7-9-18 Monday

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Over the weekend, I gave baths. Otis, Eliot and Buxton all got baths for a reason I’d rather not get into but rhymes with shmingshmerm and comes with its own theme song that goes “Oh good (profanity)(profanity) why is this happening to meeeee why why (profanity) why?!”

It’s a catchy little tune.

(You can read more about shmingshmerm in cats. It’s not a shmerm, it’s a fungus, etc.)

Following the vet’s direction, I got a special shampoo to give the afflicted kittens a bath. But not just a BATH – you get the kitten’s fur wet, put the shampoo on, leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off. It’s a whole PROCESS.

I had decided that I would bathe Eliot first, and once I got the shampoo in his fur, I’d wrap him in a little towel and carry him around for 10 minutes, then rinse him, put him on a heated bed, and do Otis and then Buxton. Except that about 1 1/2 minutes into being carried around in a towel, Eliot was 100% over me and my nonsense, and wanted me to PUT. HIM. DOWN. I ended up putting him in the bathtub on a towel, figuring I could wet/shampoo the other two, and by the time I was done with them, it’d be time to rinse him, and so forth. I wet Otis down, applied the shampoo, and put him in the tub with Eliot and the two of them sang a chorus of Why Hast Thou Betray’d Us while I went to get Buxton.

The tub in the hall bathroom (where all of this was taking place) is fairly deep and they’re still pretty small kittens, so I didn’t bother to close the glass doors to keep them contained because I didn’t think I needed to. After I put Otis in with Eliot, I went to the foster room, grabbed Buxton, and as I headed back to the bathroom, an irate little Otismallow came stomping out the bathroom door with places to GO, things to DO, and get outta my WAY.

I put Otis back in with Eliot, wet and shampooed Buxton, and as I added him to the Bathtub of Betrayal, the timer on my phone went off letting me know that it was time for Eliot’s rinsing. That went fairly quickly and easily, and I put him on the heated bed (where he had no intention of staying, preferring instead to stomp angrily around the bathroom looking for a way out) and cleaned the bathroom sink and counter while waiting for Otis’s turn.

Otis was so cute that I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pictures.

Curly boy.

Once they were all rinsed and towel-dried I wrapped them all up together in a towel and took them into the foster room, where Arundel mothered them a little.

At this point, I’ll be bathing them every third day, and applying topical spray to their spots three times a day. Not to mention scrubbing down the foster room every couple of days, mopping with Rescue disinfectant, washing all their bedding every day, and wiping down their toys.

Oral medication is a possibility, but they’re so little that I wanted to try this first before going that route.

So if I seem a little distracted lately, it’s likely between the upper respiratory infections, Buxton’s swollen eye (which thankfully is very slowly getting better), Otis’s swollen eye (which is a lot better) and just generally being a worrywart, my brain’s been somewhat occupied.

(I have been exceptionally lucky until now – except for the occasional spot on the occasional kitten, I haven’t really dealt with shmingshmerm in the past, certainly not to this extent, and on this many kittens!)

(If you’ve dealt with ringworm and have some secret solution, feel free to share. I’ll probably stick to the plan for now, but I’m all ears!)


Millie takes a bite outta Arundel.

Lap full o’ kittens.

Sleepy Dexter.

Rub da belly.

Arundel’s face is cracking me UP.

Hanging out on the tree.

Bethel in the Tiny Basket. Her eyes continue to be an amazingly gorgeous color.

Eliot loves that bed.

I just love this floofy little muffinhead so very much.


Maxi is firmly of the opinion that if you lay down with kittens, you’re gonna get up with shmingshmerms.


2017: Mama needs a minute, kids.
2016: No entry.
2015: Then Carlin came along and was all “WHAT IN TARNATION IS GOING ON IN HERE?!”
2014: “I am anti-shenanigan.”
2013: “Hey guys, look! I gots poop between my toes! It’s a poopicure!”
2012: Could it be Sheriff Mama, who used to be on the side of good, but has apparently gone over to the dark side?
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: “Hey, guys! There are BIRDS out there!”
2008: Truly, he is SUCH a Momma’s boy.
2007: The worst part of the whole experience was finally getting hold of Tommy and starting to climb down the fence, and Tommy losing his mind, clawing at me, getting free, and leaping onto the ground from about ten feet up.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



7-9-18 Monday — 45 Comments

  1. Oh no not the dreaded r***w****!!! I remember Whiskers in the Window’s long ordeal with them! I guess at this point everyone is exposed so no need to separate the three? 🙁

      • Kelly, you were my first vicarious “experience” with shmingshmerms! You were brand new to fostering and to get hit with that right off the bat? I think it stuck with all of us who were following you. 😉

        • OMG. That’s hilarious. I’ve been reminiscing about that group of kittens all day now.

  2. There are many days, after reading your posts, that I’d wish I was you. This is not one of those days. God bless!

  3. Ugh I had ring worm on 2 of my fosters once. I bathed them 2-3 times a week in that sulfur dip(so everything smelled like rotten eggs). I had to do it for at least a month. They told me to not rinse them though. Since the dip stained everything yellow I would keep them in a large crate until they were mostly dry. Poor kittens. The treatment is just as nasty as the fungus.

    The worst thing was that before I knew what it was I ended up with two spots myself which was so ichy and I had those spots for at least 6 months despite treating them(they slowly got smaller but wouldn’t fully go away). I got so desperate I started putting the sulfur dip on myself and not just the cream.

    • That sulfur dip sounds so awful from everything I’ve read. I’m avoiding it, and hope I don’t have to go that route!

      • It’s awful but was worth getting the kittens through the ringworm. I tried to pretend I was in a hotspring(ppl willingly go into baths that smell like this! It’s a luxury! Good for the skin!!). The kitties were more bothered by the baths than the ringworm. I think I was way more dramatic over my spots than them.

  4. Oy, the only good thing about this is your rhyming euphemism. And the fact that you’re keeping cool about it. If you do happen to get a spot, I recommend Puriya’s Wonder Balm. And I write that after every single prescription ointment failed. It’s a frustrating fungus, and your washer and dryer will be working overtime, but you all WILL get through it. Courage! Actually, the most important thing is for you NOT to spend any time researching it on the Web!

    • I just looked up the Wonder Balm – that seems like something that would be good to have on hand just in case, so I’m going to get some. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

    • Oh, and too late – I spent HOURS online searching desperately for ideas before I forced myself to stop.

  5. So, how do little kittens get shmingshmerm? Otis may be a cutie pie, but I’m thinking he now has your number, judging by the daggers he’s shooting your way.

    Dexter is always lounging…I want his life.

    • They may have picked it up in the shelter or from their mother – or if they were outside, it can live in dark, damp soil. It’s hard to know – I think I know who it started with, but can’t be completely certain!

  6. I have dealt with this in kittens AND adult cats…and let me tell you, Dawn dish soap, organic apple cider vinegar, jock itch cream/anti fungal cream, is the way to go. The apple cider vinegar can be diluted (1 T to 1/2 cup of water) and then used as an astringent on their spots…works on the ones you get as well! Jock itch cream was my friend…dabbing their booboos three times daily with the acv solution will help A LOT. Use the antifungal cream twice a day (that stops the itching pretty quick). Believe me, I tried everything…then went holistic…and it cleared up in about 10 days…I kept them completely away from all other rescues as well…it will spread like wild fire if you aren’t careful! Good luck…Otis is my favorite btw!

    • Thank you for this! I’m going to stick with what I’m doing, but if it seems to be getting worse (or doesn’t start getting better), I’m going to give it a try! 🙂

  7. Oh God, schmingsherm is the WORST! Imagine a shelter with 100 free-roaming cats and half of them getting it. 🙁

    Clotrimazole (athletes foot cream) is the first step I’ve always used; the regular over the counter kind applied topically a couple times per day. Or are the babies too little for it?

    • OMG, the shelter situation sounds like a completely nightmare situation!

      They aren’t too little for Clotrimazole or Miconazole – I’ve got some on hand, and will switch to that if what I’m trying now doesn’t work (so far, so good!)

  8. While I don’t envy you this ordeal (I recall both IBKC and WitW dealing with it), I do soooo appreciate that you can keep your awesome sense of humour over it. I nearly died at “Bathtub of Betrayal”.

    I’ve never dealt with such a thing so you have my sympathy and I’m definitely going to keep Cyndee’s recipe on-hand in case I ever have to!

  9. ((hugs)) I envision Otis having a bleepity bleep moment himself in that first picture. I hope the shmiggin shmingshmerm leaves the building soon!

  10. OH NO – the fungus!! The baths help….not sure what spray you are using but we live and die by Vetricyn up here. Avoid the pills – too hard on little bodies. And for heaven’s sake if they mention lyme – MAKE THE VET DO IT (that stuff stinks).

    That said, wet kittens are seriously adorable.

    • We’re using Miconahex shampoo and spray. It’s been two days since the bath and since I started using that spray and I haven’t (YET) found any more patches, whereas before I was finding new patches just about every time I went into the room. I’m hoping this does the trick! (I REALLY don’t want to do the lyme dip, I’ve heard nothing good about the smell!)

  11. Oh no, oh no, NOT the dreaded shmingshmerm! It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good protocol, but… Wash all the kittens. You know how contagious ringworm is, and you don’t want to be halfway through treating the three only to find spots on the other ones. My vet has told me to give seven baths every 5-7 days (I did five days because I wanted to be over with it sooner). Once everybody’s adopted and out of the room, make sure that the room is OK to put new kittens by taking a cloth, spreading it across the floor and wall, and doing a fungal culture on it. Good luck! We’re all crossing our fingers that it clears quickly.

    • Washing all of the kittens is a good, although horrible idea (does that make sense?). Because otherwise it kinda is like chickenpox and will spread throughout the group….

      Sorry. 🙁

    • I had REALLY hoped that no one would suggest bathing them all because then I could just plead ignorance. 😀 Bath day is tomorrow, I’ll do them all. Luckily they’re all pretty good at being handled and poked and prodded, so hopefully they handle it well!

  12. The dreaded shmingshmerm! We’ve got that right now. Do you have a Woods lamp or other black light? It’s very helpful for finding the spots, which fluoresce with a distinctive apple green color.

    I’ve read about apple cider vinegar, which I use as an astringent, and also Neem oil, which packs a real olfactory punch but is safe on kitten skin. Good luck!

    • In a perfect world, yes, but I have nowhere to put a second group of kittens for longer than a couple of hours. At this point, they’ve all been exposed and they’ll all get baths. Hopefully it won’t spread, but if it does it won’t be that much more work.

  13. Tea tree oil 1 : 10 witch hazel at night. For you. Jot the kittens. It’s antifungal and helps keep you fungus free.

  14. No advice to give, but I had a friend who went through such a bad bout of ringworm it took her over a year to get it under control and by that time, all of her animals AND her kids had had it. Good luck… just reading the word makes me shudder with the memories of her dealing with it.

  15. Itraconazol injection worked immediately on my foster kitten after two months (!) of lime dips and every other topical treatment did nothing.

    • I’ll keep that in mind – I really don’t want to subject their little bodies to any medication they don’t have to have, but I also don’t want this to go on for months!

  16. Hi, I want to warn you about letting the infected so close to your face while they’re still infectious. Even with just topical, they can spread that joy to your face and neck. The only thing worse that multiple fosters with this, is when you are also covered with spots that itch. I picked it up comforting a foster and ended up getting what can only be called catastrophic spots that required much treatment and medical intervention. A spotty foster mom doesn’t enjoy spotty kittens half as much as she should.

    • Oh, I know about the risks, and am wiping down when I leave the room as a precaution – but if Buxton wants to sit on my shoulder because he feels awful, I’m gonna let him. (I’ve had ringworm a couple of times in the past, so I know what I’m in for. Too bad we – and cats – are not immune after dealing with it once!)

  17. Robyn, I hope at the end of the day, you relax with a glass of wine (whine)! You have earned it! This litter is certainly putting you through your paces…

  18. omg… “Why hast thou betray’d us”… I almost spit water right out of my mouth! LOL