It was a terrible, rocky night. Tasha, our lone Russian blue kitty, has some sort of skin disease. Doctor B. thinks its mites but there's no direct evidence of that or what specific kind of mite. How did this trouble start? We're not even sure of that except that in early fall, Tasha escaped from the house and tore after a neighbor's cat — the entire incident took not even 30 seconds but possibly just long enough to pick something up from that other cat or the grass and ground of the front yard!
We thought the latest treatment (a broad-spectrum anti-microbial and application of the anti-parasitic Revolution) would do the trick. Indeed, she did get some relief. Last night or, more accurately, this morning proved us wrong about a cure, however. Around 1:00 or 1:30 AM Tasha leaped on to the bed and began furiously licking and scratching herself. She kept that up for probably an hour: scratching, trotting around the bed, licking, trotting some more. I lay awake agonizing over the cat's torment and finally decided to get out of bed, go downstairs, to try to comfort the cat and spare She Who Must Be Obeyed sleep disruption. I applied some antiseptic to Tasha's raw patches which by then were bare of fur. After perhaps another half hour to an hour the poor cat seemed to settle down into a favorite spot and was quiet. I went to bed but awoke severely sleep-deprived at the appointed workday hour.
Calling the vet's office, I discussed with Dr. G. (Dr. B. is away for the week) what we might do. She suggested shampooing with Pyoben, a product commonly used to relieve such maladies in horses, dogs, and cats. So tonight Tasha got one of the few baths she has had in her life to be followed, over the next week(s) by many more. Cats, even the short-haired variety, look really pathetic when they're soaking wet. Tasha didn't like the treatment even one bit but I've high hopes the cleaning will bring at least some relief and maybe lead to a cure. At least I can hope.
Once She and I have our teamwork figured out (She usually shampoos, I usually rinse and dry) I'll try and shoot a photo or two of poor Tasha when she's at her wettest. It won't embarrass Tasha… she doesn't have a computer.
UPDATE: Once dry, Tasha seemed very much more comfortable. Her fur is even softer and smoother than before the bath. We had uninterrupted sleep and I think "we" includes the cat. We left the house for work this morning and Tasha remained quiet, not scratching, and full of purrs. — 3/2/2010