What makes Felix even meaner than the other post about him?
A short story by Nanny Slave
I own two cats, a long haired brother and sister combo. Felix, the larger of the pair, is a gregarious and hungry cat, and Nala is dainty and skittish. They are indoor cats. I live in my grandmother’s old house, and one would assume there are no fleas here — this house has never been home to any pet that anyone can remember until now. Although my dear Felix tears his hair from his bottom, and fey little Nala pukes with abandon, I have never seen a flea to mar their silky white coats. And yet they scratch like fiends.
Therefore, I took it upon myself to invest in Advantage flea treatments, top-of-the-line parasite protection conveniently available from my veterinarian. It is said to protect cats from a variety of external parasites, including all types of fleas, ticks, and household mites.
“Great,” says I. “I didn’t even know I needed to be worrying about mites.”
I purchases two doses of the miraculous Advantage at fifteen dollars per tube. I did not care for this price, might I add, but for the safety and health of my cats, I splurge. Some people treat themselves to new shoes; I buy fancy cat medicine. What a life.
I requested that my good friend Paul visit my house that eve so that he could assist me with the application of the Advantage. I did not tell him the reason for my invitation, for he would not have come, had he known. Advantage is dispensed in a slim, pointy tube with a twist-off plastic top. The distribution process involves placing the tube spout against the animal’s skin between the shoulder blades and slightly squeezing the liquid onto the skin as you move up towards the head, against the growth of the animals’ hair.
Let me just add that Felix and Nala have very thick hair. Rarely do I see any skin through their long snowy fur, except of course on the butt of Felix, which is bald and very pink. I had my doubts as to whether I could apply Advantage directly to the animal skin, but I was assured by my veterinarian that as long as I went against the hair growth and applied the liquid as close to the skin as possible, the medicine would be successful. The shoulder blade location is key because it is supposedly unreachable by cat tongues.
The digestion of Advantage, while not dangerous to a cat’s well-being, is unpleasant and to be avoided. I asked my vet if I could eat it, and she gave me a very strange look.
Once Paul had arrived, been informed of the impending task, and paid five bucks to stay, we discussed which cat would be most cooperative. The obvious answer was Felix; therefore, we thought to do Nala first, so that she would not be alerted to the treatment and disappear. We discussed which methods of capture and procedures of application would be most effective for each cat. Nala would take a quick grab and firm, precise tube positioning and squeezing; Felix could be lulled into a stupor with languorous petting.
During this conversation, we referred to the two as “She” and “He” because my cats get angry if you say their names repetitively. I rose from the couch to pluck the tubules from my pocket, and Nala promptly tore off into her bedroom. She wedged herself under the bed in the farthest corner and laughed at me when I looked under the edge.
So I told Paul we would do Felix first, and to get started with the languorous petting. This took about ten minutes and several handfuls of hair. Paul lifted Felix onto his lap, groaning at the surprisingly solid weight that only a sixteen-pound long-haired cat can have. Felix lobbed his big old head onto Paul’s knee and purred.
We began searching for the shoulder blades. These were difficult to discern through the lumps of over-fed kitty flesh, but we finally identified the location. I squeezed the Advantage tube. Nothing came out. I found that it was not a simple twist-off cap; one had to twist off part of the cap and use it to stab through a small hole in the top of the tube.
This meant I had to turn on the overhead light, at which Felix started to wake up. Snap, snap! and I had the tube open and ready for action. I leaned over Paul’s lap and deftly applied the liquid as close to the skin as possible just as Felix began to struggle and complain loudly.
Felix leapt off Paul’s lap and shook himself, turning his back on us to reveal a thoroughly wet spot on his left shoulder blade. You will note that I did not say, between the right and left shoulder blades. I missed the spot. The licking began, and the tasting of something nasty, and the fussy yowling.
Nala came into the kitchen during this process and watched very intently. I suggested that Paul play with her favorite toy, while I pre-prepared the tube of Advantage for a quicker execution of the act.
Snap! went the tube, and Zoom! went Nala out of the room. We tried to corner her unsuccessfully several times. Felix was smacking his lips and yelling, “What is this stuff on me?”, making things worse.
I finally nabbed Nala in the hallway and carried her to Paul, who was in position in a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor. He was wearing thick black work jeans. I placed Nala on his lap, she placed her back claws in his legs (the cats do not have front claws), and suddenly he was wearing not-so-fashionable ripped jeans, with ripped flesh beneath. He held on stoically, and I approached with the tube.
“Reeeee-aaaaah!” came from Nala’s mouth, a sound unlike anything I have ever heard before in my life, except on Animal Planet when a fierce lioness is bellowing a challenge. She leapt straight up from Paul’s lap, tearing more flesh and pants, jumped through the space between my arm and my body, and landed in the living room floor. Miraculously, she did not run away, but crouched there staring up at me accusingly.
We took a moment to re-coup. Paul cleaned the wounds on his legs with Bactine. Felix came into the kitchen, as he often does. He gargled at me, which he does not often do. I looked down at the strangulated, bubbly noise and saw that Felix was frothing excessively at the mouth. His whole face was slick and wet, and strings of foam hung from his lips to the floor.
At that point I said a very bad word I cannot write here or this website would cease to be PG rated.
I called the veterinarian’s emergency number. The doctor on duty assured me that drool was the normal reaction of a cat who was eating Advantage Treatment. The product is formulated to taste very unpleasant, but the occasional cat will ingest it anyway. He said that the foaming reaction was also normal and would diminish. He mentioned that I would not likely need to repeat treatment; only particularly stubborn, strange, or badly-behaved cats continue to eat Advantage Treatment after the initial adverse reaction.
“That would be Felix,” says I.
The vet promised I could pick up another tube of Advantage at no charge from the clinic for the re-application.
Nala had crept back into the kitchen during this episode. We tried to nab her again and missed. Another attempt to nab ten minutes later, another miss. Several nabs, several misses. We agreed to wait a bit.
Paul went back to his drawing table while I sat on my bed and stewed. Nala climbed up on the bed with me. I reached over, grabbed, dragged her to me, and squirted the tube of Advantage I still held in my hand right between her shoulder blades. The process took one minute. She ran away, and I went into other room to crow of my success. Paul was amazed. He looked down at his railroaded thighs, and his face took on a bit of a surly look. I left him to his drawing.
I strolled past the cat bedroom in triumph. I knew Nala had run under the bed, and I couldn’t help myself. I crouched down on the floor to grin triumphantly at her.
She was not alone. Felix was under the bed, too, licking right between Nala’s shoulder blades and frothing at the mouth.
Story submitted by Nanny Slave, whom Meankitty loves to torture above many things