Sunday, July 17, 2016

The walking wounded

It is our assertion that Maximus is an indoor cat. It is Max's assertion that he should be allowed to go outside whenever he wants to. We are concerned about Max's safety while Max is primarily concerned with his fun. Needless to say we do not see eye to eye on this particular issue and Max will take any opportunity that he can to escape; which is what he did the other morning when Max sneaked upstairs and pawed open the screen door on the front deck and got out into the front yard. When we discovered his escape, Mom and I ran outside to begin searching for him and he led us on a merry chase through the front yard to underneath the trailer to under the Suburban where we were finally able to corner him. As I lay on the ground, half under the Suburban, I spotted him crawling along the undercarriage of the car and I was able to just reach his tail so I grabbed it, figuring he would follow along with it seeing as how it is attached to him. He did, but he was rather more upset than I figured he would be and he expressed his displeasure by biting my thumb. Hard.

I don't remember who gave in first, but one of us eventually let go and Max ran off, no worse for the wear while I staggered into the house, bleeding from both sides of my thumb. I am not normally a fainting sort of person but the combination of the adrenaline and the sight of my mangled thumb had me sinking to the floor in a bout of extreme dizziness and nausea. I did not pass out completely but I was useless to continue chasing Max so it was fortunate that Mom was able to catch him on her own somehow.

By the afternoon, Max was safely back in the house but my thumb still had not stopped bleeding so off we went to the urgent care. Usually it is me taking the pets to the emergency vet, so being on the receiving end of the care is a switch here on the Unfarm. I figured they would bandage it up and maybe give me some antibiotics but it turns out that the damage was worse than I had initially realized: Max had bitten clear through the nail and pulled out tissue that is supposed to stay inside the skin. (It would not surprise me in the least if it was discovered that Max's teeth actually met inside my thumb.) This meant that they had to take off part of the nail (I know, gross) in order for the wound to heal up at all. After that they were able to bandage it up and gave me a bottle of antibiotics to take for the next five days, with full recovery expected in four to six weeks. Upon learning that my tetanus shot was up to date, gotten several years ago after I was bitten by a squirrel, they gave me twice the number of pills that I actually needed. It seems they sensed a pattern in my interactions with animals and foresaw the possibility of a need for antibiotics in the future.

In the end, Max and I came to an understanding: he forgives me for pulling his tail and I forgive him for biting me. That is not to say that I don't flinch when he gets claws or teeth near me, however.

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