Cat Scratch Fever

It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part to try cat herding.  It was simply a knee-jerk reaction to a maddening situation and I was going to take care of it, single-handedly.  After all, I’m a tough girl from Gary, IN, right?

Um … in retrospect, no.  Here’s the back story …

My tenant Rick owed me money and, unbeknowst to me, had moved out.  My oldest daughter (Anne) and her boyfriend Steve were visitng and they went with me to pick up the rent.  When he didn’t answer we let ourselves in and were greeted with the smell of cat urine.  It was overwhelming.  He’d added a cat to his household — against the rules — and abandoned it along with the unit.

My nearly new carpet was ruined and I was furious.  Anne grabbed a broom and the cat herding adventure began.  It lasted about five minutes, and I wish I had it on video.  Steve would try to trip it as it streaked by, and all three of us were chasing it around the apartment, but Anne actually had it cornered — sort of — and that’s when I made the fatal error.

I swooped down (yelling “Rrraaaahhhh!!! as I did so — I don’t know what that was about) and grabbed the frantic cat by the scruff of its neck, just as it turned and sank its teeth into the back of my hand.  Terribly painful, but I didn’t let go, and neither did the cat, until I’d thrown it out the door.

Mission accomplished, except for the fact I had three or four bleeding pucture wounds in my hand, and I’m allergic to cats.  I washed the area well, but my hand and my eyes swelled immediately.  This from Anne: “Oh my God, you look like a monster!”  Nice.

In spite of getting on some big-time antibiotics that evening, redness and major swelling crept up to my elbow by morning and I ended up in the hopsital, where they opened up the back of my hand — it was ugly — and I spent the next 36 hours on I.V. antibiotics.  Anne and Steve visited me there … sigh.

Moral of the story?  If you need to move an unwilling animal from one place to another, think twice before doing this on your own.  Call the appropriate authorities, who have the expertise and equipment needed for this type of work. Even if you don’t have allergies, animal bites can cause serious infections.

Another lesson learned, the hard way.  No more cat herding adventures for this not-so-tough girl!

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