OK, right off the bat, here’s the sucky thought du jour: I can’t decide if we should go through with the trip we were planning to Europe. Though I’m in luck if I need to travel, because I’ve got bags under my eyes that could hold my entire wardrobe. Why? Because we spent the night in a hotel room with all six cats while we fogged the house for fleas.

I cannot properly do justice to the level of annoying this whole flea thing is. And it’s not just fleas annoying me. Allow me to whine for a moment.

  • I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that it’s the hottest August ever on record in Nashville. Even if it’s not, it should be. So let’s just get that out of the way right now, ’cause the extreme heat sure isn’t making anything (or anyone) easier to deal with.
  • Remember the rats? Well, they’ve apparently nested underneath and in the walls in the back of our house. (One of my coworkers suspects that this is where the fleas are coming from, but I don’t know if there’s any way to be sure.)OK, and side note — this is a bad story. Feel free to skip to the next bullet — Karsten went out weeks ago and got rid of the junk pile, busted up the old deck, and started digging out the weeds around the house. He hit a nest with tiny wriggling ratlings (it’s easier to call them ratlings than “kittens” when your aim is to get rid of them). It was an awful scene and he was devastated at having hurt them but the aim is, after all, to eliminate the population from our property. So as a compromise, whichever babies weren’t already killed from the impact of the shovel got carried off to an empty lot a few hundred yards away.But anyway, even after all that there are still rats in the walls, and we’re not sure how we’re going to win this one.
  • Baby Clyde is doing better, we think. He apparently had a blockage in his digestive tract so when they x-rayed him, his stomach looked totally full even after a day of intense vomiting. Not sure how or why, but the next day’s x-rays showed his stomach clear and his lower digestive tract filling up, so the vet was satisfied that things looked to be on the right track. But I’m still nervous because we don’t know why he was having trouble in the first place. Which in my mind means it could happen again anytime. But considering I thought he might be dying on Sunday night, I’ll be relieved if all we’re dealing with is a bad case of indigestion.
  • And the fleas! The fleas are driving me nuts. I mean, it’s just exactly the kind of thing that really gets to me. I can’t take any kind of insect in large quantities. I won’t even release ladybugs in the garden ’cause they freak me out en masse, but individually I’ll let them crawl all over my hands and arms. A whole mess of bugs I don’t like under any circumstances invading my living space? Definitely gonna mess with my mind.
  • One of the other cats, Blackberry, has had a long-standing problem with urinating where he shouldn’t. We’ve fought it for a while, but it had been getting worse recently. Took him to the vet and found out he has a pretty serious bladder infection. Uh, OK. Now I feel like a terrible cat person. So we’ve been giving him pills twice a day for weeks, and if you’ve never had to give a pill to a skittish cat, well, you just haven’t experienced life.
  • Between the overages in the house renovation and the flea/rat/vet/hotel expenses, we’ve depleted our checking account to levels we haven’t seen in years. It really sucks and it makes me feel anxious. I think having had the experience of losing nearly everything we owned and getting as close as you can get to bankruptcy without actually filing, I’m having traumatic flashbacks to my anxiety level at that time. Our situation right now in no way resembles our situation then, but it’s hard to shake an experience like that.
  • Oh, and I’m trying to accomplish about a million things simultaneously in the next few months at work. So there’s that, too.

I’m really trying to keep everything in perspective by remembering that we have a house, we have our health, and we’re not broke (yet). But the amount of stuff we’re having to deal with is enough to make me whimper.

So yeah, I can’t decide if we’ve now spent enough unbudgeted money on all these various problems to mean that we should hold off on our long-awaited vacation. The vacation that coincides with our 10 year anniversary. The vacation we’ve been trying to take since 1999. The vacation we could really freakin’ use right about now.

You see what I’m saying? We’ve been really looking forward to this. So to put it off, while it certainly wouldn’t be the end of the world, would hurt and would suck and and and. Yes, we’d get over it. But it would be a big disappointment.

Anyway, it’s not time to decide yet. For one thing, I don’t think we’re out of the woods with the whole pest control issue, so there may actually be even more money to spend. But also because we still have a little time before we have to make the decision, and I may yet come up with some genius plan to make everything work. Hey, it could happen.

Mais il y a peu de chances. Le sigh.

Although come to think of it, Paris might not get my mind off of rats…

10 thoughts on “Although come to think of it, Paris might not get my mind off of rats…

  • August 23, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Je suis désolé! C’est une situation horrible!

  • August 23, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Wait… were there kittens, as in baby cats, under there? Or are baby rats called kittens, too??

    (Megan… theridehome.net)

  • August 23, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Oh, UGH. We had a flea infestation along the same lines in the house I lived in when I was at university, and this is bringing all of those awful memories back. I definitely feel for you! In case it helps, the thing that finally solved our problem was calling an exterminator. Trying to do it all ourselves with various over-the-counter products did nothing and in fact made them harder to kill. :-/

    Could you put OFF the holiday rather than not taking it?


  • August 23, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Baby rats. Apparently they can be called kittens, pups, or even rittens. I kind of like rittens, but in an endearing way and that’s not very helpful at the moment.

  • August 23, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Yeah, we called a few exterminators and we may end up going that route yet. I’m a little bit optimistic that this treatment will help, but not much.

    And putting off the trip is probably a good idea. It might help to think of it that way. Thanks. 🙂

  • August 23, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Man I feel your pain, cus even in reading this post, I waffled between leaving a comment saying “sounds like you need the vacation, your mental healthy is more important, go for it!” and “postpone the vacation, take care of all your crap, and then go. you’ll never enjoy the vacation with all this hanging over your head.”

    I think I am leaning towards the latter.. Glad to hear Clyde is doing better..

  • August 23, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    I got fired once. It was a few months after we bought our first house. We had a a 1 year old and a 3 month old. And we had a vacation planned for the next week (to New Orleans where we met).

    It was a hard decision, but we took the vacation. Everything worked out and I am really glad we took that trip. Not only was the vacation great for us to regroup during a stressful time, but it is also something we can look back on and remember that we can persist in the face of fear.

    Enjoy your trip.

  • August 24, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Oh gah. I am so sorry.

    I highly recommend calling in the professionals for extermination of vermin, though. They have the experience and access to tools it can be hard to get otherwise.

    I am extra sorry that you have rats. As a vegan that must be really awful. Sympathy…

  • August 25, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Fabulous subject line, post that makes me want to wave my (sadly imaginary) magic wand like CRAZY at you and Karsten and the menagerie.

    So with you on the bugs. Just the thought of masses of them – or even large-scale orderly gatherings with decent crowd control – makes my skin shiver.

    The SG says it’s been record-breaking in Knoxville – 90 to 100 for three weeks straight – so I expect chez you is probably seeing the same sorts of things. SUCKS.

    If you think of anything I can to do help (1) from afar and (2) sadly without a wand, I stand ready to do it.

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