Apparently if a kitten has fleas and it ingests those fleas, the kitten will end up with a tapeworm.
The medicine to get rid of the tapeworm is pretty quick and easy; administered one time by the vet in the office, and once at home the next day by squirting banana-flavored goop into the kitten's mouth. This will cure the problem in a few days.
By producing terrible diarrhea.
Now, you might think that a tiny kitten who weighs nothing and consists entirely of fluff couldn't really even have very bad diarrhea. How much mess could such a little thing even produce?
Well, let me tell you, the cubic area of mess increases greatly if the kitten in question can't make it to the litterbox in time, has an accident on the floor, falls into it, then shakes her leg in an attempt to get it off her.
I have never been so thankful for our ceramic tile floors.
Let me also tell you that the phrase "bad diarrhea" is also defined not only by the cubic area, but the specific location. If one is standing in the bedroom holding the kitten in question, and at that moment the kitten has another accident, a terrible terrible accident, all over one's favorite relaxing-at-home soft t-shirt, then one is bound to consider that bad diarrhea.
The weirdest thing was how bad the kitten smelled. We kept picking her up and examining her hind quarters for evidence of another accident, but saw nothing. But oh, the reek.
Then we noticed that the reek wasn't constant but came and went, and we finally figured it out: kitten diarrhea poots.