Clash of the Titans

Titan 1 ~ Me
Titan 2 ~ J
Titan 3 ~ Oscar da Kat

Let me start by saying that my spouse and I are both strong-willed, smart people with very different approaches to things. I am admittedly a bit of a germaphobe and on the cautious side. J doesn’t always agree with my ‘lock-it-down’ approach.

The Arena: Oscar’s room. Our bathroom (which we sorely miss since the other one is cramped and uncomfortable). Our master bathroom is unnaturally large for our house, has been set up for cat-living, and is pretty bare… and also separated from our cats by the bedroom which acts as a neutral no-cat zone or buffer.

Oscar has only left our bathroom once in the 2.5 weeks… to go to the vet. This is his area. His sanctuary. But I’ve had to take some strong steps since we learned he had fleas. He got his treatment, but that night I bleached-washed all linens in the room, all the carpet tiles, and disinfected all the surfaces after J used the shop-vac to vac the space. During this time Oscar was in our closed shower stall.

Now, 2 weeks later, I needed another big clean again… not just the sweep.

Oscar had other plans. J tried to get him into the shower stall and he was 12.5 lbs of fight. He’s rock solid by the way. He’s also very fast and hates being enclosed… as witnessed when I tried to trap him 1.5 years ago!  Nothing has changed. He didn’t growl or get angry, he just got out of the shower like a determined god of lightening.

This left J & I arguing over what next.  Not fun. The titans were throwing around some boulders asserting that each one was right. I insisted we finish this tonight. J insisted that my draconian cleaning methods were mental. I maintained that we couldn’t take chances of letting any flea/tick larvae get into the home and fabrics out there. Hmmm.

In the end, my draconian order of cleaning was followed. Cleaning began from the top down – maintaining a clean-room protocol (nothing touches anything else in our house once it leaves the room).

  • Dust from the top down
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces (tub surround, counter, sink)
  • Wash all bowls and placemats
  • Wash all linens separately with a pre-soak (drowns fleas) wash with 2 cups vinegar (deodorizes and changes the acidity environment of nasties)
  • Wash all carpet tiles with the vinegar solution
  • Vacuum the entire floor area (using the shop vac which lives in the garage and can be cleaned with bleach water)
  • Disinfect the floor

It’s not just fleas: I’m also considering what else Oscar might be carrying that could resurface after his immunization. He may be shedding calici or ringworm… who knows. He has sneezed a couple of times and coughed. In a perfect world, I’d give him a general antibiotic shot that is a week’s treatment – it would treat any minor infections that might exist in his body. If he’s had calici or general URI, then it would treat the resulting side-effect infections.

Poor Oscar! The shop vac is so loud – we were trying to shield him from this by putting him in the shower. He just stayed curled up in the corner of the tub area… his fave spot. He was hesitant and not as friendly after – do you blame him? I don’t!

PS This means that I was also doing copious loads of laundry. Until this big clean, we had different clothes for inside Oscar’s room so we had to change into them every single time we went into his room. Outside clothes outside and inside clothes inside. Titan J is right… so we’re stopping this as of right now. It does increase the risks to our kitties, but there has not yet been any signs of anything we need to protect them from.