Monday, September 19, 2011

The Soap Opera

My life seems inexplicably to have turned itself into a soap opera.  What would I call it? In some traditions it would be Fifth Avenue (where Isabel lives), or perhaps something maudlin, like The Exiled (where Isabel is doomed to live), or it could be Compound Mates (a la Neighbours), but the dramas are much more self-contained, sadly.

After all the family dramas in Melbourne over the summer/winter - three generations plus dog - you would think it was time for some nice boring pottering, wouldn't you?

I would like to tell you that after my 'emergency' infusion in August, I am feeling very well:  the best I have felt for more than two years.  Perhaps I have gone in to remission?  Perhaps the shocking cold gave my immune system something else to work on than my own musculature and distracted it?  I have all my extremeties crossed and twisted, just to be on the safe side.

Yesterday I was chattting to Prima on skype and we discussed the immune-system-distraction theory.  She suggested a really robust infection, such as antibiotic resistant tuberculosis or good old fashioned peritonitis or one of those challenges.  Hhmmmm ... 

Prima as Rapunzel

Interesting but risky ...

I was feeling terrific though.  I tidied up after the dress-up dinner on Friday night, I changed the sheets, I sorted some mail, I threw out newspapers and I began to unpack the dishwasher.  This is an unheard of level of activity for me in my convalescent state - and it was only midday.

I invited Wolfe in, not expecting her to be brave enough to cross the threshold.  Mr Macc and Miss Ming were asleep in the garden.  Wolfe stepped in cautiously.  She followed me into the kitchen and had a sniff around while I put plates (two at a time! such strength!) in the cupboard. I put her bowl down near where the resident cats' bowls were and she sniffed at hers.  Goldilocks-like she tried the other two as well.  It was all going rather well.  I thought, I'll put you out the front again in a minute, but hesitated because there was an enormous peacock perched on the roof of the car who I didn't want to talk to.

Then Macc came in, not too pleased.  He huffed and puffed for a bit and I spoke to him in a calming voice and managed to get the side (kitchen) door open and scooted him out before any physical encounters.

I thought to myself, they do need to get to know one another and some posturing is inevitable, isn't it?

Wolfe curled herself up on the mat by the kitchen door and looked quite settled. Then Macc came back in and did some more growling, so I sat down between them, speaking in my 'cat-whisperer' voice and stroking Macc and telling him what a good boy he was, and how nice Wolfe was too.  Things were going pretty well, I thought.

Ming came in to see what the fuss was about, but she didn't participate in the next phase, in fact she fled. 

Macc was getting himself quite worked up so I thought, enough experiment for one day, time to persuade him out of the kitchen and Wolfe outside.  I managed to waft him to the hall door, with a little bit of firm persuasion.  There I planned to close the door and then let Wolfe (who had not moved throughout the encounter, but did growl back) out the kitchen side door where she would spring over the wall, etc.

I got Macc to the threshold and was about to close the door with him on the other side of it, when ...  well he forgot he was a civilised domestic cat with a loving owner.  He sprang on my bare forearm, sank his jaws into the fleshy part below the elbow, wrapped his front paws around my arm, clung on and flung his hind paws, claws fully extended, into my wrist and palm.  There he kicked, repeatedly. And then, dear reader, he hung on, all 8 kilos of him.  And on. 

I screamed.  Marius says I should have kicked him or thrown him against the wall, which I suppose I would have done if sense had visited me.  I thought scream and he'll realise how much he's hurting me ...  he did and he still held on.  Eventually, perhaps the taste of blood put him off? he let go and I slammed the door between us.

There was blood splashed about the floor, drippinging down my legs from my arm and I shook all over.  I managed to pull a clean tea towel out of the drawer and I wrapped it around my right arm (yes, of course I am right handed).  I lurched over to the keys and opened the side door for Wolfe who sensibly scarpered.

I sat down on the chair.  I took a peek at my gashes and weighed up the chances of giving myself first aid:  nil.  I opened the hall door (no cats in sight) and found my mobile phone and called a neighbour, who fortunately is a brilliantly trained nurse.

Now I am covered in streaks of betadine (the most useful antiseptic to have in your house - if you don't have any, go and buy some, now) and interesting clear bandages.  I oozed a bit.  My palm in particular stung yesterday.  The deep puncture wounds are pretty scary looking (I am not morbid enough to post photos, sorry) and I am conscious of them, but not in particular pain.

Most  importantly, the wounds do not seem to be infected, but I hope they are keeping my immune system busy anyway.

My feelings about Macc are somewhat confused.  It is not nice to think we have a pet we cannot trust in our house.  Macc is rather subdued himself and did not come to bed with us last night and knows he has been getting the cold shoulder. 

Perhaps it was stupid of me to invite Wolfe in.  Hindsight is often cruel, is it not?



Jenny Woolf said...

A gothic soap opera, not just an ordinary one, I would say. I would guess your nurse friend thought about rabies, of course, but that would be an extra gothic touch wouldn't it? so hope you will check it out

Anonymous said...

High drama indeed.

Funny I have posted about our old girl today, but nothing quite as grissly as your posting.

Joking aside are you up to date with your tetanus injections?

Anonymous said...

Rest assured Macc is rabies proof and I had a tetanus shot 4 years ago which should last 10 years. Just as well as I can't have live vaccines on my current medication. Bummer have made deepest puncture bleed again!


Angella Lister said...

oh Isabel, i hope the gothic soap opera has run it's course, and that your immune system is kicking a**. i read this with my heart in my throat; glad you are in a place where you can plumb the ironies. get better, dear. xo

jabblog said...

Ooh, ouch! I hope the pain lets up soon and the bruises keep you entertained. Thank goodness for your neighbourly nurse.

(My dog bit me the other week two days running when he was unconscious, having a fit - it hurt!! My fault entirely.)