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Now I’m the Vampire Meow


Little bastard bit me this morning. Jack the Cat, not Uncle B. I was putting him out for attacking the other cat and he decided he really, really didn’t want to go out.

Broke the skin and everything. Yes, yes…I know. Cat mouths are chock full of bacteria. My hand is swollen and sore, but it’s not yet hot and red. I’m keeping an eye on it.

But we have confirmed the problem: there is a strange cat in his territory. A much bigger cat, naturally, as Jack is a little squirt. Uncle B apparently stalked the garden making like a gorilla at Stupid O’Clock last night to scare off the trespasser (and called the next door neighbor to explain today, just in case she caught the performance live).

My hand hurts and I’m sulky. I’m’a go drink now.


Comment from peacelovewoodstock
Time: March 30, 2017, 10:11 pm

That would perhaps call for a cat scratch fever cocktail

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 30, 2017, 10:25 pm

SpaceX launch in 1 minute:


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 30, 2017, 10:31 pm

That was on sexy rocket launch! Next is the landing.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 30, 2017, 10:35 pm

First, and most important, Cat Scratch Fever is nothing to dismiss lightly. Mme. Ermine, please get medical attention at the very first sign of fever/infection. It is easily handled early, not so easily later on.

Second, and important but without human health implications, is Woo-hoo! Yay Spacex! They just made history and made a lot of investors, customers, and insurance companies very happy by successfully re-using a first stage rocket. Well done!

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: March 30, 2017, 10:44 pm

Gotta say it.

The concept of a Badger in a Gorilla mask at Zero-Dark-Thirty hours intimidating [or amusing] a feline intruder is surely worth a Youtube video. One would think an actual badger response would be more effective.

On a more practical note, a) is there any idea if the cat is the pet of someone local? In which case perhaps an arrangement about hours or it being a free fire zone with non-lethal weaponry during those hours if it comes to your house could be made, or b) if feral what is the local legal status of live traps [non-damaging cage types]. I used them when we moved here, because the previous owner fed feral cats and we were up to our tuchus in them. Those caught were released at a local abbey, where the nuns fed feral cats [much to the annoyance of the monks that shared the facility, which was my point. There is a story there] or to a wild area a couple of miles away. In any case, relocating the threat might make everyone’s life easier. It certainly made our cats’ lives easier.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 31, 2017, 1:36 am

Dang, Stoaty. Poor Jack. I was recently in the ER—the DR told me to apply ice for 15 minutes every hour until the swelling goes down. And to continue using ice with subsequent swelling.

As for driving off unwelcome critters, may I recommend the lowly but mucho fun sling-shot. It’s an oddly satisfying weapon.

Comment from Bob B
Time: March 31, 2017, 5:12 am

Around here (Southern California) you can rent or borrow “humane” traps for catching small animals so that they can be released elsewhere. They are marketed under such names as Have-a-Heart.
That might be an effective way to be rid of your cat intruder, if you can figure out what to bait him with.

I kid you not, some of the fools around here use those traps to catch skunks. How are you going to deal with a live skunk in a cage without getting sprayed?

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: March 31, 2017, 6:08 am

@Bob B

Been there, done that. Same kind of trap. First, you bait them with an open can of cat food. Most of the time it draws cats. Sometimes draws skunks. They can be handled.

1) skunks can’t spray if they cannot lift their tail. If you have the right sized traps, they can’t lift their tail.

2) mind you, they are mickle-pi**ed at their situation, but most of the traps have a wire handle on the top.

3) what my son and I used were 8′ 2×4’s with a hay hook duct taped to the end. Use one to grab the handle and carry the skunk filled trap to a safe area to release. We have a creek/irrigation ditch near our yard that worked nicely. Note that said skunk is really not going to be a happy camper and will be moving around the cage, requiring care in moving it.

4) I know that I have said I am not a nice person and I’m not, but no, I was not going to drown the poor critter. Just needed to get it away from the house and with an obvious escape route when released.

5) between the two of us, we used the hay hooks on the 2×4’s to manipulate the latch and release it. Skunk was backed to the far end of the cage, and was verbally expressing his unhappiness.

6) once the latch was released, and the door pushed part way open [and Brer Skunk was even less happy at the intrusion into his enclosure] we used another 2×4 to prop the door open just a couple of inches. That is all you need.

7) at that point, back off and watch from a distance. As soon as the skunk calms down, it will squeeze out and beat feet for cover [see creek above]. Recover and later rebait trap that night. No spray at all. Neighbors were watching over a wood fence, expecting disaster. Nothing happened. They decided that we were a slant-eyed version of the Crocodile Hunter.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 31, 2017, 12:06 pm

OT – I know, but I’m loving SpaceX! How awesome was that!
See! this is what happens when you put people other than German weapon scientists in charge of your space program.
“Re-use ze rakete? Nein! Ve VANT zem to exschplode! How elz to kill ze Britisher pig dogs! NASA Heil!”

Werner Von Braun –

Back ON topic – very sorry to hear young jack bit you, people who wonder how much it could hurt have never had the ‘pleasure’. Since I don’t have to go out and do guerrilla bush lurking at o-dark-thirty, I promise in honor of Uncle B’s efforts I won’t bitch about the 2:00 AM serenade I get from ours “Where aaaaaarrrreeeeee Youuuuuuuuuuu” crying until Monday morning.
And I don’t suppose “Airsoft” is a thing over there across the pond, but wait. Uncle B stalking around the garden with an accurate looking pistol at o-dark-thrity…yes, maybe not.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 31, 2017, 3:20 pm

In Jack’s defense, he probably thought he was being thrown into a gladiator pit when he bit stoaty.


Comment from thefritz
Time: March 31, 2017, 4:37 pm

Swease, UncleAl is right. I came down with a 105* fever when I was a wee lad of 5 (way back in the early ’60’s). My parents finally took me to the doctor who whisked me to the hospital. They ran test after test as the fever wasn’t abating and they feared the worst. (irreparable brain damage, organ failure, etc.) As the family story goes some first year resident suggested Cat Scratch Fever. A simple antibiotic was prescribed and I was up and out in no time. The family swears there was a bit of brain damage though…

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: March 31, 2017, 6:57 pm

When I was in high school it fell to me to give all the household pets their periodic baths and dips. I suppose on the spurious grounds that since I was doing it for my dog anyway, a half dozen cats in addition was no big deal.

Which it the hell was. For one thing the dog was a Lab and loved water. The cats obviously were not and didn’t. Never got bit but always ended up with my forearms heavily scratched, if not outright mauled.

Anyway, the story has a horrible ending. One summer I was away. When I got home I found that my little brother and a friend decided to do the cats and went to the garage and grabbed the bottle of dip – or rather, the first bottle that caught their eye. It never occurred to them that the dog used a different formula than the cats… guess which one they grabbed? The dip intended for a seventy pound dog is exactly the wrong one to use for a handful of ten pound cats.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 31, 2017, 7:10 pm

Oh. Ugh. Don’t want to know how that worked out, Steve.

The cat may belong to a neighbor. This is a farming community and farmers don’t even know what’s living in their barns sometimes. Anyway, we’re going to experiment with keeping him in at night, which is when there’s a problem.

He’s moping around the house. He either feels really sick, or he’s really rattled.

My hand did swell up and it’s still quite painful, but I think the swelling is going down now.

p.s. Oh, yes. My brother had cat scratch fever. We spent a week thinking he had non-Hodgkins lymphoma. That was fun.

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