Thursday, October 8, 2009

And THEN It Ripped My Head Off...

To celebrate my 200th post. I think I deserve cake. :)


Last winter, when I wrote about Punxsutawney Phil and Gopher Guts, I said I’d save the cat story for a more appropriate time, like Halloween. Maybe you didn’t believe me. Maybe you were lucky enough to have never heard of me last winter. Those halcyon days are over and October is now here. And I feel obliged to purge myself of another animal story.

I have to start by telling you that absolutely nothing good happens when people approach my side of the bed and wake me up.

We’ve all had the middle of the night declarations from our precious bundles that go something along the lines of:

“I have to frow up.”

“My froat hurts.”

“The cat frew up.”

“The dog halves diareeeeeuh.”

(My children just stopped talking like this last week. I still do.)

But declarations from my husband, Grizzly, have been FAR worse.

We have a morning routine that rarely changes. It varies between excessive snooze alarms (him), and pillows on the head (me). I go to bed much later than he does so I ATTEMPT to get up after him which works a couple of times a week. If I am successful and sleep through the fire station alarm clock, I wake up shortly after he leaves. However, the handful of times he has appeared at my bedside to purposely wake me, it’s never been to tell me how fetching I look in the morning or to declare his undying love. I feel it should be accompanied by nitroglycerin pills to get my heart started again.

“Someone bashed out your car windows.” (Two of them. On my birthday.)

“Something’s stuck in JoJo’s stomach and she’s trying to eat the carpet. I’ve gotta go but you better do something.” (A rawhide bone and she ate three square feet of an area rug trying to shove it on through.)

“The cat got a bird and there are feathers and blood all over the living room.” (Which time?)

“All the animals are standing around the couch staring at the floor. I think there’s something alive under there. Gotta go.” (There was, but that’s another story.)

But once, ONE time, there were sweet words. Longed for words:

“Robynn, I think Bess is home.”

Bess? Our treasured and much mourned cat?!

The very words had me on my feet and flying down the stairs, with random clothes being thrown on backwards. Grizzly said he had been leaving for work when he suddenly spotted her sitting in the yard. Our dear, beloved cat. The five-year-old Wild Man’s dear, beloved cat. She had vanished into thin air three months earlier. He cried for a week. We had walked miles and posted countless fliers with her photo front and center.

Bess loved the Wild Man passionately and she considered me a close second. When we slept she would go from bed to bed, curling up next to our faces and falling asleep with an outstretched paw touching our cheeks. And now his cheek and his bed were desperately lonely and he could barely talk about her.

But here was Grizzly telling me she was back. I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to lay my hands on her as I carefully crept out the front door, trying not to alarm her. Grizzly had warned me that she looked a little spooked and disoriented.

“Go easy,” he advised. “She seems a little out of it. It is her, isn’t it?”

“YES, it’s her!” I answered. “And of course she seems out of it. She’s been gone all this time.”

“Well, be careful. She might freak out or something and I’ve gotta go to work. Let me know.”

I approached slowly and bent down to collect her in my arms. She’d always been a gorgeous cat with luxurious snow-white fur. Now she looked a little worse for the wear and I wondered where she’d been. She was definitely wild-eyed but let me hold her to my chest while I made my way back into the house.

“Robynn, be careful!” Grizzly warned again.

“She’s fine!” I assured him. “Just a little shaken up,” and with that I said good-bye and shut the door.

Bess was home.

If I was smart I would just write “The End” right here.

The problem is, I’ve never really struggled that much with smart, which became painfully evident. I was an old-time cat wrangler. I had never met a cat I didn’t want to keep, hold, rescue, or spend a small fortune on. I thought loving every cat in the world would make every cat love me. I was fearless. Besides, why would I be afraid of my own cat?

I sat down on the couch and cradled her in my arms. I talked baby talk to her. (Doesn’t everyone talk to animals in baby talk?) Her body remained clenched. I gently scratched the sides of her face.

Bess had been one of four kittens Grizzly had rescued from a drainage pipe one day, while he was working. Heavy equipment roaring past guaranteed their demise as they wobbled out on shaky legs. Mama cat had been frightened off so what could he do but bring them home? Two white females and two gray tabby males. He said we’d raise them through kittenhood and then find homes. Oh. Okay. Our two cat household became six.

Three years later, I sat on the couch trying to reassure a terrified Bess. Her litter mates made their way into the living room. Lifted noses sniffed the air and stopped dead in their tracks. They absolutely didn’t know her. She suddenly realized they were there. And just as suddenly, she realized she absolutely didn’t know them, either. Apparently, I was the only one present who didn’t know the cat I held was NOT Bess. What happened next is hard to explain unless you’ve ever been attacked by a mountain lion.


I felt her lurch and I tried to hang on. That was a mistake I figured out later - during recovery. She attached herself to my face. I tried to peel her off which she apparently interpreted as my attempt to throw her into a volcano filled with wolves. She chomped my cheek, climbed by nose, dived between my eyes, and landed on top of my head. In a frenzy, I still grabbed at her, trying to stop the attack. She figured I was now trying to personally consume her so she sank her fangs into my skull and ripped. She won. I let go. And I screamed. Not on purpose. It was just sort of natural and organic, you might say, under the circumstances. The circumstances included child-birth-like pain, the sound of tooth on cranium (think T-Rex eats lawyer in Jurassic Park), gushing blood, and a cat recently launched off my head.

…….To Be Continued

Copyright 2009


  1. Bwahahahahaha!!!!!
    I KNEW I was still up for a reason...

  2. Wow thats scary! We don't realise how close domestic cats are to their wild cousins until something like this happens. Also how amazing that our eyes see what our brains want them to see in this case you saw Bess in a totally different cat.

  3. Oh Robynn...that is hilarious...acutally had me laughing out loud...not at you but at the words you use to describe the situation!!!

    Ok...I'm sorry, I know that is not funny and actually very dangerous as you could have been seriously hurt...I hope you weren't!!!

    Back in my younger days we had a gorgeous snow white Persian long haired cat who had kittens. A neighbor brought over her child to see the kittens but she made the mistake of picking one up and when Snowball(mother cats name) heard her baby crying she literally jumped from the the ground and planted herself on the poor child's face/head...must be something about the face/head area that cats understand is susceptible to damage??? Any way two human mothers did what they could to remove Snowball and I stood there, but I was only 8 or 9 so there wasn't much I could do...right???


  4. Oh, dearie me...I don't know whether to laugh or cry...were you okay? How can you leave us hanging like this??? How did you get the fiend off your head and out of the house? Did you see a doctor? How about your kids? Were they around? Did they help? I will never look at a cat the same say again...But as always, you can take a scary or unhappy situation and find the hilarious in it. Your description, your lead in, and pacing perfectly set us up for the crisis. And YOU MAKE THIS FUNNY!!! AND I find myself laughing in spite of myself. Trust me, I DO NOT want to laugh when reading about any harm coming to my dear friend!!!! But you make it IMPOSSIBLE not to... Thus, you have once again worked your magic... I am ever amazed!!!! Love you! Janine XO

  5. Oh My...I just spit coffee all over my computer screen. And now I gotta pee from laughing so hard.

    Sorry, I can't help it...and only because I think I was there...only here. And it's name was Animal.


  6. I know at the time this wasn't funny but now, it's hilarious!! LOL

  7. congratulations on 200, and my oh my have you given us a present with this story. I hope it has a happy ending, because now I am sure you are suffering from cat scratch fever...

  8. You are a GIFTED writer. I laughed but not at the (not quite) end... continue soon!

  9. Love the comments you wake up to!! Priceless!

  10. it REALLY isn't Bess, is it? I'm with you, I'd have done all that too. My beloved Middy has been gone since July, I still look for her daily even though I adopted Jenjen three weeks ago. I'll be watching for part two!

  11. Oh .. been there sorta .. but it wasnt a strange cat impersonating our cat.. it was our cat and she freaked and ripped open my arm from elbow to wrist .. how she missed ripping my veins open still astounds those who see the scar ...

  12. OMGosh! Mine or not, I would be terrified if a cat attacked me!!

  13. ok... I'm still on didn't recognize that it wasn't your kitty!?! :-)!! You are a BRAAAAVE woman, you are. AND, you must have had A LOT of animals in your life!
    Yes, life is short, cake is deserved. Remember, 30 day throw-downer, it's ALL about moderation, not deprivation.
    Due date is Jan. 19th, but as with C.'s, then schedule before then.
    * HA! know what my WV is?!? ..."hedect"... like 'headache', betcha had one from that kitty!

    I can hardly wait for the rest! Is it her, is she okay....


  15. LMBO! OH MY! LOL I can't stop!

    I've had one of these experiences before minus the cat not being who she was suppose to be. ;) My cat left for 4 months and I got a call from the lady at my previous home that she'd been called by a truck driver and my cat was at the rest area on 71, 5 miles down from my house. (Luckily, she still had her old tags on). She was wild lady after 4 months on the lam. It took me almost a year to be able to hold her. And I'm a cat wrangler too. :D

    Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

  16. Ohhh no!!! Where can things go from here?!

  17. I'll make you that cake. Next week, when I get more 10X sugar. I can't believe I'm such an idiot I ran out. Can't wait for the rest of the story...

  18. Oh! I'm so glad you have a story from you!! I love em! :-)

  19. Your going to leave us hanging?? Oh! How could you?? Not nice!! What did you do?

    How did you get the cat off you? What happened? Was anyone home to help you? Uggg! This could have easily been me....To funny Robynn!

  20. Oh Lordy, I just watched Jurassic Park two days ago! I will forever and always think of you and Bess whenever that movie is mentioned. Um, and as I type this, I can hear my own feline's teeth crunching away on her kibble. Which of course now I will think of as cranium kibble. By the way, I think perhaps our husbands are related. The one line delivery and pending doom have to stem from the same DNA strand. Hey ... that means we are related! :-)

  21. I hope you don't think I'm terribly unsympathetic when I tell you how much I laughed during this story!

  22. *snort* I am so sorry! You are a wordsmith, making my laugh and feel sorry for you all at the same time!!

  23. Oh I love how you tell a story... and please finish this one because I am on the EDGE OF MY SEAT.

  24. Robynn, what's the story about your sista' and the Mississippi. Email me!

  25. I am laughing out loud!!! Can't wait for the end!! :) Love visiting your blog, Robynn!!! :)

  26. How exciting! Can't wait to read the ending!

  27. And you claim I come up with some doozies... Sass this it too funny. Hope you are alright.

    I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you posting for me explaining why I hadn't and couldn't get on line to post... Believe me, I'll be looking forward to returning the favor...

    Thanks again...

    The jailbird...

  28. Really?? It wasn't your cat Bess?? Anxiously waiting for Part 2. You know you are not right, don't you but I love you so much regardless!

  29. Oh Robynn, how can you leave us hanging like that. I'll be on pins and needles.

    Loved your morning wake up calls and really enjoyed reading them.

  30. I'm STILL hanging out here...tapping my foot...wondering when you will put me out of my misery and FINISH this, I mean, harm intended to the cat species...LOL... Robynn, your mere blog comments put me to shame!!! You keep me laughing, and encouraged at the same time!!! How did I ever rate to find such a fabulous friend as you???? You know how dear you are to me!!!! What a gift you are!!!! And you can pass my love along to that wonderful girl of yours as well...the two of you are dynamo!!! Love you much~Janine XOXO

  31. What were you thinkin'??? Stopping when you did? That's just cruel!
    So come on girl... patience may be a virtue, but I've never claimed to be a virtuous woman!

    I had a kitty do the same thing to me when I was about 10 years old - Sam our boxer was determined to eat him some kitty cat, and I was determined to not let him. Between the dog and the cat, I was half-chewed into next week, and I looked like I had been put through a meat grinder.
    I never let go of that cat though... ;-)

  32. Oh my gosh! Robynn, I want to be your neighbor!
    I kid you not....we have to be sisters from another mother.

    That description of being awakened for all sorts of "tragedies"!!!???
    I knew it couldn't possibly be just me to have those wacky experiences!

    God love ya!
    Thanks for saying hi over at my blog!

  33. Congratulations on your 200 Post !! Great Job. YOU also did a great job for Helen as guest blogger. Appreicate you letting us know what was going on. Also appreciate you stopping by my lil ole blog. Happy Weekend.

  34. This is great! You remind me of my wife and I as I tell her that the dog has exploded and all of his intestines seem to be coating the kitchen floor because he has a week stomach and couldn't hold it - gotta go. :)

  35. Oh my goodness! I am off the read the next part now.

    Robynn, you are such a good writer.I hope you are working on a book.

  36. Your cat story is so funny! Can't wait for the next post!
    Thanks for stopping by.

    Keep on Truckin