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Is it depraved and disgusting to enjoy cracking fleas?
We\’re counting down to Flea Day on Friday when house, bedding and animals have to be simultaneously dosed with ghastly insecticides so the little bastards have no place to go and so keel over and DIE. After you do the spraying and the powdering, you then have to get the animals out of the house for an hour and dot them with Frontline. After a quick visit to A&E to deal with the cat-clawing, you then have to go back in the house and hoover it all up before the animals come in again. It\’s a major operation.
In the meantime, of course, poor Maisie still has fleas (so has the dog, of course, but she doesn\’t seem to care.) It\’s not good for her to dose too often with anti-flea stuff. Maisie sits on my windowsill, grooms and scratches and stares at me and then she miaows in a particularly annoying and insistent way. It\’s quite different from her \”Feed me now, I\’m a lickle itty-bitty kitten about to expire of starvation!\” miaow which has a very pathetic croak in it. It\’s more an \”Oi! Groom me, you stupid ape!\” kind of shout.
Unfortunately, Maisie does not approve of the electric flea zapper comb which will obviously kill her dead if she lets it near her. So  being a well-trained cat-servant, I groom her with a nit comb. Maisie loves this and purrs like a revving motorbike. It  takes a lot of dexterity because as the little bastards get caught in the teeth of the comb you have to quickly crack them against the comb with your thumbnail. 
This particular bloodsport is both revolting and strangely satisfying. There\’s the skill involved in catching them before they jump back on the cat, but it\’s the loud \”pop\” when you get them good that does it for me.
Is it calling to my inner primate…? My distant ancestors who whiled away the jungle hours cracking each others\’ parasites? Probably.
And it reminds me of something… Can our instinct for flea-cracking explain the mysterious allure of popping bubble-wrap for stress-relief?


  1. Ann says:

    Very amusing, and so true !!

    1. Patricia says:

      Thank you. Should we start a league?

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