View Full Version : Do I HAVE to do the doctor thing again?!?

Amethyst Hunter
12-14-2011, 02:34 PM
Once again I'm in deep shit, this time from a cat bite. I swear, something or someone in this universe, maybe the universe itself, hates me.

Backstory first:

Lately a new stray cat, whom I named Freddie, has been showing up around my place. He's a black-and-white stumpy-tailed cat, probably no older than a year or two. (The stump-tail is due to a Manx gene that's prevalent in the area - this place has a BIG stray population.) Sucker that I am, I've been feeding him. Freddie is unneutered. He's also fairly friendly, loves to be petted. Or was until about 1 am last night...

I was doing my laundry since that's the best time for me to take care of it. I had gone outside to throw my stuff in the dryer, and Freddie must've been hanging around the area because he came right up to me like he always does. (Cat eats a LOT, but isn't fat. Go figure.) So I'm like, okay, all I have is dry kibble, but here you go. Freddie prefers the canned. Oh well, that's all you're getting right now because you just had two cans earlier after I came home from work.

Freddie has developed the habit of hanging right outside my door. Literally, on my doorstep. Possibly because he smells my strictly-indoor cat's presence inside. (There's a crack at the bottom of the door that's big enough, animals could probably smell each other through it.) They spotted each other through the open door the other day when I was outside, and Freddie flipped his shit and went after my indoor boy. (Fortunately I was able to pull Freddie back before he could get all the way inside my house.) I chalk this up to his (Freddie's) being unneutered, because mine is fixed and has never been the aggressive type.

Well, last night Freddie was doing the same thing - hanging around my top doorstep just outside the door - and I wanted to go back inside after tossing my stuff in the dryer. Freddie wouldn't budge. I tried gently pushing him away with my foot, but he just kept coming right back into my way. By that point I already had the door slightly cracked open, and could see my cat standing just inside. Naturally I didn't want a repeat of the other day, so I reached down to push Freddie out of the way...

...and I got bitten. It happened so fast all I could process was the horrid pain shooting into my right hand (it would have to be the hand I need the most!) and at that moment all I was concerned with was getting the damn cat off of me. But now, I'm scared of the possibility - and it is a possibility - that Freddie might've passed something nasty on to me. As in, rabies.

Now, I didn't suspect him to have anything like that (though I realize you can't tell just from looking at an animal). He appears healthy, his eyes are clear, and he isn't oozing any icky bodily fluids from any part of his body; he's a shorthair cat so he's fairly well-groomed. And, up until that point, he was friendly around me, never acted out of the ordinary, except for this aggression toward other cats. (There's another stray whom I'm not sure has a home or not, but he comes over from next door and I feed him too; I call him Archie. Archie and Freddie don't like each other and will growl/yowl if they see each other)

Freddie let go after I gave him a good swat and I rushed inside to see how bad the damage was. It could have been a LOT worse - he was really chomping down and my hand still hurts (this is going to mess with me at work later today, since I have to work regular register and for that you really need both hands!) - but thank God I was wearing my robe, which has a good-sized cuff on the end of the sleeve, and I think this protected somewhat by preventing a full-on puncture bite. But he did hit me hard enough to break the skin. However, I can't tell if it's more from his claws, or his teeth. (he was using both) There's a good inch-and-a-half long furrow there. I spent about 5 - 10 minutes pouring peroxide and rubbing alcohol over/into it, but I don't know if I should call a doctor or wait it out. He nailed me over the meaty part of my palm, on the top side of my hand, and right now that area is just puffy and tender (think of being pinched REALLY super-hard by a pointy vise; that's about what it felt like).

The wound itself isn't bleeding right now, which is why I don't think that Freddie punctured all the way through, because if he had, surely I'd have these two big oozing marks where his teeth hit, and it would probably hurt a lot more. What little blood there was has long since stopped; it was more like the blood that kind of pebbles its way to the surface after you scrape yourself really hard, but not hard enough to inflict an all-out wound. But I'm no medical expert, obviously.

I have had a tetanus shot in late 2005 (that one came about from a dog nip at my then-job at a chain pet store; my employer insisted I go to the ER which freaked me out even though the dog hadn't really nipped that hard, but it broke the skin a little, so there you go). But what scares the shit out of me is the whole rabies risk. It's not necessarily rampant, but it wouldn't be unheard of in this area, being that there's a large feral/stray population (due to jackasses dumping animals and/or failing to spay/neuter their pets). I CANNOT afford another medical emergency; the damned teeth extractions cleaned me out to the tune of nearly $2400 and only with the help of certain awesome people was I able to cobble together funding for that. An animal bite would probably run at least the same expense, if not more.

I don't know what to do, and it's freaking me out right now. :cry: :cry:

Yeah, 2011 can just fuck off right now... :( :burnup: And Christmas is officially cancelled.

12-14-2011, 02:48 PM
Doctor. Now. Faster.

12-14-2011, 04:37 PM
Cat Scratch Fever is not just the name of a song, it's an actual disease. There was a woman I used to work with who, every year like clockwork, called out sick because she had to take her cat to the vet, the cat would bite and claw her, and she'd get a terrible fever and have to go to the hospital.

As far as Freddie goes, you should look into getting him neutered. Almost every town has low cost spay/neuter clinics for strays and ferals these days. Talk to your vet or a local shelter about which vets participate in these and when the next one is. When you're ready to catch him, get a feral cat trap (again, talk to a vet or shelter about renting or borrowing one) and bait it with the same kind of food you normally feed Freddie, in the same place and at the same time of day. We had no trouble catching Mint (our little feral-turned-housecat who adopted us) this way the first time we ever brought her to the vet.

Until then, a few things you can do to keep him away from your door are to carry a squirt bottle filled with water around with you and squirt him when you need to open the door, and/or get some bitter apple spray and spray it around your door. You can usually find bitter apple spray at pet supply stores. It might be in with the dog products, but it's safe for cats too. It's just water and apple extract; cats don't like the smell/taste of it so they tend to avoid it.

Hope you get better soon.

12-14-2011, 05:30 PM
Definitely get the bite looked at. Try a low cost clinic if you're worried about cost. Even strictly indoor cats carry some nasty bacteria under their claws and in their mouths and since Freddie is feral, there's no telling what he might have picked up. I also second the notion of seeing if you can get him neutered. He might be too old for it to mellow him out, but at least he won't be able to father any offspring. I would recommend getting any stray/feral cats you can catch fixed. Your local humane society should be able to point you in the right direction. They may even have a feral cat program themselves where you can rent the traps and get the cats fixed for a fairly low cost.

Good luck and I hope you feel better!

It shouldn't
12-14-2011, 05:31 PM
Can you go to one of those Walgreen type care clinics and get a tetanus shot booster?
That shouldn't cost too much and take care of the cat scratch fever.

Then I would just keep and eye on the cat to make sure he continues to act normal and look healthy.

12-14-2011, 05:46 PM
I was going to say that an urgent-care clinic might be the best option. They should be able to give a booster/antibiotics and give a referral if they think you need it. Do it sooner rather than later; bites on the hand can be very serious.

12-14-2011, 05:56 PM
If you are so worried about it that it is "freaking you out" then yes, you DO need to to the "doctor thing" again. That's really the only advice anyone here can give you.