Monday, July 04, 2011

The attack of the killer cat hand

...the thrilling tale of how an over-testosteroned cat almost ruined my weekend. Wednesday afternoon I was sitting out on my neighbour's front lawn doing the usual after-work street hang thing with the Big Yam. The Dotytron opened our screen door to ask me something and I guess Smudge, our cat got outside, immediately saw Lil' Bit, our next door neighbour's cat and started going buck wanting to eat him. Now Smudge is truly the gentlest cat around, INSIDE the house. He routinely sits passively as the Boobla Khan mauls him and cheerfully pulls his tail and yanks out handfuls of his fur. But, outside in the world, he goes a little insane. So I separated the two kitties and then tried to hustle Smudge back into the house, grabbing him by the scruff of the neck. He was so amped up that he turned around and chomped down on my hand, pretty deep, before running into the house. This whole exchange took about 2 minutes. Later on in the evening, as I was eating dinner with our Discerning Coyote friend at Bairrada - my hand started swelling up like crazy and it hurt when I lowered it below my heart level - like the dickens.
Thursday morning I called to make an appointment with my doctor, just to see what was going on - when the receptionist triaged me over the phone and I said "cat bite" she immediately got me an appointment for later that afternoon. I wasn't going to keep the appointment, but am I glad I ever did! Dr. T was scaring the bejeezus out of me and totally stoking the smoldering embers of my hypochrondria. He said that the bite was definitely infected and that he was very glad that I came to see him when I did and that he was going to start me on oral antibiotics but if that didn't work then he wanted me to go IMMEDIATELY to the hospital as the next stage was INTRAVENOUS antibiotics. WTF?!???!! He was saying stuff like, "I want you to have a very low tolerance for seeking emergency help if anything changes." !!!!!!!!!! Who knew?!? He also gave me a new tetanus shot (even though I'd had one just 5 years prior) and he called me on Friday and he wanted me to come back first thing Saturday so he could monitor the situation.
Is that insane or what? I was like, what the hell? Who knew cat bites were so serious? Apparently because cat's teeth are so sharp and thin, they can puncture really deep. Their mouths obviously harbor a lot of bacteria, which means the bacteria can be deposited quite deep into the hand and infect tendons. Hands are also considered "high risk" areas for animal bites, because they don't get great blood flow (extremity) and the network of tendons, musculature, etc. is so complicated, which is why he wanted to re-up my tetanus immunization and why he wanted to make sure the infection didn't spread. So he drew a mark around the redness on my hand and told me to go straight to emergency if the redness spread beyond the outline or if the swelling increased or if I broke a fever. Insane. I couldn't believe it. But when I came back on Thursday and told my neighbour, she said her friend got a cat bite on the hand and it spread to his elbow with his forearm all swollen in like, a couple of hours!!!!!!! So let that be a lesson to you - cat hand is no laughing matter.
I was especially bummed about cat hand ruining my weekend. We had plans to go with Supper Club to the Island for a picnic - luckily, by Canada Day the swelling had greatly reduced and the redness had retreated somewhat. So we loaded up the Chariot and biked to the ferry docks which OF COURSE were INSANE with tonnes of n00bs also going to the Island that day. The lineup stretched all the way back to Queen's Quay. Luckily, everyone is going to Centre Island and the Ward's Island ferry was empty. Unluckily for everyone else, they were all crammed onto the Centre Island ferry like sardines, not realizing that all the islands are connected and that the difference is, as our buddy Fox says, "purely psychological." No matter - we sat on the sandy beach of Ward's which looks onto the Leslie spit, facing away from the city and it's lovely. It was a bit of a hipster hang - everyone around us was like 20nothing and look like they ambled out of an American Apparel ad, but it was a hot, sunny day and we picnic'd like kings. Evidence:
The Dotytron and our friend R pulling daddy daycare duty - Dotytron is sporting a women's sun hat.

Master T sporting Liz's sunglasses

Liz holding T and looking radiant

T's buddy, D.

We left the island in the early evening and had grand plans to go to a lobster boil hosted by B's work friend down the street from us, or to catch drinks with Fox and his gf, but by the time we got home, showered, bathed and fed the Big Yam, we were all exhausted. So we had the roomie over for Pakistani take out and front stoop hangs with the neighbourhood kids. It was a lovely way to spend Canada Day, even if we were asleep by 11pm. I love the feeling of being sun drunk - lying on a blanket in the sun all snoozy and lethargic with heavy limbs. Like you could sleep the whole day's one of the few times I let myself be lazy.

I know I've said it before, but I really think I live on the cutest street in all of Toronto. On Thursday evening a few of the neighbours rounded up their kids and we all walked to the ice cream store together in a little caravan - toting kids in strollers, walking, kids pushing other kids on plastic was the cutest!!! I love my street - so lucky we have this.

We headed up to Markham after I got the a-ok from the doctor on Saturday - after begrudgingly spending the night downtown on Friday. We hung out with my sister and her kids and celebrated Poh Poh's 89th birthday:

It was bittersweet. I came home last night all sad and on the verge of crying. Sunday was an emotionally draining day. My sister and I had breakfast with my dad on Sunday morning - an airing of the grievances if you will, that was cathartic but still taxing. Then we had a physically draining excursion with the kids to the splash pad in Markham, and then dinner for Poh Poh at Big Mouth Kee.

I was sad when I came home because I was remembering previous year's celebrations of my Poh Poh's birthday - when Kung Kung would organize a giant banquet and book out the whole restaurant and it was a big to-do with like, 9 or 10 tables of guests and a full day of mah jong. This year was a quieter affair - Poh Poh still played mah jong but the cake cutting during the "afternoon tea" portion was much more subdued. It's natural, I suppose - since Kung Kung was the driving force behind all the ostentatious gaiety. But I was just sad. Then I started remembering how ungrateful I was and how I was a jerk one time to my grandparents (I was a jerk MANY times to my grandparents but I was remembering one time in particular) and I started feeling so guilty about awful ways I behaved as a kid and remorseful that I never had a chance to tell Kung Kung I was sorry. This has been a hard year - with Poppa getting sick around this time last year and Kung Kung passing's definitely had a lasting impact on me. The Dotytron and I were talking about it last night - your 30s are such a transitional time. We have experienced so much joy and love from having the Big Yam and maturing into our relationships with our family and extended friend-family network and at the same time, as you get older the reality of it is that you're going to start losing more and more people and that's just the way it is. I was sad last night because I wasn't sure if Kung Kung died knowing that I loved him and was grateful to him for everything he ever did for me.

It's so weird how these random moments can fill you with guilt after the fact. When we were prepping for my fatburger shower last year, I had filled a piping bag with frosting for the mini cupcakes and my sister perked up and said she wanted to try piping the frosting on. So she was doing it and then I saw that she was getting frosting on the floor of the dining room and she wasn't wielding the piping bag properly so I kind of hustled in and took it out of her hands and took over and I'm like, FILLED WITH GUILT about that to this day. For being such a jerk and being so controlling and bossy and perfectionist when my sister had done SO MUCH for me and was so excited for the arrival of the Big Yam and had been so amazing about throwing me a shower and going so above and beyond. She continues to do so much for me. And look at me. I'm an ingrate. I barely did anything for her when she got married and when she had Miss E because I was a no-good 20 year old raver and an underpaid slave drone in the restaurant industry, respectively, when those seminal events happened. Ugh ugh ugh. Soooo guilty!

Sis - I love you the mostest...and even though I won't cut and paste Facebook status memes out of principle - I hope you realize that you're the best sister to me and I feel guilty all the time for not being half as good to you.

See? I'm an emotional wreck. I don't know if I'm hormonal or what. I'm a total suck now. I blame a combination of: turning 30, the loss of 2 great men in my life in the past year, having a baby, my own maudlin sentimentality, and watching a David Simon series (remember how I got when I was watching The Wire regularly? Treme apparently has the same effect).

The plus side of going to the doctor's on Thursday was that they had a table set up for the East York Senior's services network or something, which has volunteer opportunities for people to connect with and help seniors in the community. So I think I'm going to sign up. There's stuff like visiting seniors in their homes or taking them to appointments. The Dotytron: "That's great beebs. But are you just going to cry the whole time?" (I hadn't thought of that. Note to self: get a handle on crying about old people before volunteering with old people organization).

Here are some shots from the splash pad - I have the cutest niece and nephews in the world. Little Big Cuz was not feeling the water so much:

Thursday night's dinner was boss. Pan fried smoked cured pork chops from the mennonites (it's like eating a thick piece of english bacon/ham), new potatoes boiled and tossed while still warm with creme fraiche and scallions, and sugar snaps steamed and tossed with sesame oil from our CSA.

Finally, here's a video of the Big Yam doing his new fish mouth thing while eating. It's the cutest - he does it at the 23 second mark. He's also showing off his "slap the table" technique for more food. We're trying to do the baby sign language for "more" but he much prefers yelling at us and slapping the high chair tray with his hand. Incidentally, baby sign language is kind of weird. There are a bunch of signs for stuff that has NO PRACTICAL PURPOSE! Like "cow" or "butterfly" or "blueberry." I don't need my kid to tell me when he sees a cow! How is that ever going to come up? I think we're going to try for "more" "water" "please" "poo" - you know, the communication that makes MY life easier.

Our friend Pingy is in town so we're hanging out with her in the afternoon. The drop-in centre we usually go to is closed for the year, but one of the parents organizes a Monday thing that runs all summer in a nearby park with a splash pad, so I think we're going to go to that this morning. Our pool is opened so we have TOO MANY possible things to do during the week now. Yay summer! Bye bye sad, hello being grateful and loving life and the awesome people in it!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love you! Don't ever feel guilty-- guilt should never be a part of our relationship. That said, while I may post FB memes, don't expect Ira sonnets written about you! (Maybe about Big Yam, not you).