I debated on whether or not to share the following story. The husband warned me that you all might lose all hope in my sanity. But I’m pretty much an open book. For better, for worse.
So, here’s some more worse.
Last week, we were attacked. The kids and me, to be exact, by our family cat.
His name is Patrick Star and I’ve wrote before about his amusing antics and gentle and loving personality. We love him. He was an orphaned kitten from our neighbor. She nursed him by bottle every few hours those few weeks of his vulnerable life after his mom was killed by a car and then Patrick came to live with us. He was small, just like all four of the kids at that time, and the kids and Patrick grew up together. He really is a part of our family.
But last week something snapped inside our loving cat.
I was in the kitchen getting ready to make lunch. Matt was at work and the kids were scattered around the house. Nothing was out of the ordinary.
I heard Masen say something about how Patrick was “all puffed up,” which isn’t unusual or alarming but I casually glanced in the room any way. Right away, I could see something was different. At the same time, the other three kids came into the room. Normally, when Patrick gets “all puffed up” it’s his sign he wants to play with Rylan. They usually roll around the floor and wrestle until one or the other tires of it and they move on . (Side note: Patrick doesn’t have front claws.) So, when Rylan saw the puffiness and immediately wanted to play with him I screamed to stay back, that this was different.
The events after my exclamation are pretty much a blur. Patrick immediately went into a stance of attack. His ears were back. His teeth were showing. He was hissing and there was a low growl coming from deep inside. It honestly looked like he was sick. Possessed. Had rabies. Something.
And then our beloved pet attacked. He lunged at Rylan, sinking his teeth into his thighs (through a pair of jeans). Rylan shook him off and Patrick again attacked, jumping and clinging to my son’s shoulder and arm.
And this is the part of not proud of. The panicking part.
My response really surprised me.
See, when I was pregnant with Kadence, a different scary incident happened and my response was very different. I walked into our house and there was an intruder already inside. I casually (and stupidly) kept walking in and calmly told the strange man to “please leave.”
And he did.
I guess I hold up that response in pride because I’m naturally a dramatic and reactive person. So why I was surprised when I completely freaked out at the cat attack is baffling.
By panicking (not short of hysteria), I believe it added to Patrick’s already agitated state and he chased Rylan up and down the stairs. He had two other kids cornered in my bedroom and another on a window seat in the dining room. At this point we are ALL screaming and crying.
I didn’t know what to do. So I grabbed a broom and began defending my defenseless children against our beloved pet. It didn’t deter him.
Eventually I was able to get him into my bedroom and whacked him with enough force to get my kids off the bed, into safety and shut him inside.
Then, I called my mom and dad.
We were all in shock. Rylan was hurt and I was shaking like a leaf wondering what in the world went wrong. My oldest, Kadence, was crying but for a different reason. I had just recently introduced my kids to the classic movie Old Yeller and she was worried Patrick had rabies (and, honestly, he did act a lot like it!). Masen (my youngest) exclaimed through his tears that the only thing to do was to get a gun. He was adamant that he needed to protect us for the obviously sick pet. Bella wanted to call the police … and move to a new house.
Yes, it was that scary.
Matt came home from work and my parents showed up to add some sanity to the insane situation. We doctored Rylan’s wounds and made a doctor’s appointment since he had several cat bites.
Of course, when Matt went in to see the cat, Patrick had calmed down and was completely normal like nothing had happened. Our vet said to watch him closely and that the most-likely problem began several years ago when we “trained” Patrick to play with us and wrestle. The vet said that the cat was probably upset or agitated about something and just took the play too far, which does make sense since the only person he actually attacked was Rylan, his usual wrestling buddy. All the screaming and the broom just escalated the situation. I guess.
I’m not 100 percent convinced.
Just yesterday, Patrick reacted to a loud situation in a “puffed up” way. I calmly looked at him and said “NO!” and he scampered off into another room. He seems to be acting a little skittish. But maybe he is as much traumatized as we are by the whole attack.
The kids have been banned from playing rough with him and when he looks like he is getting into one of those moods they are to get me.
I’ve already had a few people kinda roll their eyes at me when they heard the story, thinking it’s just a dramatized and over-exaggerated story, but it was crazy scary. And I did respond in a crazy way.
As of right now, our plan is to keep our beloved pet, Patrick, and pray that the attack was a fluke.
But if it happens again, he will have to leave.
Have you ever been attacked by a cat? Let’s form a club. Cat-attack survivors unite!
Read some other Patrick Star stories here:
Categories: Animals on the farm
My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.
No, not a cat, but I was attacked by a rabid squirrel when I was six. It lept out of a tree, run up and down me – scratching and biting – and my grandma’s neighbor had to beat the squirrel off of me. The city caught the squirrel, cut its head off, and sent it to Jeff City. The squirrel was confirmed to have rabies and I had to have 16 shots in my belly-button. It was a quite traumatic. I am a little afraid of squirrels to this day. In my hometown of West Plains, the legend has grown. Recently, someone asked me on Facebook about the rabid albino squirrel that attacked me! Ha!!
Wow, Michelle! Now THAT is a story!!!!
We had one turn completely, he was sick and hurting. Something might have happened that morning that hurt him. Maybe someone accidently stepped on him or something. Do you have a dog inside that may have set him off. Ours had no claws either so without claws they bite. He was obviously scared or hurt when he attacked. And your not crazy, things can happen that we don’t know why. It’s so sad when pets get sick or worse. So sorry for Rylan and all!
No, he is the only animal inside. Poor Rylan is still VERY skittish around the cat. He is now off antibiotics but it was a scary ordeal indeed!