Little Kitteh had us in the emergency room over a little misunderstanding on Sunday. She was trying to clear the property of "vermin" — the concept, Tuck explains, that our feline companions use to categorize birds, small mammals, insects, spiders, slugs and other cats — with the exception of Earl Grey, of course — who would invade their territory. Lover of all things bright and beautiful that we are, we were trying to rescue a precious baby Gray Catbird from the jaws. But our timing and hand-eye coordination were off. In a violent face-off complicated by the dense undergrowth of the lilac out front, we lost the fledgling — or was it a pre-fledgling that had fallen from the nest? — and a lot of our own blood: Final score: LK=2, Sissy=0.
The parents were frantic. Their calls and fruitless attempts to misdirect Little Kitteh's attention away from their helpless offspring will haunt our dreams. We can't hear them now without remembering the horror. Puncture wounds on back of right hand and left thumb. Profuse bleeding. Chelsea Mass General emergency room across town delivered. We accepted a tetanus shot but asked for no antibiotics if not absolutely necessary, remembering the havoc they can wreak on the digestive system when they kill your body's beneficial micro-organisms together with the bad stuff. Next morning we regretted not having gone with the antibiotics, though: Angry red, painful and swollen hand and thumb made it almost impossible to surf the internet, let alone blog or tweet! It's those darned germs in cats' mouths and the deadly delivery system of their canines:
A cat has small sharp teeth, so when it bites the puncture wound can be quite deep. There are some infections a person may get as a result of bacteria commonly found in a cat's mouth, like pasteurella. Then there are other diseases that come from a cat's being infected by other pests, such as fleas.
Little Kitteh didn't hold our attempt to thwart fulfillment of her turf-defending duties against us, and how could we be angry with her for following her nature? On the good side, the antibiotics are doing their work — swelling and pain subsiding by the day — plus the doc turned us on to a "wonder drug" we'd never heard of: Probiotics. With "20 billion active cultures per capsule" (according to the package description), they help "maintain and modulate your body's natural microflora."