Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Born to Be Wild

Sunday marked our triumphant return to the Sunnyside emergency room after a long hiatus brought on by accident free living. It is always my mother who has to go. Over the years she has succumbed to toxic spider bites, falling stoves (don't ask) and cauliflower carving mishaps. This time it was a cat bite. Cat bites have, by the way, a very high risk of infection due to some especially evil variety of bacteria found in feline saliva. It is standard to treat them with antibiotics, because they almost always become infected. That is apparently the thanks you get for rescuing little black stray kittens from irresponsible owners who allow their children to take them on the roof to play catch with them.

Of course, Rudiger is no longer a scrawny stray, but a big, beefy black cat. He is the sweetest thing in the world until he becomes a biter when cornered or scared. This time (sadly, he has another incident in his past when a vet probed him in a way that was apparently no bueno), things went South when he escaped from the house Sunday morning. I didn't see it all happen, but as far as I am able to reconstruct, something in the neighbor's yard scared Ruddy. He came barreling over the fence, flying at the dogs. This in turn scared Baxter and Ruby (Toby is too mellow become involved in such shenanigans), who developed some strange form of Rudiger amnesia and immediately lost their furry little minds as they cornered him in a pretty aggressive manner. They didn't hurt him, but they weren't exactly playing either. I didn't really see until the ruckus started. My mom reached in to separate them and got bitten by the cat.

I tease my mother about a lot of things, but one of them is that she should have her own office at Kaiser Sunnyside by now. She seems to clock more hours in the ER than much of the medical staff. This time we were there for almost three hours before they finished examining her hand, had administered an antibiotic IV drip and sent her on her way. I, myself, have only been in the hospital as a visitor, reading patiently in the waiting area while she gets stitches, IV drips and surgery. If I've learned one thing from chauffeuring people to the hospital, it is this: ALWAYS have a book. You never know how long things are going to take.

Unlike the medical visit, the events that lead to the biting all happened so fast. It was the strangest thing. Rudiger and Baxter do have a kind of love-hate relationship sometimes, but they sleep together, eat together, play, etc. and Ruby has never been aggressive in her life. They are all best friends again now, like nothing happened, so I can only think that everyone was just startled, causing some base response kicked in. Anyway, everyone is okay now. Animals are calm and my mom had her last IV drip yesterday, so hopefully we have at least another year before the next urgent care visit!


Jen said...

Poor Citizen R.!! I hope she's feeling 100% better.

Martina said...

The antibiotic drips + the pills seem to have helped keep the infection under control. She says it's still sore (a lot of bruising!), but slowly getting better, so things are looking good.