I have a cat.
His name is Rat.
He is a big fat scaredy-cat. Bubby was jogging in the foothills one day when he found 6 abandoned kittens. They were only about 4 weeks old. Bubby put three in his arms at a time and walked back to our house. After all kittens were gathered and put in our bathroom, we noticed one that was much smaller than the others and ummmm....had no hair.
At the time we had 2 dogs and four other cats. We took all of the cats to the Humane Society except for the one with no hair. He really did look like a Rat.
Our animals instinctively knew he was a sickly little fellow. They would gather around him (including the dogs) and lick and lick this poor thing. We thought for sure he would die. After all of the love and attention that our animals gave him, we noticed that:
A. Rat started thriving and
B. Our animals were losing fur around their faces
After a trip to the vet's office with our little kitty in tow, we learned that Rat had ringworm. Ringworm is just a fungus that will spread if not treated. No big deal really. Except there were only two ways to get rid of it in animals:
1. Give each animal (7 of them) a bath twice daily for a week of a medicated shampoo that killed the fungus which would have been impossible with Bubby and I both working at the time. or
2. Give each animal a shot.
We opted for the shots. Did I mention that 12 years ago we were really poor? We had just enough money to pay our mortgage on our tiny home and buy essentials.
After the vet's assistant came in and told us the costs of the shots (a mere $1,800), I started crying. And then I couldn't stop crying. The kind of crying that had snorting and sobs and near ear-piercing wailing. I am sure the waiting room heard me and probably thought we had to put a beloved animal to sleep.
We then had to go get ourselves treated for ringworm and the doctor's office, scrub our house from top to bottom and take the animals back to the vet one more time to make sure that the icky fungus was gone.
Two weeks later, our neighbor came over and said "My dogs have this weird rash by their noses." Yes, the neighbor got ringworm from our family of animals and had to treat herself and her 4 dogs and 1 cat.
And now Rat, our cat of 12 years still spends the majority of time under the bed. He hates Bubby and only comes out at night to sleep on my face.
Three years ago, my sister-in-law, Spacy who is a manager at a vet's office hired a new vet assistant for their practice. They were sharing crazy stories about the weirdest and funniest clients they have ever had. This new assistant said, "Some years back I was working in this office and this couple came in with a cat that had ringworm and she was sobbing so loud and so hard......."
Spacy immediately knew it was us and appropriately laughed her ass off.