But that night...

About six hours after the flea treatment, we began seeing them.  Oh, my!  The fleas were especially fleeing around her face and neck and she was miserable.  She kept scratching her face and ears.  I knew she wouldn't be able to sleep with the evacuation going on so I held her and stroked her, trying to make her more comfortable. At midnight, my husband made a quick trip to WalMart for a flea comb!

So for the next couple of hours, I removed the fleas with the fine-pronged comb, dropping them into a dish of water.  They were affected by the medication and slower than usual.  Finally Zoie fell asleep.  The flea medication not only kills the fleas and their reproductive capacity on her but any that escaped couldn't propagate.  The next morning we replaced her towel bedding and washed down the area.  The concrete floor made it easier.

This was definitely a bonding time for me and Zoie.  When she was sleeping, I stroked her all over to get her used to being handled.  We held her whenever she let us.  The day after the vet visit, she slept a lot.  We began leaving more dry food in her dish to give her access between feedings.  We left a tablespoon of the milk substitute at night.

Have you ever given a cat a bath?  The vet advised us to do that with baby shampoo 48 hours after the flea treatment to wash the flea dirt away.  Where did we go for help on the subject?  To the Internet.  We found a video about how to give a cat a bath.  The most important tip was not to wash her head, keeping water away from her eyes.  Surprisingly, the bath wasn't the traumatic event I expected it to be.  The video suggested using the sink, but we didn't have her in the house yet.  So we used a plastic basin , putting a washcloth in the bottom.  The water was warm, but not too warm and, thank goodness, the day was hot.  We gave her the bath in the morning.  Filling two pitchers for rinsing with luke-warm water, we kept them close by.

Two of us made this process easier.  My husband held Zoie in the basin while I poured water from the pitcher to wet her fur.  Then I put a small amount of the shampoo in my hands, made a lather and skimmed it over her quickly.  We gently poured water over her several times to rinse her, then held her in a towel to dry her as much as we could.  Then we let her loose to wash herself in the sun.  It wasn't long before she was playing and drying, though it took several hours for that undercoat of fur to dry.

For the next few days, my husband and I alternated spending time with her, taking work to the sunroom to do.  She became more lively each day and stole our hearts even more.  But after a few days, her eyes were still seeping and a new problem developed...diarrhea.  We had another vet appointment a week from the first and I watched her closely, stopping the dry food.

Next blog--the second appointment and the joy in Zoie Joy!

© 2012 Karen Rose Smith

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Rosalind Adam said...

What a little angel. I hope she soon settles in. If you find any stray fleas around I found that the best way to catch them is with a wet bar of soap. They can't jump off. Good luck.

KRS said...

Rosalind--Thanks for your comment. The Frontline really worked. We didn't find any live ones after that night. We made sure we washed everything really well, too.