'Twas just a matter of time. The kittens came to us with no issues - no worms we knew of, no fleas, maybe some runny litter box issues now and then but otherwise seemed in good health. It was kitten paradise, a kitten Disney World, a near-perfect kitten utopia. I've never had such seemingly healthy kittens! They're nice, too! I've never had such seemingly nice ones! If you gave me flash cards of kittens in the past I'd speak of flattened ears, blackened pupils, broken lamps and endless smashing up of everything, because kittens.
Don't get me wrong: our kittens run endlessly, battle constantly, and play unendingly, they just aren't as crazy as almost every other kitten I've had. I guess I've never had such sweet and relatively sane kittens before who also happen to not want to destroy the place.
Kitten utopia began winding down with the discovery of worms last week and concludes this week with the discovery of fleas. Flea dirt, to be precise. I've seen dark gray bodies darting around Pip's white fur for a few days now but they're so healthy, like the kittens they're running around on, I can't catch them. And Bowie can hardly stop scratching but until it gets bad you're more likely to win Lotto than find a flea - he has no undercoat and his fur's so short and sits so close to his body there's no pushing your hands or fingers through it to find anything.
I keep the place clean, usually vacuuming twice a day, keeping countertops disinfected, staying after litter boxes, dusting/wiping down everything at least a few times a week, and so on, so I'm thinking I might keep it too clean or else I would've seen the evidence I've been looking for by now. I was making my bed today when I realized the top half of the fitted sheet was full of flea dirt. I put my glasses on, bent down to look closer, and saw some tiny, swirly little black poops along with dozens, if not hundreds, of little black blood specks.
The fitted sheet is a light eggshell/almost beige color so there was no seeing if there were flea eggs or not, at least not with my eyes, even with my glasses. But! Sweeping off the dresser across from my bed the other day, I saw what I suspected were flea eggs, so now I'm thinking they most likely were, indeed.
After a hellacious time on the phone with at least a half dozen local vets ("Hi, I have five cats - three are kittens, I think they all have fleas, but I can't afford to bring anyone in right now") I gave up and decided to get what I needed online after three vets told me they wanted at least one cat or kitten, all wanted to do rabies shots, one said I could do the "cheaper" shot for just $5 less because the shot might kill it, and one wanted all five animals in STAT for around $500 worth of work, while yet another "strongly advised" me to bring in as many as possible.
A few insisted on heartworm tests to prescribe Revolution, which they also insist upon because "nothing else works" (biggest load of crap ever), a few insisted upon feline HIV tests, and the one who wanted all five in STAT wanted 1) heartworm testing, 2) FIV/FPV/F-everything, 3) five stool samples to "make sure" about the worm situation, 4) would only prescribe one vial of flea medicine per cat, and 5) wanted to run tests for all the common kitty maladies - this after I told them I don't have the money to bring anyone in. I was ticked because this place is so close I could walk, but it was the one place reading me the Riot Act, so oh, well.
The other reason I went with online ordering was I didn't like the doctor's choices. One was jumping up and down about Effipro. What the hell is that, even? I mean, I googled and still can't figure it out (ETA: googled again - it's Effipro, not Fellipro - thank you, dyslexia. It's like Frontline and Sentry, which are pretty
"meh" bad as far as efficacy goes). Another went gaga over Cheristin. Works great - kills not just the fleas but even your cat, according to some terrifying search results I saw. Revolution's nothing, Capstar is crap, Advantage isn't made anymore and people seem pretty down on Advantage II - so I searched my memory for the best stuff I'd used in the past and finally hit on Activyl. I used it during 2013-2014 2015 (found a post I made after writing this in which I wanted to order it, but hadn't yet; there's no follow-up but I found an email confirmation on the order; the same post discusses at length how Frontline was not just "meh" efficacy but didn't work at all - "maybe six fleas died", I wrote) and don't recall cats dying or fleas living, so I looked it up - rather strenuously - and while it didn't get 100% good reviews (nothing does) it got more than any other flea med. So I ordered it.
Before I could even do that, I had to sit down with Win10's calc for a spell because a) I'm broke so b) how the fuck will I do this? After picking out what I could afford - five vials sold separately after the bulk prices came in at $5 more than what I had in PayPal and checking, combined - I ran the numbers; doing it in separate vials would leave $5 in checking after my laptop keyboard comes due on Pay After Delivery at the end of the month.
Buying in bulk isn't so hot, anyway - though the combined total would've only been $5 more than what I spent on separate vials, the smaller bulk sizes (a 4-pack for the kittens, a 3-pack for the adults) would've left just one adult and one kitten vial after treatment, which meant I could only treat one adult and one kitten next month without buying three more vials to treat all five. That still would've saved money when it comes time to re-order, but I was $5 short, so I payed my poor people's poverty tax and moved on.
The kitten and adult vials are shipping from the same vendor sometime before this weekend, so I guess I'll just have to try to keep things as clean as I can until they get here.