Sunday, November 13, 2011

Big mistake at the kitty house

I had gotten home from work (at the group home) yesterday morning and gone straight to bed.  DH was already up and smoking outside.  Suddenly he woke me up: "Carol, there's a black cat in the yard!"  Since we have two black cats, and none of our cats ever go outside, he was worried.  But.....one black cat was sleeping with me, and the other one was in the kitchen eating cat food.  So....apparently it was yet another "drop off", as my two closest neighbors hate cats.

I went outside to see it, and I meowed at it....kitty meowed back.  I was satisfied that it wasn't one of ours, so I told DH that I hoped it would go on its way, because we sure didn't need any more cats, and black cats are harder to find homes for than any other color of kitty.  I went back to bed.

When I woke up, I went outside to feed the chickens.  Surprisingly (or not), there was a new chicken, a black one with a long tail.  Kitty had apparently decided he/she was going to live in the chicken house :-(

As I put the food and water out for the chickens, and gathered the few eggs (chickens don't lay much in the late fall/winter unless supplemental light is provided), Kitty ran out of the chicken house to see if maybe there was cat food involved.  Nope.  But the water tasted good.  Kitty was eyeing the chicken feed with interest, when I meowed at Kitty.  Kitty meowed back and came over to smell my hand, turned around and walked a few feet out of my reach.

This was repeated several times until, when Kitty turned to walk away, I was able to stroke his/her back.  Suddenly kitty was purring, rubbing up to my legs, just the sweetest kitty ever  :-)

I finished up with the chickens and (still kind of hoping that kitty would go away, so I didn't offer cat food) went about my day.  At the end of the day, Kitty was still inside the chicken house, so I started to feel like I needed to offer some food.  I put some "crunchies" on a paper plate and he/she feasted.  Once again, we had a kitty love fest, with kitty purring, prancing, rubbing up on my legs.....what a sweetie!

DH thought that we should bring Kitty into our porch, which is heated, until I could get the money together to get a Feline Leukemia test and a spay/neuter surgery (if a disease-free yet unneutered cat were to come into our house (where everyone is neutered), the hormones(?) would cause the other cats to be stressed out and, sometimes quite crabby).  So the best I/we could offer at the time was the porch.  But that would be better than the chicken house, plus I was a little worried that Kitty might consider a chicken dinner.....

Anyhow, I went back out there, and Kitty was (of course) in the chicken house.  We began the petting/purring kitty ritual, and once again I thought, "What a sweetie!".  Then I picked him/her up.

The purring continued.  I scratched behind the ears, the purring got louder.  Then suddenly Kitty looked at me and realized he/she was BEING HELD BY A HUMAN.  Big problem.  Kitty spazzed out.  Kitty grabbed onto the top of my head with all of his/her claws and dug in.  Then, as I tried to stay calm, kitty embedded his/her teeth in my scalp and then dislodged and jumped down.  In hindsight, I was very lucky as my eyes did not get injured and most of the scratches/bite marks can be hidden under my hair.

But....it was rather dramatic.  DH was just heading outside to smoke when I walked up to the house with blood dripping from my head and forehead.  He got so worried when he saw me, I started crying.  He was so nice and so caring......I bled all over my clothes and all over the jacket he'd given me for Christmas some time ago....he cleaned up the wounds for me and when I confessed that I was embarrassed by how stupid I'd been, he reassured me that he would've done the same thing, and I couldn't have known that would happen.....he even called the hospital to see if they thought I should come in--I was really surprised that they (the hospital) weren't too concerned at all!  They asked if he thought the bleeding would stop without stitches, and then just said "keep an eye on it"....Luckily (or not), I've been through this before, although I don't think I've bled so much or had so many punctures.....so I know that I have a pretty good chance of one or more of those wounds getting infected....and I also need to keep Rabies in mind, although I think that its unlikely.   I thought for sure, that the hospital would insist on rabies quarantine for kitty and/or shots for me, since DH explained that it was a stray cat....but they didn't seem worried about that at all.....I'll just stay aware, though, as I know that even if it's unlikely, it's a possibility.......Kitty is still firmly ensconced in the chicken house.  Not acting crazy at all, just looking a little nervous, kind of like "I know I messed up, not sure what that means....".  I went out there a few hours later to tell him/her I was sorry and I understood that it was scary and I wouldn't try it again.  He/she let me pet her (but I opted not to pick him/her up).....I'll go to the regular Dr. tomorrow to have them take a look and get some antibiotics.....

I told DH that Kitty was still a sweetie, and he was surprised.  But really.....Kitty didn't know what I was going to do, and I don't know what was in Kitty's past, he/she probably thought death was imminent, and if I was in that position, I would certainly fight with everything I had, too.....so I really can't blame Kitty, just gotta blame the overly optimistic cat woman.....

We haven't taken in a stray since 2007 (can you believe it?) And I don't want another one.  I will try to find a home for him/her, but I'm not optimistic :-(

Phooey.  I should've stayed in bed.


Miss Kitty said...

Carol, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this post! I veer between "HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!" and "Awwwwww, poor Carol and black kitteh! And poor worried DH! And the chickens with this new four-legged 'hen' in their coop!"

I would have done the very same thing, and been scratched to hell and back just as you were. So another overly optimistic cat lady is in this boat with you. (See: My feral cat bite injuries from a few months back.)

Hang in there. Take it easy; cat scratches/bites are amazingly hard on the human body. And thank you (and DH) for being such sweet, animal-loving people.


Miss Kitty said...

Oops--I just re-read your post, and you probably should head to the Urgent Care Clinic as soon as you can. I didn't realize a few minutes ago that the cat had bitten your scalp and dug in. Cat mouths carry nasty, nasty germs. You can wind up very sick.

Here's the URL for my initial cat-bite post: http://educatedandpoor.blogspot.com/2011/07/friday-trap-neuter-release-kittehs-729.html

The doctor at the local Urgent Med-Clinic told me I did well to get my bites treated so soon after they happened (~2.5 hours). He told me a couple horror stories of past patients bitten by cats and dogs who didn't get help right away, and who ended up losing digits, or found themselves in the hospital for a week or more with all kinds of blood poisoning-type issues.

The antibiotics my doc prescribed were hellacious...he gave me the generic form of Augmentin XR, which comes in HUGE tablets and which also gave me a crazy yeast infection. I hated to scrape up $180 for the 10-day supply, but I told the doctor, "Better $180 at Walgreens now than $15,000 later for a hospital stay." (He also prescribed a few Vicodin for the pain, but I only needed to take two of the 20+ tablets. The awful pain and throbbing went away after 72 hours.)

I'm left with occasional tingling & numbness in my left hand and wrist; that's where the feral cat's teeth sunk in deepest and stayed longest (perhaps a minute or two). And it's been almost four months, too.

Please post on here & let us know if you decide to go to the doctor, and also how your bites heal up. I too am broke, but I can send along a little $ to help pay for your antibiotics.

(((more hugs)))

Miz Kizzle said...

I agree you should have a medico look at your wounds.
On another topic, do you ever watch the show Hoarders? Some of the episodes feature animal hoarders who have feral cats living in their CEILINGS!!!
Feral cats are no joke. I hope you get your wounds treated.

Carol said...

Hi Miz Kizzle,
I am aware of animal hoarders.

Despite the fact that I am currently not really in a position to be caring for an additional cat right now, I will help this one if I can.

My veterinarian says that (without bringing hoarders into it), every cat-loving person has a "threshold". Some people can only stand having 1 cat. And, no matter what you believe about hoarders, there are people who can care for 30+ cats and do a better job of it than you would ever imagine. I have known some of these people and they are not the hoarders that you see on TV.

To better understand my stance on this, I invite you to read this post:


They are my family, as much as anyone is. And cat or dog, or human, if the need were right there in my face, I can't turn away a being who needs help.

Reighnie said...

I don't think Miz Kizzle was insinuating you are a hoarder, I think that's just where most people get their first glimpse of a truly feral cat. That or the show MY CAT FROM HELL which I just found out about yesterday and totally makes the hoarder's cats seem like they are on a peace mission.

Seriously, if I hadn't seen the video bits on the website I wouldn't have known that cats could do SO MUCH damage. I've been pretty lucky because although I love cats, I am not one bit "cutesy" or what I would call kiss ass with cats I don't know which appears to be the WRONG way to approach a cat. lol

My mom is taking care of a neighbors 18 cats. I'd say he's a hoarder. The cats are fed and taken care of by my mom but he's gone for months at a time and the cats get so pissed and have destroyed the house. He comes back home today and he actually quit his job (truck driver in another state) to stay home with his cats. So, I'll give him that. But I'm totally going to get up in his business about getting the cats fixed...none of them are fixed and they are all related. It started with a sibling pack of 4 cats and now there are 18 and he's bringing another unrelated cat back with him.

With that said, what is it about black cats? I have a black cat who I refer to as basement kitty. I don't have a basement but this kitty is so sketchy just as the one you described. They love on you like no other cat and turn on you in an instant but then love on you like nothing happened. Crazy kitteh. lol

Miz Kizzle said...

I'm unsure as to why you assumed I was calling you a hoarder. My intent was to point out that feral cats are dangerous and they reproduce like crazy, given half a chance.
Now please excuse me. I have 158 mallard ducks living in my ceiling that need to be fed.

Carol said...

Miz Kizzle, I apologize if I misunderstood. You've brought up hoarders before, and I took it as you were trying to make a point.

I don't know if I'm a hoarder, I just try to keep my conscience clean, as I haven't come up with a better idea as to how to provide for these amazing creatures than what I'm doing. As I've said before, not a lot of options where I live, and I just have a tough time turning my back on them....

Again, I apologize if I misunderstood.