Monday, October 12, 2009

The Cat And I – Part II


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.

Copyright 2009

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.


  1. Um, this is NOT funny.
    Not funny at ALL!
    You could have been seriously scared for life and the mere thought of the poor cat plastered to the door like in a Tom and Jerry cartoon... well, that just made me howl in fear!
    Yeah right...
    I need to go change my panties now.
    That's all I'm sayin'....

    (and your mother? She has a long lost twin. His name is Old Guy)

  2. Ah, Robynn,

    As in the words of my daughter, Brianna, "You crack me silly!"

    (Australian terms: you're a crack up, I cracked up laughing, that was a crack up!)

    Too funny! Bahaha!

    Joolz *smirking*

  3. Oh Robynn, that Bess imitator did a job on you!
    I know that was painful.

    I always enjoy your writing and story telling. Wonderful!
    Have a great day.

  4. Oh Robynn, that was hysterical. I know it wasn't at the time but can you imagine what that poor cat was thinking to behave that way? Not that I am being unsympathetic towards you in any way. And I'm sure your kids have no lasting effects of the ordeal either. I am just glad it had a happy ending and that cat is probably still running and looking over his shoulder.

  5. Robynn--
    What a way you have with storytelling! I love a great essay. And I loves me a good story that can take something horrifying and turn it into something funny! Are you from the South?!

    Sounds like you need to strike out the call this person in case of emergency and find another one to fill in the blank!

    However. . . if you'd gone to the ER, you'd probably STILL be waiting! So maybe her stroll was a blessing in disguise!

  6. Oh Robynn, I am so glad you can take a story like that, make it come alive, and have all of your faithful readers laughing and identifying with you, and so happy you came out of this okay. I think the worst part was the rabies shots. Poor baby! Thanks for the great story...

  7. I felt your pain literally .. but thankfully while stitches were needed the rabies shots weren't . it was my own whacka-do kitty who ripped my arm open

    Fabulously related adventure!

  8. Oh! Your mother! too funny!

    This could easily be me.

    I am forever rescuing stray dogs and cats...One time I picked up a hurt Lab that I didn't know. I had my 3 very young children in the in a car set. As I was driving down the road with the dog in the front set and the kids in the back...I thought ummmm? what am I doing...Thank God nothing happened.

    Then their was the time I was pregnant and picked up stray kittens that bit me. Boy were the doctors mad!!! Everytime I went for a visit I had to have a new blood test ~ and the "Have you ever heard of Toxo? Have you ever heard you should NEVER try to pick up a tray cat" speech ~ The answer "Yes, I had it when I was in high school. I didn't think I could get it again." And how do you just walk away.... It never went over well.

  9. How absolutely terrifying for you and your family.I would have been freaking over the shots did they really give them to you in your wounds? I hope they gave you something for the pain and I hope you get well soon what a trauma for you.((((((Hugging You)))))) Darcy

  10. *CRINGE*.. LOL... AAWW... *SNORT*... ACK!...

    I have such conflicting emotions over this post. I am currently suffering a blog reader's emotional identity crisis from this post.

    I can't imagine what state of mind YOU are in.

    You have a gift!

  11. Wow! You are quite insane. But in a good funny way. ;)

    Once my brother was leaving my mom's house. He thought he saw our dog walking down the street. He caught him and carried him back. He was holding the dog and rang the dog. My dad answered the dog with our dog behind him. My brother tossed the dog back in the street. lol

  12. "If you can’t be a good example, be a terrible warning."... have never heard that, but there is so much truth to it. Oh and your mother, you have made me feel blessed again. Your kids are going to have so many fond, funny and Holy Cow memories to share when they have families of their own. I can only imagine the hoot you are.

  13. I never heard of a cat attacking like this before, how awful for you! Frightened cats can really cause some serious damage. What a terrible experience. I'm surprised that cat even let you pick it up.

  14. Okay, I feel a horrible sense of guilt over the fact that that you went through such a traumatic experience and that I laughed so hard reading about it that I have tears rolling down my face from laughter. I must be one sick puppy!

    And your Mother...well, I don't even know what to say about her...LOL!!!! At least you're able to laugh about it!

  15. Oh Robynn!! Ouch is all I can keep thinking and I keep feeling my head for some strange but compelling reason! Your storytelling can keep me entertained for days as the pictures they draw in my head are never far from me :) I have a feeling if you wrote a book, it'd be the type I couldn't put down!!

  16. Oh my! I'm so sorry I laughed! How horrifying. So glad all ended well and you are recovered. Your mom sounds interesting. :S

  17. Definitely not a funny experience but our words made such a funny picture in my mind!!!

    I'm happy you are OK...could have been very serious!!!

  18. You all pay me THE highest compliment by laughing your heads off. Yes, it wsa painful, but everybody has pain and often nothing to show for it. I got a STORY! Yahoo! And even while I was bleeding, when I saw that cat plastered spread eagle against the front door, it actually smacked of the comical right THEN.

    And yes, I really did get rabies shots so I'm safe to keep if I follow you home. :)

  19. Well, why didn't you demand your rabies tags right then? Great way to set an example for the kids; they'll probably be scared of stray cats for life. Funny story, since it didn't happen to me.

  20. I feel horrible, because I laughed through this entire blog post. This was GREAT. but OHHHH, so sorry about that. OMG. WHAT an experience!

  21. Damn, that photo is priceless :))))

  22. Oh my word. There was me, settling down for a nice chuckle... and there is you with STITCHES IN YOUR HEAD AND PUNCTURE WOUNDS FROM RABIES INJECTIONSSSSS.
    But, I have to say, beaufifully told, as ever... and should I just say... made me just do a tiny giggle. Really small. Lots of love, friend. Really. xxxxxxx

  23. That is horrible- the picture made me laugh but my goodness I hope you are okay!

  24. Oh my goodness........... REALLY? Seriously?????? So sorry i'm laughing hysterically!!!

  25. Goodness Girl, my three kids and I were on the edge of seats wondering what was going to happen next. Since I just spent a couple hours in the ER with my son last night we could all relate to the Dr. comment. Im glad you are going to make it and Im sure I'll be back to check on your health another time. Happy Mothering

  26. OH no! What a horrific ending! Stitches and rabies shots... I think I need to go and lie down.

    Brilliantly written!

  27. Is it bad to say that I laughed when I read this? Not at you of course, my heart goes out to you, but at your telling of the story. Poor thing! :)

  28. The best thing about being bitten in the head is that hair will cover the scar. The face... that's another thing. I was bitten in the face when I was 4 by my aunt and uncle's farm dog (that's another story)I had to have stitches above my left eyebrow and on my bottom lip. Being as it happened 60 years ago you can hardly see the scar on my lip and the scar above my eyebrow has grown into it and give me a certain jena se qua when I cock my eyebrow a certain way. Glad you aren't rabid unless somebody really stirs you up.

    Great story!!!

    OMG w.v. is catin - no lie!

  29. Oh my lord, okay I know this was awful, but I can't stop laughing. I was doing okay until the part about explaining to your children that their grandmother was insane because it had to come out sooner or later. Then it was sewing the doctor's cheeks together. And, finally, the coup de grace, laying the shotgun across your chest!

  30. Oh dear, LOL to this whole thing. Especially your opinion of the esteemed doctor, which actually made me snort.