Ya’ll remember that song we learned in order to spell Ole Miss? Do teachers still use little tricks like that or am I totally dating myself?
M – I – Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, I , Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, I , Humpback, Humpback, I
My fear and loathing for all things feline is well documented. I mention to ya’ll often and even wrote something here about the incident that really set things off. Most of the run ins I’ve had with those despicable creatures are but a memory. However, one such moment has left a mark that can never be erased. Literally.
2004 had some ups and downs. Down – I was laid off 2 months before the best party of the year. Up – That party was our wedding! *lol* So, after exchanging vows and partying like rock stars with 150 oh so special folks, we had a fabulous honeymoon in Vegas. Upon returning home, MrTDJ went back to work and I went hard core into job search mode. During those unemployed days, I spent hours searching for job, then mixed my days up with visits to my mother and mid day shopping in uncrowded stores. (Do any of ya’ll know the joy of shopping in a practically empty grocery store at 10:30am on a Tuesday? Heaven!)
Anyways, during this time, we lived in a corner house. It was a single family home, but long and narrow, like a shotgun style, row home. The house was surrounded by a simple chain link fence and sat back from the curb about 20 yards. Once you entered through the gate, you climbed two steps and walked up a pathway to the front porch. Right as you reached the porch, you had the option to continue straight onto the porch or turn left to follow the path along the side of the house, into the backyard. Make sense? I tried to find a pic to illustrate and the one above is the closest I could find. Normally, I parked my car in front of the house, on the street and hubby parked in the driveway. He’s definitely the chivalrous type, but you could only access the driveway from the alley behind our house and I wanted NO parts of that area.
Why? I’ll tell you. We lived in D.C. at the time. Not the ‘burbs in Maryland or Virginia, but actually in the city. We were in a neighborhood that was starting to experience gentrification, but it was definitely another 5-6 years coming. So, there were still abandoned buildings and corner boys, mixed in with 400K homes and brand new condos. By default, there were plenty of alleys, with loose trash and dumpsters. And of course, who is attracted to trash? Ding ding ding – stray and wild cats! Ugh!
One day, I returned home after doing a little grocery shopping. Took my bags out the car and started walking up the pathway to the house. When I got about 5 yards from the porch steps, a creepy, stealthy, very sinister looking, ashy grey cat appeared from the side of the house. He was on the side path and heading toward me. Holy hell!
What to do???????????????????? My keys were in my hand, but could I get to the door in time????
Had I been in my car, I’d have access to the cup of pennies that I keep in order to throw at stray cats that used to sit in front of our house.
Had I actually been on the porch, I could have grabbed the BB gun that hubby kept under the bench for me to shoot at them.
But, no. I wasn’t in either of those places. I was outside. On the path. Alone and exposed.
While I was debating my options, mister sneaky paws was steadily creeping toward me. When he was about 5 yards from me, I knew I had to move or he’d attack me and I’d be his best meal yet. In what seemed like one fluid movement, I turned back toward the house, sprinted up the porch steps, slid my key into the lock, barreled through the front door and slammed it behind me.
Whew!!! Close!!! I stood there, motionless for a minute relieved that I had outrun the panther. As the adrenaline rush started to subside and my breathing returned to normal, I noticed a dull, ache in my right hand. I looked down and realized that I had crushed my right hand between the door and door frame, directly on the strike plate to the door knob. Good gracious all mighty!! Upon seeing it, I started to panic. What was a dull ache instantly turned into a red hot, burning, nauseating pain. Not knowing what else to do, I dropped the groceries from my left hand and opened the door to release my hand. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have looked, but I did. My right hand was bloody and mangled. My pointer finger and middle fingers were bent at very unnatural angles, their nails crushed and blood dripping. I did what I think anyone would have down – screamed and then fainted.
When I came to, I wrapped my hand in a towel, popped 4 Tyle.nol and drove myself to Urgent Care. Hours later, one tetanus shot, 2 big azz needles, 32 stitches, and a freaking hand splint to immobilize both fingers, I returned home. And don’t you know when I pulled up, a different damn cat was sitting on my front porch? I can just imagine his greeting, “Welcome home sucka! How’s that hand?” It’s fugged up! Yep, fugged up. Both fingers no longer point straight like the rest of my fingers and the nail bed on my pointer is curved. Bastards. Every single cat that has ever tortured me. All of ‘em.