Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Tick Trauma

Removal of Ticks

Step 1: Decide that the curious lump you’ve been idly stroking from time to time on Algenon-the-Cat’s neck should perhaps be investigated in case (god forbid!) it’s a Tick.

Step 2: It’s a TIIIIICK! And so is the Curious Lump on his left flank.

Step 3: George goes on the Net to find out what to do about it, having received and forgotten masses of advice on the subject since we’ve lived here (all of which was conflicting).

Step 4: Find masses more conflicting advice. Decide to pull the bloody thing off.

Do we have ticks in England, our Old Country? I don’t remember ever hearing about them, let alone worrying that one might be lurking in wait for our armpits as we strolled across the fields to the pub.

But they certainly live here in this green and pleasant zone of the Loire - we know people who’ve been afflicted!

What to do? Some say you have to twist them out ANTI-clockwise. Others say it MUST be clockwise. Or “touch it with a lighted cigarette”, or “NO, that’s last thing you should do – splosh it in alcohol”…

So today we seized the disgusting tiny grey wineskin of a thing by its neck-end with a pair of tweezers and gently tugged. Algenon howled like a werewolf, freed a paw and sliced my finger open.

Little tinker.

After another tug the tick’s horrid little hooks became apparent and we went on unleashing thousands more hooks until I managed a successful twist (in all directions) and it suddenly jerked out.

Where the hell did it go? There followed a sort of juggling-with-red-hot-potato interlude trying to catch the thing without touching it.

We managed eventually, and did the same with the second tick. They’re currently both festering at the bottom of a cup of meths – Hah!

So… how d’you know when they’re dead, then?


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