The Dangers of… Volunteering

It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.  
~Tom Brokaw

I love volunteering and have been doing it steadily since I graduated from college. Except for this last year since I moved.  In January, I put an application in to become a foster home for the local humane society. Of course, we were in the process of buying a house so we needed to wait until we got one.

Cute little boy kitty (sorry for the fuzzy photo)

And then Huzzy’s dad died… so that put it back even farther.

So finally, the Thursday before Memorial Day, I had my chance. An email came through requesting a foster home for two semi-feral eight week old kittens. I’ve dealt with semi-ferals before and also spooky animals, including dogs and horses.

Everything has been going well. In just a week, I had them where they were fine with me holding them and petting them (that’s HUGE… they were hissy, spitty things when I got them). Today, I have the little girl beside me in the main part of the house (they have their own room). She’s cuddly, loves to lay next to me and loooves being pet. She also likes the dogs and will rub on them and lick them if they nuzzle her (as long as she’s on the couch… she’s still scared on the floor). She’s almost ready to be put up for adoption but still runs when I approach her. She also hasn’t met the vacuum yet, either.

Her brother is a bit father behind. Sunday night I decided it was time for him to come into the main part of the house (his sister had already been out four times). He stayed on the couch with his sister and me but then got down and hid under the recliner. He was there for an hour and a half. It was getting late, so I decided it was time for him to to back to his “room.” He ran out from under the recliner and when I went to scruff him (grab him by the extra skin on his neck… perfectly humane and great for kittens… actually makes them feel safer), he turned around and bit me before I could grab him.

And he bit me hard. It wasn’t his fault… he was just terrified and felt he had no other option. Poor baby. And before you say he’s a bad cat… just 12 hours later, he was purring in my arms and rubbing his nose on mine. He was just scared.

I looked at my finger and it wasn’t bleeding yet but decided to wash it out and put some Neosporin on it. By the time I got the bathroom, I had blood running down my arm. My sink was filled with bloody water. I dried my finger with a paper towel. What I saw scared me. There was something fleshy pushing out of the wound. I decided to throw a bandaid on and head to the ER.

I felt really silly going to the ER with just a bandaid on. I figured they might laugh at me, but that fleshy stuff was scary.

All this for one silly little (adorable) kitten bite

Turns out, the hospital is glad I went in. Cat bites have a 50-80% chance of infection. They immediately put me on an IV drip and wrapped my finger in a splint because it was such a deep bite but they don’t like to stitch them up since it increases the chance of infection. The finger splint is to keep me from bending it. Not bending it will help it heal, and it needs all the help it can get.

Of course, we found out I was allergic to penicillin about 15 minutes into the IV. My tongue started to swell, so they had to stop that IV and start another. That was an hour long drip.

And true to form, I had to drive myself to the ER because Huzzy wasn’t here.  I now have to watch for infection (though I’m on doxy for 10 days) and Cat Scratch Fever. My discharge papers say that if I get an infection, I’ll most likely have to be hospitalized (because it is on the hand).  And I guess Cat Scratch Fever is more common with kitten bites/scratches. Fun.

I also learned tonight that Huzzy (who is at his dad’s house getting the motorcycle and any stuff he wants and helping his brother deal with stuff) found out the tires on the trailer he was using are bald. He was supposed to leave tomorrow morning. So he could get here in time for my birthday on Friday. Which now won’t happen because he has to get three new tires for it (oh, his truck broke down on his way TO his dad’s and was stuck in Rapid City, SD for nearly three days over Memorial Weekend).

Oh, and of course, our washing machine died on Saturday. So Mr. Murphy… go away. I’ve had enough. Especially since Huzzy has now been told he IS going to join the boat on this deployment (meeting them somewhere in the ocean). He’s not even deployed yet and Murphy is here in full force. Ugh.

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8 thoughts on “The Dangers of… Volunteering

  1. What an ordeal! Silly kitty, but good for you for volunteering to take them in and get them used to people. Hope things with the kittens go more smoothly now!

  2. I admire your strength through all of this. And your kindness for being a foster kitty mom to cats who put you in the hospital! Hopefully things will take a turn & start to look up for you! 🙂

  3. Yikes! Murphy is a jerk (or, y’know, any favorite not-so-mild term; I didn’t want to cuss up and down your blog). Hope your finger heals up quickly and without complication. I’d be wanting to show Murphy one of my other fingers right about now.

  4. You are such a strong woman. I admire you for all that you do and have been through lately. I hope everything turns out for the better soon.

  5. ARGH. I really hope things start getting better, and soon! I had a feeling when they told Huzzy to put his stuff onboard just in case something was going to come up but I was really hoping I was wrong 😦

    Keep an eye on that hand 😦

  6. Holy Cow! I’ve worked in a pet boarding/adoption/grooming center and got scratched and bit by all sorts of semi-feral to feral cats. A couple of them were pretty bad but I never sought treatment. Ouch! I hope your healing goes fast and that you can still find a nice celebration for your birthday.

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