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That's Not in My Job Description

Whenever you take a new job, make sure to read the job description thoroughly. Today two of the people who work for me realized that they should've done that. Nicole and Kyley got to remove a tick from my kitten's head.

A few months ago we got my daughter a kitten, which she named Dusty. This morning Dusty jumped up on Kyley's lap, and we discovered a little lump on his head. It was just a grayish white thing about the size of a grain of rice.

I did a quick Internet search, and realized it could be a tick. After reading "How to Remove a Tick from a Cat" we began the surgery.

If you've never removed a tick, here's how it's done.

What you'll need: tweezers, rubbing alcohol, a cotton swab, antibacterial ointment, a towel and soap.

  • First, get the towel and wrap it around your cat. It took two people to hold him down, because apparently the tick was a little bit painful. He also has claws, so Kyley's new sweater was the first casualty. (She should've read her job description, particularly the line about appropriate dress when removing ticks.)

  • Next, grabbed the tick near the cat's scalp. You have to grab the tick by the head, which is usually buried in the skin. Pull it out slowly without twisting. If possible you want to remove the entire tick.

  • After you remove the tick, drop it in a cup of rubbing alcohol. Flushing it down the toilet won't kill the tick.

  • Use a cotton swab to put rubbing alcohol on the small wound. The wound will probably be a round hole, and somewhat swollen. It may be a little bloody.

  • By now your cat will be freaking out. If you still have a good grip, add some of the antibacterial ointment.

  • Now wash up. Use the rubbing alcohol to rinse the tweezers, and wash your hands thoroughly. Ticks carry very serious disease. While it's rare for humans to get them, they can cause death or worse.
I'm a little paranoid about ticks because my cousin contracted Lyme disease. It took years to correctly diagnose it, and he has permanent neurological damage and fairly significant disability because of a tick.


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