What has happened in the last 48 hours is worthy of the three month absence.
Tuesday, March 3
I return home from work, pull into the garage and close the garage door.
Wednesday, March 4
Shannon gets up hearing commotion in the garage. Finding our cats, she guesses that they were having a scuffle.
I'm up for my workout and filling my water bottle when all hell breaks loose. At first I think that our cats are fighting each other over a field mouse. It takes a second to realize there is a third cat running for its life from our cats. Catfight!
This third cat is running into walls, unfamiliar with the house. Our cats are tackling it or boxing it into corners, hissing and growling.
In the confusion, I grab a blanket, separating our cats, having cornered the stray in the "powder room." Bundled in the blanket, I take the stray to the garage door...
Then, with deft execution, the cat recurses on itself, from under the blanket, and bites me.
And I mean bite. There are seven puncture wounds on the palm of my hand.
In the fog of pain, I rush to the sink to rinse and clean the bite. Shannon finally gets the cat outside. (It's hours later that I remember my Boy Scout training: it would have been wiser to keep the cat "handy" for rabies testing, e.g., decapitation and brain examination; rabies is essentially acute encephalitis, or brain swelling .)
At the doctor's office for examination, the doctor assesses rabies risk and gives me the bad news: cat bites are highly prone to infection. He prescribes a powerful antibiotic and tells me to watch for cellulitis, red streaking from the wound to my armpit. I'm "reported" to the Health Dept. for possible rabies exposure.
Among other things I learn that the rabies vaccine is only administered in the ER; there is a shortage of the vaccine; and contracting rabies is fatal.
Some cool sensations on my forearm prompt me to pull up my sleeve to find the beginnings of dark red streaking, following various crooked paths of veins, from the wound up my forearm. Well, a call to my sister, a PA and former vet tech has one thing to say, "Get your ass to the ER. That's a nasty infection. I had that and spent two days in the hospital getting high doses of antibiotics through IV."
I'm in triage at the ER.
I'm released from the ER after an IV drip of a very powerful antibiotic.
My cellulitis is all good, the red streaks all gone (catching it early) and I have a really good white blood cell count to help. The Health Dept. contacted me with instructions to watch for, and possibly catch, the cat that bit me. Barring that in the next 36 hours, start the rabies series for vaccination.
Guess where I'll be tomorrow afternoon? ~o)