When I came home from the ER at 2:00 am this morning, Sasquatch, my 28 pound Maine Coon cat, flinched when I went to pet him and he saw my robo-finger. My right index finger was encased in a metal protective splint. “This is your damn fault, cat.” At that he started to purr and lick my hand.
Only 3 1/2 hours earlier Sasquatch was not licking my hand, but rather in a psycho frenzy grabbed my finger and clamped his jaw down on it as hard as he could. This went on for several seconds until I took my left hand and pried his jaw open. I knew he got me bad. When I rinsed my hand, the water after hitting my hand flowed red. It took me several minutes of pressure to stop the bleeding. I called the Kaiser advice nurse because I was afraid there might be nerve damage. With little hesitation she said I needed to get to a local ER because cat bites can cause very, very nasty infections.
I grabbed the most recent Vanity Fair that I had just purchased with the intent of reading in bed that night. I also stuffed a Pema Chodron book in my purse in case I needed spiritual comfort. Fortunately, the bleeding had stopped so I was able to drive myself.
The whole emergency room experience wasn’t too bad. They got me in within a half hour or so. All the exam rooms were taken, so they had me sit on a guerny in the hallway. My neighbor was an elderly gentleman who was well known to the staff. He comes in with vague aches and pains, but is basically just looking for a place to sleep. The staff showed a grudging affection for the guy and were amazingly patient. It wasn’t until they absolutely needed the guerny did they throw him out.
I felt a little silly sitting in the ER with a cat bite, but they all said I was doing the right thing by coming in. They X-rayed my finger to ensure that Sasquatch didn’t leave any tooth fragments and then gave me an antibiotic IV. I heard my share of cute cat stories and even exchanged cat pictures (on our cell phones) with one of the nurses. Of course, I also was regaled with a few nightmare tales of cat bite infections that landed people in the hospital, or losing their finger. Bedside manner, people!
Frankly, I think tonight I’m locking all the animals out of the living room because I just want to lay on the couch and catch up on my favorite show Dexter without fear of another animal attack. I like my bloodshed fictional, thankyouverymuch.