Not to worry… this happened 8 or 9 years ago. Stormy jumped out of the bedroom window at the worst possible time–when all four dogs were outside in the back yard. I didn’t even know anything was happening until I heard Stormy scream, and yes, cats can scream. (So can rabbits.)
I ran outside and Stormy was lying on her back with all four feet in the air. I think cats do this so they have all four paws (and claws) available to fight. Unfortunately, by the time they get in this position, it’s already too late. And they have exposed their most vulnerable parts. Cats are much better off to be upright, where they can run, or swat with their front paws (dog noses are a good target), or leap onto the back of the aggressor and hang on. And dig in.
By the time I got there, which was only seconds, her abdomen was a bloody mess. There was blood everywhere. It was like watching one of the “Halloween” movies. So I started screaming too and did what might be the least smart thing you could do, which is, I ran into the middle of the fray. To the extent I was thinking (not much), I was trusting that the dogs would not hurt me. But that was a pretty big risk. Under normal circumstances, they wouldn’t hurt me. But at this point they were crazed, and literally, bloodthirsty. When they get to that point, they lose all semblance of civilization.
What happens next is very blurry to me. I scooped Stormy up off the ground and rushed her to the vet, which thankfully is only about 3/4 of a mile away. She was clearly in shock–but so was I. I just know that the next thing I remember is standing at the counter at the vet’s office, holding Stormy who is wrapped in a towel. (When did I stop to get a towel?) I don’t remember driving there. I remember standing at the counter saying, “My cat has been attacked by dogs.” And this is why I love my vet hospital. At that point everything is in fast forward.
The receptionists (of which there are between 3 and 8 at any one given time–it is a huge place) have these walkie-talkies which they normally use to communicate with the kennel staff, but in this case the receptionist says into her walkie-talkie “Cat attacked by dogs” and an army of people rush out into the waiting area and grab Stormy out of my arms and take her into surgery immediately. The next thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting area, but not remembering how I got there. And gradually I became aware that there were many other people in the waiting area, who may have been waiting for a long time, and I said, “I’m sorry”.
After about two hours, the vet came out and said, Here’s the good news. We found all the bite marks and puncture wounds and sewed them up, and she survived the surgery. We’re going to send Stormy home with pain medication and antibiotics. But here’s the bad news. Most of the damage is to the fat roll on her belly, and fat doesn’t have veins, so the antibiotics can’t get there or do any good. So she could develop gangrene. In which case, we will do our best to remove that tissue, but bottom line–she could still die.
Then he said, your cat is too fat. WTF? My cat has barely survived an attack and you want to talk about her WEIGHT? This is the part I DON’T like about my vet. They are such a large practice that they serve as the host for internships and/or residencies for new vets, particularly from the University of Alabama. These people are very smart and skilled, but haven’t quite mastered the part about talking to humans. Yes, my cat may be too fat, but is this really the time to bring it up?
Ahem, I said, showing great restraint, I am not overfeeding my cat. I adopted her about two years ago, when she was already about two years old, and she was fat then. There is nothing I can do about that fat roll other than a panniculectomy (which they will do for cats, believe it or not) and that is not in my future plans. Then I thought, what the hell am I talking about here? Why are we even having this conversation?
So I took the cat home, and to make a long story short, she survived and never developed gangrene. Three of the four dogs who attacked her are now dead (Living, and living well, is the best revenge?) In the intervening years, I’ve contemplated killing her myself, for one thing because she is so loud. When I’m trying to go to sleep, she curls up next to my chest and purrs so loudly that it’s like trying to sleep cuddled up with a helicopter.
(Disclaimer: You know I’m kidding, right? Sometimes I forget how literally people take things on the Internet.)