15 August 2007

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter Town Meeting Tomorrow

Please join U.S. Senator Arlen Specter at a town meeting to identify and discuss the most pressing issues facing Pennsylvania and the United States of America, on Thursday, 16 August 2007 at 14:15 (2:15 p.m.), at California University of Pennsylvania, Old Main Chapel, 2nd floor, 250 University Avenue, California, Pennsylvania, 15419.

My husband & I will not be able to attend this meeting as he has to work, so I am guessing the majority of attendees will be senior citizens and college students, just because this meeting is during the average person's working hours here in the U.S.. So though Arlen says he looks forward to seeing everyone there, the truth is, if he wanted everyone there, he would have had the meeting on a weekend or in the evening.

What I find even more interesting is, in general, the people who will be working during this meeting, pay the most taxes. Retired senior citizens and college students, in general, have lots of tax breaks, and just do not have the income to pay a lot of taxes. So what is Arlen trying to pass that will cost a lot of tax dollars?

Now to switch subjects...

I want to talk about fleas.

My husband and I are very attentive towards our cats. We made sure our cats did not have fleas, and neither did our residence. Even the vet would check our cats, gave them a clean bill of health, as far as fleas were concerned.

Yesterday, my husband woke up with his legs eatten by fleas.

Some months ago, our downstairs neighbor moved in with 2 flea infested dogs. I saw the fleas on the dogs, but she would deny they had fleas, stating that it was just the dogs allergies. So I offered to wash the dogs using flea shampoo I had bought. I bugged my neighbor until she agreed to let the dogs get shampooed. I should have known better when I saw dog feces on her rug, and that the dogs had no dog toys, but my heart went out to the dogs, and I wanted to help.

We shampooed the dogs outside using the garden hose.

What I had not counted on, was that her apartment was seriously infested also, and through trying to help her and the dogs, I brought fleas up to my apartment.

So my husband and I gave all 3 cats a flea bath, then I stripped the chair and couch and washed the cushions, and am washing all the clothes and bedding. We sleep on an air mattress, so I do not have to worry about fleas there.

I emptied the living room, vacuumed, then my husband scrubbed Borax into the carpeting to kill any fleas that may be in the carpeting.

So far, we believe the fleas are concentrated in the bedroom, which is where I undress. I am guessing when I sat on my neighbor's couch, fleas may have jumped onto my clothes, or it could have been from her carpeting. It could have also been from the dogs themselves.

I flea comb the cats every day, and have not found any fleas on the cats, but it is better to be safe than sorry. I feel so guilty that through trying to help someone else, I hurt my own family.

And it really makes me angry that my downstair's neighbor lies at every opportunity.

O.K...she is a senior citizen. But why deny having fleas when it is obvious her place is infested? And why deny smoking when she has ashtrays in her living room? And why call me downstairs during a serious thunderstorm to plug in her television which she was able to unplug herself? And why tell her satellite television provider it was not raining during a serious storm when her reception went out? And why put handicapped licence plates on your car (which you got because your now deceased husband was terminally ill) when you are not handicapped yourself? And why call the landlord to complain her overhead light does not work when my husband and I both told her that it just needed a new light bulb, which she refuses to buy herself? And why have my husband go down to her apartment to hook up the water connection to her new refrigerator/freezer when her son-in-law works for Lowe's where she bought the frig?

I knew she lied. I overlooked it. But when it hurts my family, that is another matter.

My husband woke up yesterday with his calves flea bitten. It will not happen again.

Lesson learned.


  1. well at least it was only fleas and nothing more life threatening. It could have been a more fatal lesson learned. This neighbor sounds like a real annoyance in your life. I would distance myself if I were you. Good Luck

  2. At least it was only fleas which is something treatable and not something more life threatening. If I were you I would just ignore your neighbor and keep to yourself from now on.

  3. I agree with you guys fleas, how gross is that! Thank goodness it wasn't something worse. I'd be afraid to even step foot in that womans house. You're a brave person Helen to even want to attempt to help this lady

  4. Thanks anonymous(s) for your comments.

    The cats have all been treated with Frontline Plus as recommended by our veternarian. We will have to give the cats another dose next month.

    The vet also recommended that, after vaccuuming, to empty the vaccuum outside right away.

    She also said that Borax could make the cats sick, so we do not use Borax on the carpet any more.

    The vet also told me that the fleas could travel from my neighbor's apartment to our apartment, and that the fleas were probably already in our yard if she lets her dogs out, which she does.

    I cannot give the cats any more flea baths because that would be overdosing them with flea medication.

    I have been brushing the cats, and combing them out with a flea comb, and the cats are doing great. As a matter of fact, I just finished combing Ashley out.

    The sad part for me now, is that when the dogs are out, they will bark and wag their tails for me to come pet them when they see me, and I avoid them. It hurts to do so, but I do not know what else to do. I do not want to transfer the fleas from them back to my own family.

  5. There is a lotion you can buy from AVON that repels fleas and ticks. You could purchase this product from Avon that way you will not have to worry about petting someones dog and getting fleas. Unfortunelty for Pets this is a horrible season for Fleas. Alot of Dog and Cat owners are not aware of this, so they do not take the precautions needed to avoid Fleas. Frontime plus is the best product out there, so wise of your vet to recommend it. Good Luck staying flea free.

  6. Thanks Anonymous for the advice.

    Saturday, our neighbor with the flea infestation called, and asked to speak to my husband. So I handed the phone over to my husband. The neighbor asked my husband to go over to her apartment to turn on a breaker, because, according to my husband, she was afraid of getting shocked.

    So my husband went down and turned on the breaker for her.

    My husband then walked around the yard so any fleas that got on him would hopefully jump off into the yard, and he took his shoes off outside before coming into the apartment to hopefully avoid tracking any fleas in.

    I thought this was rediculous, especially since she denies any kind of flea problem.

    So I phone my neighbor with the flea infestation and informed her that until she took care of her flea problem, if she needed any more help, to please call the landlord instead of us, because my husband's calves are eaten up by fleas, and we do not want to track fleas in from her place into our home.

    So the next morning, the ambulance arrived for my neighbor. My husband went downstairs to see if she was ok. It turned out that she called her daughter to take her to the hospital because she was throwing up, and her daughter told her to call the ambulance.

    Because of the phone conversation the night before, I am guessing that is why she did not phone us.

    Yesterday, her son-in-law shampooed her carpets.

    It took me telling her that we would not help her any more if she did not do something about the fleas to get her to finally take the problem seriously.

    She is back home now.

    I picked some tomatoes from my garden and hung the plastic bag that I put the tomatoes in on her front door knob.

    The cats are doing great, and the Borax scrubbed into the carpets, and then vaccuumed did a great job on getting rid of the fleas.

    The trash man took the trash today, and when I took the 2 outdoor trash cans around back, I noticed one of the cans had maggots crawling around the bottom of the can. That could be from when I vaccuumed the carpets and dumped the contents of the vaccuum directly into the outside trash like my husband suggested.

    I have no idea what to do about those maggots yet.

  7. Poor salt on the maggots. Well I'm glad to hear your neighbor is home and OK now. Good to read that everyone is Flea free now.

  8. Anonymous, thanks for the advice about the salt. I will try that.

    As for everyone being flea free...that is not the case.

    The fleas are now here, and dealing with them is an ongoing problem.

    I am doing what I can. As far as my downstairs neighbor, I have no control over her, or how she deals, or doesn't deal, with the flea infestation.

    I still avoid her dogs and I do not go into her apartment. But the fleas are in the yard, and I have to go into the yard to water the plants and take the trash out.

    My husband mowes the lawn, and feeds the birds and squirrels.

    So, battling the fleas is an ongoing war...kind of like Iraq.