Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dang - Lost The Thumb Again

Stanley the Barn Cat did not work out. Do you remember The Omen? Yeah, it was kind of like living with that kid. Also he blew bloody boogers all over the house, which even the Omen boy didn't do. After several months of intense medical and behavioral treatments, he wasn't adjusting or getting well. So eventually he had to be repatriated to his dairy farm... where I imagine he's probably happier anyway. Sort of sad, though.

So after an appropriate period of mourning / home sterilization, I set off to the shelter last Friday to roll the dice again. It was a mixed visit. The place is run by Krazee Kat Laydeez, for real. The one who chaperoned me had 12 cats (not to mention great danes) and clearly tends to be more interested in protecting cats from people than the other way around. Thus she failed to warn me, before opening her cage, that a cat named "Spuds" was a vicious monster. She (Spuds) seemed nice enough at first; I petted her a few times, she stood up for more. But as I was withdrawing my hand to close her cage, she lunged at me and sank her fangs deep into my left thumb. There was involuntary profanity and gushing blood. KKL seemed nonplussed, as if this happens all the time. "Bite!", she announced to no one in particular. "Bite quarantine! Bite paperwork!" While I was desperately running to the bathroom, rummaging for Betadine, and running over in my head the horrific litany of cat-mouth bacteria species, she continued talking about Spuds' prospects. "Oh, don't worry-- she'll have to spend 10 days in quarantine before she's put out for adoption again..."

I managed to pull myself together enough to visit one more cat before fleeing in horror. Had to go to the urgent care clinic to get some debridement, a tetanus booster (we doctors are always out of date on our tetanus vaccination) and antibiotics. I seem to have avoided any serious sequelae, but dang my thumb hurts. It's making it hard to button shirts, and nearly impossible to tear duct tape off the roll (which is a serious impediment to my lifestyle.)

I did get to thinking about the other [nicer] cat I had met, though, and decided to give him a try. Partly because he was almost a dead ringer for 9. So I called up the shelter Saturday afternoon to ask if they could hold him for me until Monday morning, when I could get in to pick him up. I spoke again with KKL. She refused. "Oh no, doctor. As I explained, we cannot hold an animal. It's against policy." I explained, for my part, that I had spent three hours and about $250 the previous day seeking medical care subsequent to being attacked by an animal at her facility, and due to this unanticipated activity had needed to reschedule my Friday evening plans into Saturday, and therefore was not free to come in at that minute, and since the shelter was closed Sunday anway, and under the circumstances, couldn't she see her way to hold the kitty till Monday morning for me please? "Oh no, I'm sorry. We can't make exceptions like that."

I had steam coming out my ears (and, still, blood coming out my thumb) and I wanted to be done with the shelter people. So I called my Little Brother and told him that we needed to change our planned swimming-at-the-Y activity to saving-cat-from-the-shelter, which he readily agreed to.

And so that is how Max came to the TurboPalace. So far, he is awesome. Will keep you posted.

PS. To my beloved attorney readers: No, I don't like going after charitable organizations and no, I don't think the shelter has "deep pockets". But on the other hand, no, I did not sign any kind of waiver before the Spuds incident and yes, if you want to help me sue their pants off I would discuss with you.


Anonymous Norm said...

Cute cat.

4/17/08, 9:24 AM  
Blogger Dr. Ike said...

I wanna hear more about the duct tape.

4/17/08, 2:51 PM  
Blogger NeoNurseChic said...

Max is very cute.

OK question - If a cat bites you, you are supposed to routinely go for medical care? My cat bites me like every day, and I wash it off with peroxide and move on. My cat is soooooo freaking cute, but he has issues - he doesn't know the difference between playing and attacking and easily crosses the line. And also he has separation anxiety or something because when I go to my room at night, he chases me and bites my leg. I love the cat - but he is a handful!

I hope it works out with Max!! Sorry about the bite!!

Take care,
Carrie :)

4/18/08, 12:51 AM  
Blogger brushfiremedia said...

We heart Max.

Are there any other shelters to whom (which?) you could give your patronage?

4/18/08, 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow....Now I've gotten bitten by pets...and then I got BITTEN! You think being bitten by a pet hurts, until an animal actually bites during an attack. I was the neighorhood slighly ferral cat. The cat often tripped me for petting. Once day I was scratching his back and he bit me hard. I think I felt a broken bone (it was instantly). I had to do the urgent/antibotics/tetnus thing. Felt like crap for a day, cat scratch fever? Oh..yeah...the DOH calling, keeping an out for the cat, huge rabies scare. I was scared to death.

But he is So cute

4/18/08, 2:51 PM  

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