The random—and not so random—musings of a quirky Regency romance writer.
No one with that many people in her head can possibly be normal...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Not for the Faint of Heart

You know what's really, really gross? Grosser than maggots or squashed frogs? Cuterebra.

*more gagging* 

Cuterebra are parasitic larva that take up residence under the skin of rabbits, other rodents, cats, dogs, and sometimes humans. They don't stay until becoming a fly. Oh no. They ooze out as grubs, up to 1/2" long. 

A few days ago, my husband brought in a kitten, one who'd been hanging out around our house for a day or two. The wee thing was wrapped in a towel, his little eyes blinking with sleepy contentment. Hubby said he was sick but he didn't know with what. As a precaution, we put the kitten in the cat carrier with a toasty blanket and some food and water, to keep him away from the children and our other cat. Who knew what he had and if it could spread. 

Examining him, we saw two strange "wounds" in the back of his head. And I mean strange. Creepy, even. I still get chills thinking of it. (And yes, the ghoul that I am at times, I took pictures of one of the "wounds.") 

At one point, staring at one of these icky holes, I asked my husband, "Is that brain?"

He said, "No, it's just muscle, because he's injured."

We were both wrong. What we were seeing, moving in the "wound" was the head of the larva. I read several articles and forum discussions about these creatures, stared in horror at many, many disgusting pictures, then cried when I checked on the kitty and realized he was indeed the victim of a cuterebra infestation. 

Long, disgusting story short, the poor kitty succumbed to his "injuries," passing quietly in his sleep.

For those of you who are insatiably curious (or just irreparably warped), click here. DO NOT CLICK IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH. Seriously.

That concludes today's disgusting bit of real-life. You may go back to your regularly scheduled fiction. 


Linda said...

Poor kitty. Amazing something like that could be inside and, obviously, make its host so sick. Yes, it was disgusting but, being a cat owner (big outdoor dogs too) something I looked at...never hurts to be aware.

Jaimey Grant said...

The really sad thing is this creature doesn't usually make its host so sick. This kitty had too much stacked against him to begin with. He was very young, malnourished, and it appeared he'd tried to remove the things himself. Poor little guy. :o(

Liz Fichera said...

oh, the poor kitty!


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