Our new kittens have worms. We think the calico has them, so she's been getting liquid medicine for a week, with two more weeks to go. We know the male has them: he just tested positive for roundworms, giardia, and coccidia. He'll be getting all sorts of meds for a week, provided those big pills will fit down that tiny throat.
I've seldom had a kitten who didn't have worms, except for our two pedigreed Persians. Worms and kittens go together; I used to dose them and be oblivious. But I'm older now, and I know more about creepy health issues than I did years ago, so the oogeyness quotient seems a lot higher. Eeewwww! They are contagious to other cats, of course — and to humans.
I feel bad for our poor little guy, named Passamaquoddy by the shelter. These days we are calling him Possum, Possumus (Latin for "we can"), or Possy. He has a white face with a black lower lip, which looks cute and wild-possum-ish whenever he's singing or meowing, which is frequently. He's full of fun, appetite, and good will, even though he must be feeling weird with all that wildlife in his belly and diarrhea.
We're supposed to isolate him from the other cats. For two weeks, until he's retested. Yeah, right! We couldn't isolate him for one night when he arrived. He's a Chaton Sans Frontieres, and the only thing he despises more than a closed door is an empty food dish. He gets frantic when we shut him in a room, and makes a heck of a racket for three pounds of fluff. Besides, he's supposed to be bonding with his cat roommates at this crucial stage in his evolution from feral baby to gentleman of culture. His sister Wendy really needs him for her development, too. All she likes to do these days is hide under the bed, except for occasional wrestling and chasing matches with him. She's in some kind of feral juvenile pouting stage, and I'm counting on Possum to charm her out of her funk and into our laps. And back onto our camera lenses, too, because all we see of her these days is a blur.
Since isolating him would as unbearably painful as, say, separating my husband from his iPhone, I threw myself on the mercy of the vet assistant. "Since it's impossible, how necessary is this isolation, really?" I asked. She said that, since Wendy is getting worm medication, too, she's partially protected. As long as we clean the litter box immediately when he uses it (and wear gloves to do it), it might be okay. We have to keep him out of the older cats' litter box (ha!), and wash our hands whenever we touch him.
I hope we won't have to test and dose the other cats (or ourselves). Stay tuned.