Several years back, I had a heart attack and had to have bypass surgery. When I went for my follow-up visit, I was told that I had clean pipes.
This turned out to be wrong and I had to have another catheterization. Seems I had another blockage that was going to be treated with medicine. Between the medicine and the good Lord, my artery found itself a new passageway and I began to feel better after about a year.
During this year of healing, I couldn’t do much physical work but my wife still had to go to work each day. It was during this time of being alone that I just watched TV, read a little, and even started writing — but still got a little bored.
One day, I was reading a Moore County newspaper and I saw where someone had a free house cat to give to a good home. The ad also said: “Cat comes with a cage and a bag of cat food.”
Although I prefer dogs, my wife and I had owned a white Persian cat when we first got married. It was a great cat and was a lot of company.
Long story short, the lady told me the free cat was a tom cat and was very loving and gentle to handle. So, we set a time for me to go pick up the cat.
When I arrived, I thought the lady might have already put the cat in his cage, but not so. She told me that for some reason the cat didn’t want to go in the cage.
This should have raised a red flag: what’s so hard about putting a house cat in a cage?
The cat seemed friendly enough, but when I went to pick him up, he pulled out of my hands and ran behind a couch.
The lady tried coaxing the cat out and even tempted him with food, but he wasn’t coming out.
We sat around and talked for a while, but still no cat.
Finally, I reached behind the couch and grabbed the cat by the back of the neck.
Why, that house cat turned into a tiger! He tried his best to scratch and bite me but this time I had a good hold on him.
I tried my best not to hurt the cat, but I just had to toss him into the cage.
As I went to slam the door, one of my fingers protruded through one of the holes inside the cage. Why, that cat bit a big hunk of flesh out of my finger. As I pulled back my hand, I also pulled the door open and out went the cat.
Because I was on blood thinner, and my finger was pouring blood, the lady poured some alcohol on the wound and gave me some band aids.
After things settled down, I just told the lady that I couldn’t handle this cat and she could keep him.
On my way home, my finger began to ache, but I thought it would be OK in the morning.
The next morning, which happened to be a Saturday, my whole hand was fiery red and red streaks were going up my arm.
I knew my hand was infected. It being a Saturday, there won’t no doctor’s offices open, so I went to the ER.
The ER doctor cleaned the wound and gave me several shots. He said a cat bite was one of the worst kind of bites to cause infection. He also made an appointment for me to see my regular doctor the next week.
As I sat on the exam table the next week, my doctor told me to place my hand flat down on the table. Why, that doctor commenced to mashing my finger from the middle joint to the very end. I mean, he was putting some weight on my injured finger.
I asked the doctor what he was doing, and, to this very day, I don’t know what he was doing. I reckon he was trying to push the infection out.
For several years I had no feeling in the end of my finger. I suppose it injured a nerve or the doctor just mashed all the blood out, one or the other.
Between the Emergency Room, doctor bill and medicine, I reckon I spent a least $400 on that cat bite.
And now you know: There’s is no such thing as a free cat!
J.A Bolton is author of “Just Passing Time,” co-author of “Just Passing Time Together.” His latest book is called “Southern Fried: Down-Home Stories,” all of which can be purchased on Amazon. Contact him at email@example.com.