Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Fat Cat Bit Nat. Bad Cat!

That title sounds surprisingly similar to my friend Stephanie's blog about her oldest child learning to read. However, this was a life lesson rather than reading. And, the cat isn't really fat, but it sounded better that way.

We were outside at some friends' house when the neighbor's cat walked over. The cat is very friendly and BOLD. Bethany petted the cat, another child petted the cat, the cat wanted me to pet him, but being allergic & not a cat lover, I didn't do it. I'd stepped away from the girls when one of them asked, "Natalie, are you okay?" We walked over & she was crying & holding her arm. This very friendly (I seriously have never seen a cat want to be with people as much as this cat does) cat BIT her! We cleaned it then I took her home & called Call-A-Nurse, just to be sure there was nothing special to do. They took my info & had a nurse call me back.
Nurse: Is this your info blah, blah, blah
Me: Yes
N: Is there any bleeding?
Me: There wasn't, but when we took the bandaid off there is some there.
N: Cat bites can be very bad. They have a lot of bacteria in their mouths. She needs to be seen tonight.
Me: It is swollen a little, too. Is that normal?
N: Has the cat had shots? You need to take her to be seen.
Me (still processing this): Okay. We are quite familiar with the E.R.
N: What hospital do you use?

blah, blah, blah

A few minutes later Natalie & I are in the van heading to North Central Baptist ER, our 2nd home.

The receptionist talked to us about how bad cat bites can be. The first nurse washed her "wounds" thoroughly. The doctor talked about how bad cat bites can be. She put more antiseptic on it and then did a flush of saline over it. She gave us a prescription for augmentin (an antibiotic that makes me sick as a dog, but Phil can handle, so hoping Natalie can). The dismissal nurse told us how bad cat bites were. I honestly had never HEARD of a cat biting a person. Scratching, yes, but not biting. Oh, the doctor said you CAN get cat scratch fever (not the old song from the 70's!) from a cat bite. The nurse also mentioned this. A friend had just told me that a mutual friend's husband, who is a vet, is learning more about cat scratch fever now.

We still don't know what set off the cat. Natalie wasn't trying to pick it up, but just pet it. She must have hit a spot, or somehow made the cat feel threatened that he would do that to her. I asked her later if she was afraid of cats now. She said, "No." I would be if that cat bit me! In fact, I developed a fear of cats when I was a teenager & some friends had taken in the runt of a litter of kittens. Looking back, I think the cat was a feral cat & wasn't really enjoying being inside. I just recall the mom picking up the cat to take it upstairs & that cat screeched in a sound that was eerie, and I think scratched her really badly. I'm not afraid of housecats, but I do have nightmares about cats attacking, both housecats & even big cats like lions. I wonder if I'll have one of those dreams tonight.

Let's see, this is our 3rd trip to the E.R. in 5 months. I'm thinking we might not be the safest friends to be around!

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