Yes, I made kitty scared. It didn’t do me any favors, either. When it got to the top of my head, it grabbed on and did the dog-shaking-a-dead-rodent routine. It wanted to be SURE I knew it was serious. I knew. Hence, the screaming.
Head wounds bleed - a lot. And bleeding from an attack causes strange utterances that bring children flying. Bo and The Wild Man stood at the top of the stairs crying. I hollered at them to stay put as I considered my options in two seconds flat. The cat had made for the front door – which was now closed – but it seemed not to recognize that fact. I was right behind it to try and catch Grizzly before he drove away and there it was, spread eagle and plastered like something right out of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. All I could think of was to get that cat OUT of my house. It felt the same way. I grabbed the door and, just before we parted company forever, I looked into those eyes and realized they were yellow, not green, like Bess’s. Wishful thinking makes you slow on the uptake apparently.
Grizzly was pulling away from the curb when a crazy woman with streaming blood started yelling for him to stop. He pulled his truck over and came flying out.
“Oh my LORD, Robynn, what HAPPENED?!”
“The cat wasn’t Bess!” I managed to offer from somewhere behind my veil of gore. Grizzly said later he was afraid to look because he thought my eye had been ripped out. Why it wasn’t was absolutely Providential. I had a puncture below my eye and above it.
“Get to the kitchen sink!” he roared while bellowing at the kids that mommy was gonna be okay. They were unconvinced and howled pitifully. I grabbed a dish towel and shoved it onto the top of my head trying to staunch the flow. It worked. When we thought it was safe we took it off to try and clean things up and survey the damage. It was obvious a needle and thread were in order.
Now, if you ever have an emergency, DON’T call my mother. She cannot leave the house without an appropriate pantsuit and makeup on. I forgot this small detail when I grabbed the phone, towel pressed to my head.
“Uh, mom? I need you to come over right away. A stray cat attacked me, I’m bleeding and need some stitches, and I need you to stay with the kids.” Seemed straight forward.
“What happened?” she responded and I repeated myself. “Mom, I need to go to the emergency room so come right away.” It was 6:45 in the morning. My mother lives four miles away. By 7:30 she still hadn’t come and we decided we could just wait until the doctor’s office opened at 8:00. I hadn’t bled to death yet so that seemed promising.
She pulled up at 7:45. Had to feed the dog, too, she explained.
While we waited we took advantage of the time to comfort the kids, calm them down, and explain that their grandmother was insane. It had to come out sooner or later.
When we arrived at the doctor’s office he pooh-poohed the whole thing and said I probably just needed a band-aid. Then he pulled the towel off and suddenly changed his mind. And he stitched my scalp back together. Then I contemplated sewing his cheeks together, and I’m not talking about the ones that framed his unsympathetic mouth. Hubris in physicians definitely highlights my sweet Christian nature.
“Where’s the cat?’ he asked as we wrapped up.
“I have no idea,” I replied.
“Do you think you can catch it?” he astutely inquired.
“I’m thinking NOT since I have no idea, uh, WHERE IT IS, and I’ve never seen it before today.”
“Well, that’s unfortunate. Because we can’t observe it to see whether it’s sick or not. It’s probably fine but you may need to think about rabies shots. You better call the Health Department. They administer rabies shots in people.”
So I called.
They informed me our area had an unusually high rate of rabies in skunks. Nothing reported in cats but they couldn’t be sure. And since the cat couldn’t be located – and we tried – it seemed best to proceed.
All I could think of was the old horror stories about shots in the abdomen. It wasn’t nearly that bad. These days, all they have to do is give you a series of shots, on three or four different occasions, RIGHT in the wounds, wherever the animal bit you - three on my face and one on my head. But the doctor was really nice so nothing happened to his posterior.
However, the pain during healing was phenomenal. I know because every time Grizzly passed by me he scratched the top of my head with his fingers in that loving way parents do with children. The first time he did it I cried for ten minutes. He felt terrible and was beside himself. He had done this to me for years and just reached out from habit. I recovered and forgave him.
And then he did it again the next day.
I decided to lay on the couch with a shotgun across my chest.
The good news is, I won’t get rabies. I’m probably due for a booster, though. And tags. And a license. And I like to think I modeled bad behavior for my children so they could see that it’s not always wise to grab stray animals.
Like my refrigerator magnet says, “If you can’t be a good example, be a terrible warning.” After all, what are mothers for?
If you’re not sure, just ask mine. But not right now. She’s looking for her makeup.
Please drop in to my other blog 30 Day Throw Down for the latest on our efforts to exercise so we can speed away from marauding stray cats.