Yesterday the younger human did something she hasn’t done for awhile–she combed me.
She picked me up off the kitchen rug and took me into the living room. I saw a basin of water and a flea comb on the coffee table.
She put me in her lap. I purred as she petted me for a little while. Then I felt the comb on my head, going down my neck, back, and side. From time to time she lifted the comb up, took loose hair and a flea off. She put the fleas in the water, and said, “The water’s not hot enough”. She snatched a flea that was crawling up the basin, pinched it between her fingers and put the now-dead flea back in the water.
The younger human said to the older human, “I need a drop of dishwashing detergent in the water–just a drop. That changes the tension of the water surface so the fleas can’t swim; they’ll drown.”
The older human said, “I’ll heat the water in the tea kettle and bring it in.” The older human disappeared and the younger human kept combing me. I kept purring.
The older human returned and poured steaming water in the basin. She put a couple drops of dishwashing detergent in the water. The younger human took a flea off the flea comb and put the flea in the water, where it promptly sank to the bottom of the basin. The younger human sighed with satisfaction. “There. That takes care of the fleas.” I purred with satisfaction. Die fleas, die!!
Caution: The younger human made sure I stayed away from the water basin. (For my part, I wasn’t even thinking of leaving–her lap was warm and comfortable!) If you use either of these methods–boiling water or water with dishwashing detergent added–to kill fleas while combing your cat, please keep your fabulous feline away from the water.