Don’t Save The Kitty

Now, if some of you know me personally, you know that I am an animal person.  I was the little kid that would bring home lizards, snails, frogs, snakes, kittens, puppies, whatever from my romps in the neighborhood.  It go to the point that when I started hanging out with friends with driver’s licenses and cars that my mom would always tell me “Don’t you come home with another pet!” when I would leave the house.

Because, well, I would.

Even now, as an adult, I have tried to bring home numerous animals.  Lately, my obsession is cats.  I grew up with dogs, so I am discovering how much I like cats since I was out on my own for a long while.  It started with taking in a beautiful blue girl that was hanging out on my front porch at my apartment. She ended up having babies.  I loved the three of them so much.  I named her Eva.  She was amazing.  She was loving and always so happy to see you.  Sometimes TOO happy.

Then, when I moved to Houston, Frederick came into my life.  I fell in love with him instantly.  Now he is the brother to my dog, Pork Chop.  Such a great story the both of them have, really.  But it is not the point of this entry this week.

You see, my most recent adventure to try to save a kitten from the blustering snow and outdoors landed me in the hospital.

It was a cold Saturday night and I was in the laundry room digging around for the right light bulb with which to change out one in the lobby with.  As I’m climbing down the ladder, I see a plump black kitten romping across the snowy lot.  I immediately jump into action!  I put the light bulb down (honestly surprised I didn’t break it…) and run around the office and outside. I go quietly and try to make myself look smaller by crouching down and talking lightly to the kitten.  It stops and it meows at me quite a bit.  In that cute way that kittens have of meowing with their entire mouth.  I try to coax it in with just my voice.  And then it runs up under a guests’ vehicle.  I think that it is just going to keep running.  No, this baby is smart and immediately climbs up into the truck.  It’s a big truck.  A big Ford truck with an engine a mile deep.

I go back in and grab my coat, then knock on the guests’ door.  I apologize for bothering them but explain that I saw a kitten climb up into their vehicle and that I don’t want it to be trapped there, nor do I want them to find a dead kitten in their engine days later.  We search for 15 minutes.  I was saddened, but I figured it would come out if I had food.  I call my mom and they are luckily just across the street at the store.  They grab me a small can of cat food and bring it on over.

So, the waiting begins.  I have the can stuck outside the truck and the guys have their curtains open so they can watch for it and call me if they see it.

Five hours pass.  In that time, it had come out to eat at some point, the temperature dropped and the food froze and it started to snow again.  Finally, after a group of people I’d been waiting on showed up, the other guest calls me.  The kitten jumped out and is headed for the newly warmed engines.  I grab my coat and head out there with the can of food.

I’m too late.  It has already crawled up into one of the vans.  I only notice which one because of it’s fat little footprints in the snow.  I head back inside because this group of people are having a bit of a game-time and snack time in our breakfast bar.  One of the teenagers comes out with me with a key, its not for the right van.  She goes back in and comes back out a few minutes later with the right key and another guy.  We pop the hood and there’s the little baby looked dazed and confused right on top of the engine block.

Cutest, fluffiest little panther I’ve ever seen.

I was a dumbass and didn’t bring a towel with me and I wasn’t even wearing my gloves.  My hands are frozen and I’m shivering.  I dive and grab it behind the neck, but not well enough.  It bites into my first two fingers on my left hand.  I take the pain and try to sooth it.  I wrap it up in my coat and head inside, fingers oozing blood and covered in engine dirt.  It’s hissing a little bit, but not struggling.  It’s obviously a feral baby.

I get it inside, it runs to hide, I go to rinse off my bloody hands, throw some band aids on, and decide to tend to those later.  No big deal.  I get the sheriff’s department called because the local cat shelter is full and cannot take them, so unfortunately, I had to send this baby to the pound.  I hate that option, but with it being a small town, I’m sure someone will take the little one in.

The officer arrives, I relay the story to him, find a little box for the kitten, and set about trying to get it out of hiding.  I have to move a lot of things around in the office.  I get it grabbed, and I have a good grip on it this time.  It can’t move.  Then I make the grave mistake of trying to turn it around to place it in the box.  Terrified, it grabs a hold of my right index finger and clamps down.  I’m trying to relax my right hand so it will let go, trying to soothe it, trying not to move my finger because I know the more I struggle, the more it will bite.

It wouldn’t let go.  It just kept biting and clamping.  The officer runs back behind the desk and had to pry it’s mouth off of my hand.  All the while I am yelling curses because the pain is just too much at that point.  Because it’s teeth are still sunk into me, it’s not bleeding yet.  Once the officer took off and told me to get it checked out, I  go to the back and just start crying like a little pansy.

I’m not one for pain, blood, or needles.  I’m having a mini panic attack, feeling stupid for trying to rescue this kitten, and feeling like I’m going to pass out at any moment.  I text my fiance who is an amazing jack of all trades, really.  He is a volunteer firefighter and paramedic.  He tells me how to self treat it.  I find a big bottle of peroxide in our storage cabinet and luckily it has a squeeze top.  I drown my fingers in peroxide.  The bites are so painful I don’t even feel the burn of the chemical.  I just keep dousing and dousing.  My right index finger is swollen and red and purple.  I can’t move it and my whole right hand, for that matter, hurts.

Once I get home, my parents are awake because I told them about the whole fiasco.  Mom helps me bathe my finger in peroxide some more and then starts to squeeze the wound like I was instructed.  God, the squeezing was the worst.  Even my dog was so worried that I was being hurt he came to sit at my feet while I’m standing there getting my fingers squeezed.

I take some tylenol and head to bed.  Yeah.  I woke up and I still couldn’t move my finger.  It wasn’t as swollen as before, but god, it hurt.

So, after 3.5 hours in the hospital, two xrays (what ever the hell for???) two blood samples, and a giant bottle of anti-biotics later, I was released.  The doctor said that I was lucky that I didn’t have to be on an IV.  So, all that peroxide saved me from having to sit in the hospital for a day or longer hooked up to an IV, which, honestly, would have probably sent me into panic mode. I was already panicked enough that the first blood draw came out of my hand.  I keep looking at the scab for that one and wondering if I accidentally hit it if blood will spurt everywhere.

Like I sad, I’m afraid of blood.

Moral of the story?  Don’t try to save a kitten while you’re at work unless you’re going to be smart about it.  Cat bites can turn ugly pretty fast.  While my finger is doing much better now (writing this three days later), it still hurts to type or hold a pen correctly.  And I definitely can’t use my index finger when picking items up.

Be careful with kitties.  Their bites have ended in surgeries or worse.  So, if you get bit by a cat, don’t delay.  Clean that bitch up, go to the doctor.

Now, please enjoy a small slideshow of my injuries.