Friday, February 24, 2006

The cat who wanted me dead

In an effort to think about things other than Evan, today I am going to tell you the story of the cat who wanted me dead.

***Warning – this is a story of dark comedy. It is not recommended for the faint of heart.**

It was about 18 years ago. Hubby and I were in graduate school and living in a large, old house…well, in one eighth of a large house. We had two cats and then were adopted by a third: a big tom cat that we creatively named “Tom.” He was filthy and matted and would come sit next to me when I worked in my tiny flower garden. He learned to navigate the cat door and we took him to a vet to have him neutered. They also pulled out all of his matted hair, leaving him with big bald spots. For about a week he seemed to be the same cat – spending most of the time outside and coming in periodically to terrorize the other cats and say hello.

After one week all the testosterone apparently disappeared out of his system. He spent all his time following me around the apartment. He climbed into my lap to purr and drool every time I sat down. The other cats spent almost all their time outside, running in quickly for a bite of food every now and then. Tom was slowly claiming the apartment as his own domain.

One hot, hot summer night Hubby, Tom and I were all trying to sleep. Hubby startled in his sleep throwing out an arm and startling me. I threw out my arm and accidentally hit Tom.

Tom attacked. He lunged at me scratching and biting as I shook him off my right arm. I turned on the light so that he could see it was me, and he lunged again – this time at my left shoulder. I shook him off one more time. He prepared to jump at me again but Hubby, my knight in shining armor, leaped in front of me taking the attack. I ran into the bathroom. I had deep scratches and bite wounds on my chest and both arms. My nightgown was torn and you could see where the bruises soon would be showing. I sobbed and washed the wounds.

Hubby said the cat became calm as soon as I disappeared and that I should try to come out. I opened the door. Tom saw me, went down like a stalking lion, and started towards me. I shut the door. Hubby called again a few minutes later saying he had the cat in the kitchen. I should come out again.

I quietly opened the door, tiptoed to the living room, and carried the cordless phone into the hallway. There I sat curled in a ball and dialed 911. The operator answered and between sobs I said, “The cat…the cat…it won’t stop attacking us!” The operator said she would send out animal control.

I went to the front porch where the neighbor, who no doubt heard all the screaming, came out to see if I was okay. I did not occur to me until later what he must have thought about a young woman with bruises and scratches sitting on the front porch crying and holding her torn nightgown shut. Whatever he thought, it probably wasn’t, “Bet she was attacked by a 15 pound cat.”

The police drove up. I went to ask if they were here for the cat. They said no, they just heard the a call go out saying that people were being attacked by a cat and they had to check it out. We walked around the house to the back porch. Hubby came out leaving Tom in the kitchen. We stood there on the porch, Hubby, me, our two cats and the two police officers, waiting for the animal control officer while Tom sat in the kitchen – surveying his new domain.

I like to end the story there, but of people always want to know what happened next. Let’s just say that it involved antibiotics, one rabies and tetanus shot for each of us, euthanasia, anxious waiting, and a phone call telling us we would need no more rabies shots.

The two inch scar on my right arm has faded, unfortunately not as much as the three parallel scars on my right breast.


  1. Oh my God. Ray adopted a cat (before we married) that some kids had drugged as a kitten. We're sure it was bad trips.

    Much the same thing only smaller cat, less serious injury. End result the same. I couldn't take her when we married. She couldn't be trusted and I still had Tim and another cat at home. She wasn't euthanized, his neighbor took her and she died not long after. Poor kitty didn't deserve what happened to her.

    Little scratches happen with cats. They're cats after all. But your experience went way beyond that.

  2. It was a choice between euthanasia for the kitty and a quick answer regarding rabies or a full series of shots for us.

    I am sorry to say it was not a difficult decision.


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