Old Guy is looking at my cat, Zoey, differently after today. For this is the day when I heard and read about two different people who were bitten by their cats - each victim ending up in the hospital for about a week with hard-to-cure infections.
From their cats.
The first victim developed a severely swollen arm and required antibiotics applied intravenously for about five days. She had a deep-tissue bite that actually squirted blood.
From her cat.
The second victim even had surgery and a 6-day hospital stay, which, after bills from the hospital, the doctor, the anesthesiologist and other related expenses were totaled together, added up to more than $54,000. Luckily, his insurance covered all but $3,000 of the bills.
Caused by his cat.
"Hey, don't blame me," Zoey's unblinking stare seemed to say to me earlier today. "You know I pride myself on my fastidiousness."
"Yes, I agree. I see you bathing yourself with your own tongue nightly," I replied. "Perhaps you'd consider using a washcloth like the rest of the civilized world does. How about it, lady?"
"Well, I would consider that ... if I had hands! Luckily, thanks to my kitty yoga, I'm able to reach nearly all my body parts anyway. I'd like to see you do that."
"Hey, I'm not the species causing infections here," I stated objectively. "Who knew that supposedly innocent cats could carry such rampant germs? Then again, I've seen how you clean yourself. Somebody get me an antiseptic wipe!"
"Now be nice," Zoey admonished. "How many germs do you think I can carry anyway? You never let me out of this house. There's nothing to do around here but sleep 20 hours a day. I eat the same food out of the same bowl every day. There's never a change in the menu. I use the same litter boxes every day - and speaking of antiseptic wipes, how about applying one to those boxes, huh? My guess is that's the only place I could pick up a germ - and it would be one of my own germs at that. So there's not much chance that I'll be running into any kind of microbe that will do YOU any damage."
"Well, you may be right," I admitted. "But just to be safe, I think I'm going to cut back on the length of your nightly pets. They always seem to end up with you attempting to bite me anyway."
"That's because I'm Siamese, Einstein!" Zoey replied sarcastically. "It's in my genes to like being petted only for a certain amount of time."
"How long is that?" I asked.
"Until it's bite time."
"And when is that?"
"When I say it is," Zoey smirked. "Only I know for sure. Cat's prerogative."
Like I said, dear readers, I'll be keeping an extra eye out for my cat and her feline fangs in the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, Zoey has buried herself underneath a quilt on the bed for the evening. She wants me to think that she's trying to counteract the 14-below-zero temps that will be here by morning. But I know better.
I have no doubt she's plotting her next attack on Old Guy.
Apparently, she's never heard the old adage, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you."
I'll save that one for the next time Zoey and I get into a litter-ary discussion.
Old Guy's weight last column: 227 pounds. This week: 228 pounds. Total loss since Feb. 19, 2012: 4 pounds. (Bulking up for the cold spell!?)
Steve Raap's bi-weekly column is named for the unofficial motto of the town of Rome. Steve's public weight loss attempt will continue until his 180-pound goal is reached. You can email Steve at email@example.com.