Weird Wool Wednesday: spotty at best

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I have so many spots on my body!
It’s ridiculous. I get more every year. Most of them come in pairs of two. They are not from the sun, I’m just really really spotty.

In Summer I check mine every day because sometimes one of these spots isn’t mine but is a tick! Ewww!

I’m not going to show a picture of a tick, they are such nasty creepy crawlies! In the Netherlands we call the European common one “sheep’s tick” which is why I bring it up on Weird Wool Wednesday. And also: welcome to the wool room! Lillepoes and I sleep here now and Lillepoes mostly keeps out of the boxes with fleece.

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Ticks live out here in the fields. Now, with the warm weather, they are very active. They climb upon grass blades and wave their little grabby hands to anyone wandering by. You’d think they’re just friendly…
if you ever find a tick in warm weather have it walk on a crumpled piece of paper. It will climb to the top of it and wave at you. Wave back with a flame thrower.

Every time Lillepoes reenters the house she has to go through something called “Tick Check Procedure”. She’s examined, by hand and by eye, from nose to tip of tail.
She thinks we’re just cuddling.

Boy, I’m glad she’s white coated! And a thick coat it is too, usually I get the little bugs before they get a change to attach. They kind of “swim” through her coat, trying to get to her skin at a spot where she can’t reach such as the back of her neck. Little black creepy spots in a sea of white…

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(yes that’s my bed sock. And my scar on my knee from when I was 17. And one sleepy kitty on the bed. What you can’t see clearly are the 29 spots on this side of my leg. I counted for you.)

Tick Check Procedure has some security questions too. One is: “How many animals are hiding in this fur of yours?”
The right answer is: only one. Lillepoes herself.

pic by Doru Lupeanu

Sometimes ticks do get into the house. They hitch a ride on the leg of a trouser. Or they come in with the cat who manages to offload them before going through Tick Check.
Two or three times a week when I’m laying on the couch, on top of all the felted fleeces, when I suddenly realize there’s been a kind of persistent tickle somewhere on my skin.
It’s a tick wandering along my leg or my arm! EWWWWWWW!

Then it’s time for Tick Eradication Procedure: holding it between thumb and finger while it squirms and rush for the bin while screaming and having goose bumps. After the lid of the bin closes there’s a little song and dance to get rid of all the jitters.

I’m not relaxed on the couch during Summer…
there’s always something tickling the skin.
Usually just a piece of yarn that was not woven in. Or a cat hair. But you can never be too sure, you always have to check.
And what if I don’t feel the tickle? What if they just wander about? They can be so teeny tiny, not more than 2 or 3 mm. I have to check my spots all the time.

They are such awful creatures! With their little multisegmented legs and their drill snout. And they transmit all kinds of diseases, most notoriously Lyme disease. I’m very afraid to be bitten by one of them, I’m very afraid of contracting Lyme.
It hasn’t happened yet, in the ten years that we have the cabin, I have not been bitten by a tick.

Thanks to the Procedures, I feel. All the screaming and goosebumps and jitter-dance are protective rituals and should not be done with vigour.
But because they are such stealthy little buggers and I cannot trust to always feel them, I have to check my spots regularly. All of them.

Summer always has me paranoid.
pic by Danny de Bruyne

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