From my recent experiences, I have come to learn how precious life truly is. Life is a beautiful gift that should never be taken for granted. As my best friend Denise Moretti once told me, ‘life is all about sharing’. We need to share special moments together, help one another to stand strong, care for each other, but also take care of ourselves so that we can be there to live life with the ones that we love. One mistake that I often make is that I think I am tougher than I really am, yet and it takes something as silly as a little cat bite to give me a harsh reality check whilst I am held captive to a IV drip in a hospital bed.
I lost my best friend on the third day of May this year. Since that day, I have endured a painful mixture of feelings that words cannot possibly describe. I felt extremely overwhelmed and unable to think clearly when I went to her house for the first time since her death. I wanted to bring Denise’s cat, Enzo, home with me so that I could take care of him for Denise, as she loved him so.
I tried to pick Enzo up from under a bush where he was hiding, but it was dark and I could not see properly nor squeeze under the bush to hold him firmly. In doing so, I frightened him and consequently he scratched and bit me. I didn’t want him running off across the road or getting hurt, therefore I just held him until he calmed down. He soon realised that I was no threat and I easily put him safely inside cat carrier to take him home with me.
There was a lot of blood pouring out of the tiny, painless puncture wound on my hand. I just wanted to stop the bleeding quickly because it was making a mess, dripping all over the floor. I really didn’t want blood all through the interior of the ute either, yet wanted to get home as soon as possible, to relieve little Enzo from the stress of being confined in the cat carrier.
What I should have done was ran my hand under the tap for some time, cleaned it with a mild salt solution and seen a doctor as soon as possible to have the bite properly treated. However, foolishly did not know at the time and therefore neglected to do so. I had no idea that when a cat or any other animal bites you, that it can trap nasty bacteria under your skin. This bacteria can infect the tissue surrounding the wound, as well as travel into your blood and cause blood poisoning. Of course, as per usual, I found this information out the hard way.
The next day, my hand where I was bitten became very red and swollen. It felt as though it was burning. It didn’t feel right, but I thought that it would come good in a day or so. I called my partner to tell him that I was a little bit concerned about my hand, and laughing at me, he said ‘suck it up princess, it is just a cat bite’. I dismissed it and thought I was being a sook. I thought if I just ignored it that it would just go away.
By that night the inside of my elbow started hurting, but I simply thought it was a previous injury being aggravated in the cold weather. By the next morning I was concerned and went to the doctors. She gave me a prescription for two different types of antibiotics and told me that if they don’t kick in, that I would have to go to the hospital. I bought the antibiotics from the local pharmacy and took them as per her instructions as I didn’t like the idea of going to hospital. However, eventually it became clear that the antibiotics were not effective and that the infection had travelled up my arm, because the inside of the top of my arm started hurting. It felt as though I had been repeatedly punched in the arm. I went back to the doctors and was told to go straight to hospital.
And so I went to the hospital. I thought that they would just give me an antibiotic needle in my arm and send me back home. Instead, I had to have x-rays and was put on a drip. I was then anesthetised so that my hand could be operated on to have the infected flesh cut out and the surrounding tissue cleaned before it was stitched together. The doctors also whacked a clumsy plaster splint on me so that I couldn’t use my hand or get it wet. I had to endure three days of being tethered to a hospital bed via a drip that fed antibiotics into my arm at regular intervals. I was also made to have my arm elevated in a sling to reduce the swelling from the operation. After I was finally released from my hospital imprisonment, I was sent home with another two types of oral antibiotics, painkillers and my arm still in the plaster splint was put into a sling. Yes, all of this over a little cat bite.
Obviously, this incident was entirely my own fault. Enzo, alike myself was overwhelmed with the circumstances that we faced through the loss of our best friend. Like us, cats also feel emotions, such as grief and confusion when they loose someone they love, or experience stress when their environment suddenly changes.
Like all things, pets may take some work, cost money and accidents may happen. However, just like other animals, cats can make fabulous companions and make life incredibly fulfilling. Even just having Enzo cuddle into me as I write this is comforting, as I listen to him purring as I am tapping away at keyboard of my laptop. I know that we share a special connection through our love for Denise, although we miss her with all our hearts. Nevertheless, we will comfort each other to the best of our abilities.
I am very fortunate to have all my pets in my life as well as my family and good friends to love and support me, unconditionally. They help me to stand strong, even when at times they need to hold me up, because lets face it, I am not as tough as I think I am. Sharing our lives with others fulfills us. Even those who are sadly no longer with us will live on in our hearts through the memories we made and times we shared together.
Lastly, with regards to my health, I have been told that I am extremely lucky, because the infection had travelled up my left arm and the doctors were concerned that if it went to my heart that it would have killed me. Hence, I write this post to inform you about the dangers of being bitten by an animal, and that if it ever happens to you, that you don’t have to learn the hard way, as I did. After all, life is precious.
♥ Mallory xoxox