January 22, 2009
Freaked out cat lead to this act of defense and my injury.
October 19, 2007 is a day I won't soon forget. It was a Friday night and I was preparing to go out with my best bud Chris. The evening was warm and just prior to his arrival I went around and shut the windows in the house (safety).
As I went into the basement, I heard a holler like nothing I heard before and I knew it was coming from my cat Meadow. She was in one of the windows and hissing, snarling and freaking out. The windows in the basement are ground level so I figured it was an animal on the other side of the window. The curtain was closed so I couldn't see out. I didn't think much about reaching up and moving the curtain to see what the heck was going on with her and whatever was freaking her out.
Well, as soon as I started to move that curtain and I guess she felt something brush up her back side a bit... she turned around and got a hold of my right hand. Meadow is a fair sized cat and my hand disappeared beneath her. Four sets of claws and some good sharp teeth were all in my hand and wrist area. I screamed like I probably never screamed before as I pulled my hand out of the window with kitty still hanging on. Once we were in clear sight of each other, she realized it was me she had and she let go immediately. I cursed and swore, not at her, just because of the shock and pain I was in.
My hand bled and bled and bled some more. Meadow followed me about the house and I know without a doubt that she knew she hurt me. She kept a watchful eye on me but didn't get that close. I probably said the F-word more times in that hour than all week at work. The Lord's ears were probably burning as his name was thrown in for good measure.
Chris showed up and I left, with Meadow looking at me no more than 6 ft from the door. I hated leaving the house like that... she may be a cat to some, but she's family to me, and I don't like to leave the house with such negativity.
I probably had 4 or 5 sheets of Bounty wrapped around my hand. Chris being the always prepared handy guy broke out his first aid kit, cleaned me up some and away we went downtown for some cd/dvd shopping. My night was ruined as my hand continued to bleed, my mood was gone and I kept thinking about what had happened... oh, my fingers swelled right up to the point I couldn't even bend them anymore. I didn't tell Chris any of this as to not be a burden. We called it an early night and home I went.
Angie was already at the house and what was said is a bit of a blur now... but I ended up at the hospital on my will. They were quite concerned about me and this wound. I found out how bad a cat bite can be even when it's from your own cat who is mostly indoors and up to date on her vaccinations. I ended up on I/V anti-biotics for an hour in emergency before they sent me home with a powerful prescription to fill. If there was room in Queensway Hospital, they were going to admit me for the weekend. I was quite freaked out to think it was that serious.
Angie knew the seriousness of this because of a friend of her's had something similar happen to her and her arm ended up in a sling for 6 or 7 weeks. She didn't want to say anything to me until after we saw a doctor.
I ended up being home for 10 days and it was 7 days before I could move those fingers again. The picture might exagerate the swelling a bit but I did have one really rounded out top on my hand. The puncture you can see near the one knuckle was from her back claw and that bled for hours. The side of my hand where my pinky is, she got one of her upper fangs in and actually hit bone according to the doctor... I think it was 4 weeks before the pain was gone.
A neighbour of mine told me about a co-worker of her's who got bit by a cat and he didn't do anything about it until it was too late. She said his wound looked like a small volcano erupting with a bloody puss. He was told to go to the hospital but still didn't until he began having chest pains. He was admitted immediately and died 4 days later from the infection.
I've had mixed reactions from people regarding this incident and some were very negative. One made a comment how he could not believe I had such a dirty animal for a pet. Karma showed him as he got severely bitten by his dog a few weeks later. Another told me to be careful as Meadow may now have a thirst for blood... and this guy was serious! A few told me that I should consider putting her down because of this. I stopped informing people what happened when asked. Smashing myself with a hammer sounded better at this point.
Never, even for a second, did I blame Meadow for what happened. She was freaked out by a raccoon at the window and only a screen separated them. So, in her fearful moment, she felt something at the back of her and acted upon it, defending herself.
I happened to come across this picture and thought I would share the story... not for anything really other than a bit of caution to anybody who reads it.
Please don't look at cats in a lesser way. They should be loved but also respected. I mean, if it were you, and you were in a threatening situation at the front of you and suddenly you felt something behind you... how would you re-act?
There are two great endings to this though... one was all the care and pampering I got from Angie.
The second is this... we get home from the hospital around 3:30am. We didn't see any sign of pussy cat... and I just wanted to get in bed and rest. I wake up around 8:30am and Angie is already up; but who is sitting at the far end of the bed and looking at me? Meadow. She just sat and looked at me. It probably was only a moment before I snapped my fingers on my good hand over my chest and she pounced up there, purring and rubbing her nose on my chin. Do you think somebody was sorry or really happy that I wasn't angry/upset anymore?
I always say "animals are people too". They are genuine in their emotions and have feelings... which I happened to be reminded of in that moment as I saw another of Meadow's.