Here Kitty Kitty

There’s no point in denying it….I have never liked cats. In fact that’s not a strong enough statement to express my feelings.  Target practice….now that is more fitting…..

I find it mind boggling why a person would want to have a self-righteous, fiercely independent, usually antisocial creature milling about their home ignoring them most of the time, and getting into their stuff all night.  Just to feed, poop scoop, and leave water in their bathroom sink for?  Sorry, I don’t see the perks. Perhaps some humans just have an inherent need to care for creatures for the sake of doing it? I’ve always thought of having a pet as a reciprocal exchange of active caring about and loyalty towards.  Living with an animal that so openly disses humans by nature, well it just doesn’t seem right to me.

For some reason, cats seem to have me pegged.  It’s like they know how I feel and are willing to forfeit their arrogant aloofness for a short period of time just to try to get to me.  Perhaps they like the challenge.  My friend Stacie has a cat that literally jumps up onto my lap and rolls on his back, purring and making cute faces, begging me to respond when I visit her for a few days.  This is especially not welcome if I am asleep on her couch at 3 am.  But I have to admit; sometimes I do break down and soften my view, especially if there is a laser toy around.  But not often.  After all, the moment you show interest in a cat, they are gone—believing they won.

Which brings me to my story.

Some dear friends of mine who winter in Florida travel back and forth with their pets.  A dog and a cat.  Well, each year, when it’s time to head north, the cat seems to “disappear” and they have a hell of a time catching her and getting her into the vehicle to go.

This year has been particularly difficult.  It appears Kitty is so intent on staying in the Raccoon infested mangroves of Florida that she actually attacked her owner when he tried to pick her up.  His bloody arms stinging, he retreats to the car empty handed.  But wait, this is not the first time she’s done this to him.  This is a routine situation, and their standard reaction is to shrug it off and say “you just have to know not to try to pick her up—she doesn’t like it”.

Doesn’t like it?  Hmmmm….

My point exactly in how I feel about target practice……..in my humble opinion, it’s too damn bad if she doesn’t want to come when called.  Get your damn cat ass over here or you are history!  Right?  I mean, what the hell kind of pet is that?  Get your ass over here.  Now!

Oh, the joys of having well behaved dogs that are loyal, that listen, and obey!

Anyway, so it’s been days of them trying to catch Kitty and get her into the car so they can leave.  I find this crazy.  And apparently they eventually do too, and decide they are going to have to just leave without her.

I cannot imagine ever leaving my dogs behind.  There would never be circumstances to call for it.  I know my friends don’t really want to leave Kitty behind (well, maybe he does after that attack!)…the whole situation is quite perplexing, so I decide to try my hand at befriending the cat.

There’s Kitty, milling about in the space their RV used to occupy one mid-afternoon.  They had it pulled to storage and are staying with other campers while they try to capture her.  I approach her and she doesn’t run off.  Instead she proceeds to come closer, and closer, and stops about 10 feet away from me.  I stand still. She proceeds to take a dump right there in front of me.  Nice job of covering it up with sand, too, I might add.  So we talk a little bit.  I ask her where her mom and dad are, and she comes closer, closer, until she comes all the way up to me.

“Meowwww”  She says as she looks up at me.  She rubs her soft body along my legs and steps away.  It now occurs to me I may have a shot at this capture but I don’t know what to do.  I’m not about to offer up my arms as a sacrifice.  Do I need a blanket, or something to fold her into? Nah, she’d figure that out right away.  I know.  I’ll scoot her into the handicap bathroom.  She can’t get out of there, and my friends can go in there with her kennel and get her. 

I slowly back away from her to see if she will follow me toward the bathroom.  If I could just get her into the bathroom, that would be huge progress.  She follows me a few steps, then turns, and trots off to the tall weeds and lies down.  So much for that idea.  I retreat.

Another day passes.  Other campers begin to keep tabs on her as well, and give occasional reports; “Hey I saw Kitty down by the picnic table. “That cat’s gone wild, it’s gone feral.” “I saw Kitty over by the dump station.”  My friends have tried several more times to coax her into the car.  She’s having nothing to do with it.  She hangs around their old campsite, but as soon as anyone comes to collect her, she takes off. 

They make the decision to leave her there. They come to tell me goodbye at about 9 that night since they are going to head north in the wee hours of the morning.  As they drive down the road away from my campsite, there’s Kitty, lying across the middle of the road, in a self-righteous pose of indignant “kiss my kitty ass” attitude.  Once again their car door opens and they call out to her.  She runs off.

Again, I take the bait.  I know I can get that cat into the bathroom. 

As their tail lights disappear around the corner, I walk over to the dump stations concrete driveway, and sit down.  Patience is a virtue, and after about 15 minutes, here comes Kitty.  She meanders over toward me and hovers just out of reach, strutting back and forth with curled tail, softly meowing.  I continue to calmly sit there, and coo an occasional “hey Kitty, whatcha doin’ Kitty?” 

Soon, she is almost close enough to touch with my toes. My wiggling feet interest her enough to come and check them out.  She leans her face and neck into the bottom of my foot, and then steps along to rub the entire side of her body against the bottom of my foot.  Cats sure are soft.  She turns around and rubs along my feet from the opposite direction.  Then back one more time.  She pauses, then steps away from me a few feet, and sits.

I am obsessed with communicating with this arrogant feline.  So I continue to softly talk to her.  She stops licking her paws and saunters over toward me again nosing my feet.  She walks all the way around my silhouette and comes up from behind toward my bare legs.

“OH SHIT, I have bare legs”.

Yikes.  I stay still.  “Hey, Kitty….good girl….”

Kitty seems to be responsive to my kind words.  Now facing me, she puts her front paws just above my knees on my thighs and leans toward me.  Ever so carefully I move my hand I’ve kept limp at my side this whole time.  She becomes nervous and jumps away.  I remain motionless.  We go through this exercise at least 3 minutes before Kitty finally remains close to me as I bring my hand toward her.  She is so skittish.  Maybe she has gone wild.  I stroke her once across her side and she darts away.  We go through this exercise another 2 minutes before she finally stays close and allows me to touch her. 

Then she crawls up onto my bare legs lap.  She sticks her butt into my face, and proceeds to knead my thighs with her front paws.  She turns two circles in my lap, meowing, and purring, and looking up at me frequently as I continue softly cooing to her.  Poor thing, she is scared and confused.   She lets me pet her repeatedly and starts to lean toward me, purring.  Oh she’s not so terrible after all.  I automatically respond the way any loving dog owner would, and begin, just begin, to curl both arms around her to comfort and cradle  her in my arms when,

VICIOUS POSSESSED DEMON F –ING ATTACK CAT grabs both of my hands with claws and jaws and rips into my flesh like a starving panther!  Stabbing stinging piercing hissing and screeching bloody hell murder she is into my skin with a vengeance for what seems like an eternity as I try to react and get this VILE MONSTER OFF OF ME!

She won’t let go!  I can barely stumble to my feet while trying to shake free from her viper grip!  Every inch of both hands is burning.  She finally breaks her hold and I shake her off of me to see her evil little carcass run off into the shadows of the mangroves.

OH my God.

I stand there on the concrete holding my arms up, blood dripping like a faucet.  I run to my closest camper neighbor and tap on their door with the one smidgeon of skin not covered in crimson.  I feel faint.

“Good lord, dear, get inside!”. 

And so begins an hour of treating dozens of punctures and scratches with peroxide, and triple antibiotics.  My hands have swelled up like Macy Parade balloons and my fingers throb and feel like they are going to explode.  They burn like they are on fire.  They apply a couple dozen band aids—all they have in a pinch.  They advise me to watch out for Cat Scratch Fever. (Seriously? I have that album; it was one of Ted’s best tunes!). Regardless, I am so grateful for the help.  We share some stories and small talk until I finally feel ready to head back to my own camper and just try to calm down. They send me off with their tube of triple antibiotic.

Half way across the road I see my friends milling about in the dark one last time, looking for Kitty.  Even though I’m really not feeling right at all, I feel compelled to warn them about what just happened. 

“Well that’s what happens when you try to pick her up.  She’s scared and confused.” 

I’m not sure what the rest of the conversation consisted of, but I do recall sharing the triple antibiotic with them before retreating back to my camper.

Of course the next morning my hands are swelled to the max, burning, stinging, and I cannot feel the sides of my hands or my pinky and ring fingers at all. I’m not going to be able to pack up and leave on time as planned.

“Why did Kitty do this to me?  Why?  What the hell?”

She went from purr to possessed in a blink!

“What if I would have tried to pick her up?  What if I was someone’s kid?  What if…what if?”

Everything is an effort now.  I cannot complete simple tasks.  I have no ability to grab things.  I can barely hold my coffee cup.  Trying to take the dogs out on leash is a monumental task, since I cannot hold or feel their leashes in my hands.  How will I get my things packed up so I can leave Florida?  Thankfully, I find a bottle of antibiotics that I take prior to having dental work, and start self-treating.  The Park Rangers stop by to check on me—apparently word travels fast.  They treat my wounds again, and leave me with some giant bandages to better cover the affected areas.

The next few days are awful, trying to pack up months of life in Florida feeling somewhat queasy and with minimal use of my hands.  Kitty continues to lurk around.  The rangers are trying to trap her now.  I’m just trying to pack up and go.  Thank God for camper Greg!  Without him, I’d probably be stuck there for weeks. But once again he shows up and offers his help.  He does much of the heavy lifting, winterizing, and getting the Toy Hauler hooked up to the truck.  He even re-caulked the roof and fixed the leak situation for me.  What a prince!  When I finally pulled away from my campsite two days late, there was Kitty, watching from the Mangroves. 

It’s been about 20 days now since the attack.   It seems so long ago.  Until I go to grab something and realize I still don’t have feeling in my right pinky or the top and side of my right hand.  But I get better every day.  I just pray the next person that spots her milling about on her own is not trusting enough to say;

“Here, Kitty Kitty.”

 

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Comments

  1. Being a cat lover, I just had to see where you were going with this and I was not disappointed…sorry about what happened…but not disappointed. I had to chuckle as I read because I can absolutely relate. While I love them, they are opinionated, strong, and definitely know what they like and I value that in any person, place or thing 🙂 They can also be soft and loving and kind, also traits I value. Most of the time, I know what they need and want and as long as I do as they say, nobody gets hurt, and every once in a while they do something I want but just enough to keep me sucked in and believing I ultimately have the upper hand. I hope everything is healing well.

    • It is always refreshing to share experiences and views with those who are open to ideas beyond their own. As some famous guy once pointed out….”We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are”. So, thank you for your reaching light years beyond with your thoughtful reply.

  2. My goodness that is quite the story….I feel so badly for you and what you went through. I’m afraid I would be out there doing the same thing as I can’t imagine leaving a pet behind for any reason. I do hope some one has caught her by now….as I would hate for anyone to suffer what you went through. So glad you are healing…..

  3. While I’ve never had a cat attack me, I have never particularly liked cats. So they seem to be attracted to that. At least judging by the way they will run up to me when I appear, and apparently aren’t disappointed when I don’t pet them.

    I am also reminded of the cartoon show “Azumanga Daioh” and Sakaki’s continued bad luck with getting cats not to bite her.

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