So I am at work …..I hear this terrible crying from outside. Sounds like a kitten in distress.
I go outside. Sure enough there is a 4-8 week old kitten in the bushes. Frightened and when it sees me, it hisses and backs up into the corner.
Hmmm. Wonder where it came from???
No houses around..Maybe momma cat stashed it in the bushes. I decide to leave it for a while and see what happens.
2 hours later, kitty is still there and it is beginning to rain.
Ok, I reach into the bushes and grab kitty by the scruff of the neck.
Turns out it isn’t helpless and that it is faster than a striking snake…..It turns its little head and bites my thumb…. and again…. and again.
I almost dropped the ungrateful little thing.
But instead, I carried it inside and put it in the office bathroom. I ended up with11 bites. One in the meat of my thumb. I let all the punctures bleed for a few minutes until they begin to clot, then pour 70% isopropyl on them to clean and disinfect as best I can….I mean, I thought I might get a scratch, but not bites….certainly not 11. (yeah, I got my ass kicked by a 1 lb kitten…..)
“Rabies?” said I to myself? “Feral kitten…could be rabies.” Now the only test I know of for rabies is hard on the animal, as it requires samples of brain tissue….it is a destructive test, if you get my drift. Then again, I don’t want rabies. My understanding is that it is a bad way to go, although I hear the hallucinations are great just before you kick off….
So I call the local county animal control office. No help. Not even interested. Couldn’t care less and couldn’t have any less knowledge as to procedure…They will have someone call me back. Maybe….. Might even be today….Suggest I call Public Health Department. I give them my name and number and hope that I will get a call back. I mean, you couldn’t find a less caring more incompetent bunch if you dragged people of the street….Patronage employment in Lake County Indiana has destroyed every government office. One might have thought that the ANIMAL CONTROL folks might have some idea as to what to do for an animal…..but no… In the meantime, since I have a good 20 year relationship with my vet (I have 5.35 cats currently) I call them:
“Yeah, likely in a kitten you don’t have anything to worry about. But best to have it tested…” is the opinion….. I enquired about the method of testing and yes, it is hard on the cat. The alternative is 10 days of quarantine and an examination. Which runs about $260. How much is the brain type rabies test? I ask… $215.
In the meantime the County Board of Health calls me and wants to know what I am going to do…..Have to fill out a report…. HAVE to have the animal tested or owner verified. (I was tempted to tell them that I lost the cat and it ran away….). This is the help I got from the Animal Control folks…they called the Board of Health…Procedure, you know. The Health people’s only concern is that I could have rabies (and who suggested I look out for infection and maybe get a Tetanus shot….)
So, I went home, got a cat carrier (and leather welding gloves!), crated the kitty (who was not happy about the whole thing but couldn’t get through the gloves) and took the little spiteful feral kitten to the vet for quarantine. hey, what’s an extra fifty or so? The test now HAS to be done, as the County is now informed (I, foolishly, woke the beast). The County Health folks apparently did a reverse lookup and knew my home address from my cell phone number and will fine me if I don’t fill out a report. Not like they are helping with the cat either….Or the test…… Somehow I ended up being responsible for the frikkin test. No owner, so I am the responsible party…and the fine is “not less than $250…I should have told ’em I lost the thing and taken my chances with rabies….
So…in 10 days we know if I have rabies…and now I gotta find a home for this little kitten (which is worth $260….)
Anybody need a cat? A feisty one?