August 17, 2010

Ick

She stood on my porch, the tattoos on her arms and legs visible on a hot summer day. “Hey, can you do me a favour?” she asked. “I can’t do it because I’m squeamish.”

Woman with Tattoos asks for favors pretty often, but usually they’re simple: she needs some cash or a ride to the store. But this favor was the strangest thing she’s asked me to do. Her cat had a bot fly larvae that needed to be removed.

I walked down to the brown trailer, figuring I’d give it a shot. Little Biker Boy, Ponytail, and Toddler were gathered around the cat when I arrived. “Here are the tweezers,” Woman with Tattoos said, handing them to me. “And here’s some peroxide.” Then she lit a cigarette and averted her eyes.

Little Biker Boy grabbed the cat and held her down. Underneath her jaw, I saw a bulge in her neck – it looked like an open wound, with two holes in it. I poured on the peroxide and poked at the cat’s throat hesitantly with the tweezers.

“Just yank it out,” Woman with Tattoos said from the other side of the room.

I couldn’t tell which part was the larvae, and which part was the cat’s throat. I didn’t want to yank the cat’s throat out. Just then, Little Biker Boy pointed. “Look, you can see it moving!”

He was right. Suffocating under the peroxide, something was moving, beneath the cat’s skin. Some kind of little creature living UNDER THE SKIN. Ugh. I stuck the tweezers into the little hole, clamped on, and pulled.

What came out looked like a slug – about an inch long, light in colour, and still moving. I dropped in on the table, and it kept wriggling. We all stared.

“You did it!” Woman with Tattoos said. “THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

"THAT IS SO GROSS!" screamed Ponytail.

When I left the trailer, the three little kids followed me out, all of them jumping up and down, screaming, “Hurray for jo(e)! She did it!”

20 comments:

Bardiac said...

I bet the cat is really happy about it, too, though not quite so effusive about it.

You're a hero!! Go Jo(e)!

Lilian said...

YIKES!!! Yeah, you're those kids greatest hero, and not just because of this. (tough thing, right? You couldn't let them down on this one, could you? ;-) )

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law said...

What? No naked bot fly larvae pictures?

Kyla said...

Oh YUCK! You are brave and probably the best neighbor ever. Josh gave our neighbor's car a jump early this morning, but I we'd draw the line at pulling fly larvae out of their cat's neck wound.

kathy a. said...

i'm grateful for no photos. but you did a good thing, once again.

Terminal Degree said...

You are an AMAZING neighbor.

kristin said...

I echo the thank-you for not bringing your camera to this adventure!

Songbird said...

Eek. You are a brave friend to those kids.

Ianqui said...

That IS really gross. Beyond the call of neighborly duty, but go you.

But do Ponytail and Little Biker Boy have a sibling now? Brace yourself, Jo(e). You've been so good to those kids.

jo(e) said...

Actually, they have three siblings -- a teenage sister (who is pregnant), a teenage brother (who mostly lives with his father), and yes, a toddler-age brother. Yeah, not long before the toddler will be roaming the neighborhood on his own.

Tie-dye Brother-in-law: If you have the need to see gross photos, just search youtube for "bot fly larvae removal." Some of the clips include human patients.

AF said...

It's funny, I pulled a bot fly larva out of the neck of a kitten once myself, one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen. Ultimately, that kitten wasn't able to survive. It takes a certain kind of courage to do that--good for you.

jodi said...

I'm impressed and a little nauseated at the same time.

AmpersandPrime said...

You're my hero!

landismom said...

Wow. So unbelievably gross. I cannot imagine asking someone else to do that for me, though. Except maybe my dh.

east village idiot said...

you are a saint.

sheepish said...

ICK! ICK, ICK,ICK,ICK!

(Yeah, I came here just to say that... so ICK!)

jo(e) said...

Pulling the bot fly larvae out was really no big deal; I'm not squeamish and medical/vet type stuff always fascinates me. Little Biker Boy had the harder job of holding the cat down while I did it.

To me, the funniest part was how all the kids treated me like such a hero for doing something so simple. I'm smiling at how many of my blog readers are the same way. (Really, I love it.)

Lilian said...

Sure, it's simple, but those of us who are very squeamish could never do it, hence all the enthusiasm (mixed with disgust). I have a friend in Brazil who had one removed from her daughter's scalp by a brave nurse. What they told me is that it's not that easy to yank it out, at least not from humans (it wasn't moving or anything, just growing under the skin).

Nadine said...

I'm not usually squeamish about things found in nature, but perhaps reading this on am empty stomach isn't helping. Eeeeeew.

Mary Beth said...

Hodamighty!!!

That neighbor mother? Is an alien. But you already knew that.