Last week while taking down items from the clothesline, little did I know Lorenza was under foot....and I came down hard on my right leg, having reached up high for my dry suede slippers. This time I didn't just step on her tail, I came down on her body with my full weight. In her instinctive defense she bit me. Of course I jumped three feet in the air and it was over. She cried, I cried, and I reminded her to stay out from under foot. Hopefully she learned the lesson this time. She seems so remorseful. I was again reminded to check for animals under foot since the cats follow me around like puppies. Lessons learned by all.
Or so I thought. I am aware that cat bites bring certain risks, even by a domesticated cat who was born in the other room, is vaccinated, flea and worm treated, etc. The problem starts with the cat's saliva. It's toxic bacteria (visions of komodo dragons) starts to grow infection in a deep puncture wound. She bit me on my achilles tendon. Ouch! There were 6 entry wounds. When did I have my last tetanus shot? Hell if I know. It could have been for the trip to Australia and Bali by sailboat in 2004. I'd email my former family doctor in Kona but I know my files are just unorganized stacks of paper. By the time he could tell me, I could have a damn tetanus shot.
I looked up cat bites, tetanus, and everything I could think of online. I emailed the veterinarian telling him of my plight and asked his advice. He responded with: clean the wounds thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide, then put iodine or mercurichrome over them. He didn't think tetanus was necessary.
I did what he said. As the days passed I cleaned the wounds in all the ways I could think of. I covered my leg in a tattoo of gentian violet, a great infection inhibitor. I tried drawing salve. Finally yesterday the pain, the cramps and spasms crawling up my leg became too intense to tolerate. I filled a clean bucket with all the sea salt I had and the hottest water I could stand. After that treatment the swelling and little red bumps had subsided and it begain to look like a wound on the mend!
This is gross, but here it is. My normal dry-skinned (damn this cold dry weather) ankle is on the right, it looks a little weird cuz I took the photo myself. The photo on the left is the scary one. The purple stuff on the periphery is gentian violet stain. The puncture wounds are kind of visible, but there may be a little drawing salve left over too. I wasn't feeling too well when I took these pics. Let's just say it was nasty.
The shot was available at no charge at the O'Horan hospital. If I were sick I wouldn't consider going there, but for an injection, I hobbled two blocks over, limped up the stairs, and was told to go around the block to the other entrance. I was on a mission and hobble I did. Once I found the Preventive Medicine Office, I was pleasantly surprised. The nurses were very friendly. They admistered the tetanus shot and offered me a flu shot. The main nurse, a nun I imagined, sternly told me I'd come back on Jan 14th for the tetanus booster. She issued me a vaccination card and off I went, gimping my way down to the street with two sore arms, one lame achilles tendon, in a daze, making a beeline for the homestead where I took my meds and crashed.
I am on the mend now for certain. The antibiotics seem to have begun to work, I am not worried about tetanus now. I've got the foot up while writing this blog, and plan to work from the hammock today...reading, writing and sleeping.....and see if I can be less lame for Christmas.
"I was just hangin' out and my favorite human stomped on me, I had no choice but to sink in my teeth and save myself! I feel awful seeing her limp around because of our little mishap!"