Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inadvertent Piercing

So, Rigby, our Senior Cat, loves to be up high. She loves to leap on things, and is apt to use us (esp. me, since I'm already somewhat stooped over) as stepping-stones to get where she wants to go. So tonight, thinking she looked a little at loose ends, I thought I'd indulge her by putting her atop the bookcases in the living room, a spot she used to visit a lot before we re-arranged things and took out her mid-points between High and Low.

She seemed pleased enough, but had ideas of her own: rather than jumping atop the bookcase, she decided to explore and climbed behind the books on the top shelf (intermittently a favorite spot of hers). Unfortunately she soon realized there wasn't room and, after an amazing act of turning around in a v. small space, came back out on my shoulder again. And that's where things began to go horribly wrong.

I thought she'd now want to continue on her way to the bookcase's top, while she debated whether to jump down or give the shelves another try. And in the process, I moved, and she moved, and then she lost her balance and grabbed hold of whatever was handy to steady herself. Which turned out to be my left earlob. Into which she sank a claw, which promptly got stuck there so she cd not draw it out.

It was at this point that I tried to convey to Janice that something was amiss, but it's remarkably hard to say what you mean in a few well-chosen words at such times. I meant to say something like 'Rigby's claw is stuck in my ear; can you help us get loose?', but it probably came out more like 'Ah - she's - um - Can you - ah! - some . . .' In any case, one glance conveyed the situation and she came to our rescue -- though by the time she reached me Rigby had pulled loose and was off. Now all we had to worry about was the blood leaking out of my ear.

Luckily, I always carry a handkerchief, and with Janice's help I soon had my involuntary piercing (luckily it didn't go quite all the way through) washed and disinfected. It bled more than I wd have expected, but then with our experience of cat-bites &c [cf. "The Cat-Bite Incident"] we know that's a (relatively) good thing.

Except that about ten minutes later when I checked to see that it'd stopped bleeding, my touch accidently started it up again. This time I had to resort to a second handkerchief, and then a third; plus a bandage, and then another; and eventually a hand-towel drapped over my shoulder to avoid getting more blood on my shirt.

All of which sounds extremely dire and yet it wasn't: it was simply a small injury that didn't even particularly hurt but that wdn't stop bleeding and stay stopped. I literally cdn't finish the dinner dishes because I had to hold one hand to the ear.

That's when we decided to consult the Home Remedy people Janice had discovered via NPR a few weeks back. Their suggestion: put ground pepper* on the little cut and bandage it over, and there'd be a good chance it'd stop the bleeding.

We tried it.

It did.

And now I'm wondering if it'll leave a mark, to go with the nonfunctioning joint from The Catbite Incident or perhaps the scar from the pillow fight. I guess we'll see.

As for the cats, Rigby is sleeping peacefully on Janice's leg, Hastur is doing the Rug Otter, and Feanor is curled up in a box on my desk upstairs. Peace and harmony restored.

So, how was your evening?

--John R.

*black pepper, that is. I wdn't advise using habaneros or anything along that line

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