I took Harriet and Beatrice to the vet on Friday night, and she confirmed what my fine eye for a fungal infection had suspected: the ringworm, they haz it. Actually, I prefer to think of it less as ringworm, and more as Athlete's Foot of the ear. I am up to my armpits in antifungalistics, very keen to smash this protozoa in its infancy and not to have to feed the wee beasts the terrible fungicide tablets of doom and liver-destruction.
Top ten impediments to my protozoa-smashing:
1. That Beatrice passionately longs to lick the poisonous ointment off Harriet's ear.
2. That Harriet very reasonably responds to the smearing of poisonous ointment onto her chin by raking her toenails through whatever flesh is nearest (i.e., mine).
3. My aversion to bleach. My floorboard sealant's aversion to bleach. My respiratory tract's aversion to bleach.
4. The size of my borrowed cauldron vis a vis the size of the soft furnishings I need to boil.
5. Paucity of sunny drying spaces for the soft furnishings I have attempted to boil in the too-small borrowed cauldron.
6. That the novelty of combating Athlete's Foot of the ear wears off after about two hours.
7. Delusions of parasitosis, mine.
8. A. S. Byatt's The Children's Book, first 147 pages thereof. More fun.
9. Theological angst. Cf. William Blake's "The Tyger", only substitute "Ryngworm" for "Tyger". See especially the line, "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?", where "thee" = "Ryngworm". I had similar difficulties back in my flea hostessing days, and overcame the apparent problem of evil by recognising the sheer majestic beauty of the flea and its various contributions to the ecosystem.
On the plus side, Harlot Heights is only 50 square metres when it sticks its tummy out. Fortunately I don't have the misfortune of living in a beautiful four bedroom Victorian weatherboard in Northcote with pressed metal ceilings and antique fireplaces and cedar fittings. Phew.