June 21, 2006

Cat bite.

A cat bit me! I recommend not trusting cats, even if you know them, even if they sprawl at your feet in the pet-me-please-pet-me posture. They are devious beasts and will lure you into believing that they are not. Go ahead and defend them, cat lovers, but I have the marks on my arm that say you're wrong.

86 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Beats a bat bite.

Shall I mention Ted Nugent? Take care of that bite!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Is the cat going to Gitmo until the war is over?

Boghie said...

My cat just bit me too.

She is the sweetest thing...

Never thought she would do such a thing. But,then again she seems a bit... ... odd ... ... when I was petting her...

Maybe the water...

Ricardo said...

What? No pictures?

Might want to run over to the university health center, just for your peace of mind.

Velobiff said...

I have two Aussie Shepherds that will be glad to drop by and school the cat.....as they school everything else....very wise Aussies, they are both native born. Can they run for president?

Ann Althouse said...

You know it's a serious medical problem when a cat bites you. I called and spoke to a nurse and she was all get over to urgent care within 4 hours. I was repeatedly told that a cat bite is "like an injection" and that the germs in the cat's mouth are truly loathsome. A dog's bite isn't at all as bad. And, I note, a dog isn't at all as devious.

Dave said...

You're a lawyer.

Sue.

It's the American way.

Charlie Eklund said...

Ann,

Please, you can't just leave it at that. The devil of your cat bite is in the details, I expect, So let's have those details.

As a regular, no...as a devoted reader, and as a person who has been owned by a number of cats over the course of the last four decades...I gots to know more! So to speak.

Ann Althouse said...

Ricardo: Do you really want to see pictures of a wound on my arm?!

Ann Althouse said...

Charlie: Maybe tomorrow. Right now, I'm a little fried...

Ann Althouse said...

Dave: What are my damages? A lost evening and $15 copay on an anti-biotics prescription? An almost imperceptible shot in the arm? The shock of the bite itself, which has destroyed my whole sense of trust in animals so that I can never know the pleasures of pet ownership?

Note: The cat's owners are lawyers.

Charlie Eklund said...

Lawyers?

Some might say "heh".

Boghie said...

Was it the InstaCat???

Doesn't he cat blog every once in a while...

You ain't no real blogger till you cat blog - AND WE WANT PICTURES!!!

Yuk, yuk...

I used to link to Political Fred. He always cat blogged when things got slow...

Joan said...

Never, ever attempt to pat a cat that is lying on its back, acting submissive and in way that, in a dog, would mean, "Please rub my tummy."

What that posture means in cat is: C'mon, sucker, I'm doing my best helpless and cuddly act because I want to rip you to shreds.

Sorry you had to learn it the hard way, Ann.

ps
I love cats and owned one for nearly a dozen years, and fully expect to get another one eventually. But they always retain that wide streak of the crazy unpredictability of an uber-carnivore.

pps
I've been bitten and scratched by cats more times than I can count, and have never even thought about going to the doctor's about it. I watched the wounds for signs of infection, of course, but after giving them a thorough wash and a dab of antibiotic ointment, I never gave them any more thought than I did any other wound. Somehow, I've survived. I don't doubt your healthcare practitioners were sincere, but they may be just a tad over-zealous.

John Jenkins said...

There's no liability anyway unless the cat's owners knew of the animal's vicious propensity. Heck, maybe the cat just wanted some potato.

The Drill SGT said...

What boghie means is, screw the arm, we want pictures of the cute assailant. :)

j/k

Pogo said...

For obvious reasons, I think it is harder for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a cat to get to heaven.

Mark the Pundit said...

Impossible! Lewis the Cat is confined to his home!

Ricardo said...

"Do you really want to see pictures of a wound on my arm?!"

Well, my first thought was some pictures of the snarling feline face, with rabid drool coming down its cheeks. But sure, the arm would be nice. Remember, this is a society where "everything" is a spectator sport.

Even though I don't have a cat now, I have in the past, and have a bunch of books on cat psychology. They're anxiety-ridden creatures, and will strike out because of their inner turmoils. So don't take it too personally. But DO have the wound cared for professionally.

Mark the Pundit said...

Of course, it could be a cat belonging to a top liberal blogger that is avenging Kos for writing about him earler!

Wickedpinto said...

I'm not a cat guy, I think they are cute, and I (unlike many dog people) do not take joy in the loss of a cat's life. They are pets, lousy pets, but still pets, that deserve our love and care, in the same ways as dogs (I believe it was either you, or your son who said "a dog reflects the love of the owner, but don't forget he will eat your face if he's hungry?" or something like that?)

What I hate about cats? EVERYTIME I rack out at a friends place (common) who has cats, the cat's HATE ME! Hate me, hiss at me, ignore me, when they aren't hissing, and completely treat every act of kindness I offer them as though I was throwing my own poo at them, but as soon as I fall asleep? THEY ALL pile up on my unconscious body, and start to be playful with eachother jumping, and scratching,and doing everything in their power to keep me away.

If they aren't being playful? They sleep on my face. If I'm laying on my side, or stomach, One sleeps on my exposed cheek, digging it's claws into my hair, while the other lays with it's belly in my face, patting me with it's paws, whenever it has a bad dream.

I don't hate cats? But I KNOW! I KNOW! cats hate me.

SteveR said...

I am vulnerable these days, we lost our young family cat a few weeks ago, probably to an owl or a hyena. A marvelous and fun pet. I understand the disdain some people feel for cats, especially when they attack for no reason. I've always prided myself at conquering them, like horses they can sense your feelings.

I have scars on my hand that go back 40 plus years

DRJ said...

Well, I guess that proves it.

Dogs rule,
Cats drool ...

and bite.

Boghie said...

Mike Malloy (Moonbat Err America Host) wrapped his brain around this after 'solving' the 9/11 conspiracy...

This cat bit Ann because she wasn't following Roves talking points as received through:

Instapundit
Wretchard
C.S. Scott
Johnson
Capt Ed
Hewitt
Roggio
VDH
and the boys at PowerLine

Read your emai, dang it... Rove is calling. The cat is biting...

DRJ said...

PS - Stever: I'm sorry about your cat. That's a sad way to lose a pet.

Marghlar said...

My wife had to have hand surgery and intravenous antibiotics for three weeks when our very sweet, slightly retarded cat, bit her while it was trying to kill a dog that my sister-and-law had brought into the house.

Cat went for dog, wife tried to intervene, and cat, in a frenzy, bit all the way into her tendon sheath. Three day hospital stay + three weeks of giving her IVs. Not a pretty picture.

But we still like the cat, who didn't know what he was doing and is always very sweet with people when not terrified for his life.

howzerdo said...

I am thinking of my mother (big, big animal advocate - even more so than I am, if that is possible). Whenever one of our dogs snapped, or a cat scratched, or a horse kicked, it was always the person's fault. She would inspect the wound, frown and say, "now what did you do to provoke him/her?" And upon hearing the answer, her response: "well, now you know better than to do that again!"

Sanjay said...

Get over it. My wife's cat bites me every four hours. I am assured it loves me.

Palladian said...

Allow me to repost a comment I made here some months back, on a post about a moggie that was trapped in a wall and- unfortunately- rescued:

Cat crawling inside a wall? This confirms my theory that cats are basically just big, fuzzy, whiskery roaches. If they looked more like roaches, and acted as they do, you would step on them.

They can also help spread bird flu to humans, turn you into a slut or a smoldering malcontent, cause schizophrenia, go on destructive rampages... In fact, after you read the laundry list of diseases that the purring vermin can spread, you'll toss them right out the window.

And let me add to this: cats are not smart or devious. Their standoffish nature, which people often mistake as a sign of intelligence, is merely a sign of their abject stupidity. They react to stimuli, not unlike a bacteria (or a roach) does, and little else.

verification code: gxgcwro, the sound a rabid cat makes when you smother it with a pillow.

Aakash said...

I've long preferred dogs anyway.

Even if they don't bite, cats are known to scratch.

Wickedpinto said...

Man, ALL of the friends I grew up with are cat people. I just realized that, even though all but one was a child with a dog, and the ONLY one with a "cool cat" ie. a cat who acted like a dog, was the one who was raised with cats. . . . .

An odd irony I think, now that I think about it.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Ann, cats are good!

Cats are small and weak compared to humans. If a cat really attacked a human - imagine a rabid cat in a room with a human and the human had nowhere to run - the human would kill the cat pretty easily.

Cats are weird. But they are cute, and clean for an animal, and occasionally affectionate. And they kill rats.

But dogs are better.

Maxine Weiss said...

They are just love bites. They bite you when they like you. It's their way of "branding" you and marking you as their territory.

You aren't seriously thinking of suing the owner, now, are you?

Peace, Maxine

ginabina said...

I'm glad you sought medical attention, Ann. My neighbor's kitten got its leg smashed between two window panes and, in the process of helping her free the poor thing, I was bitten. BADLY.

I seriously shock symptoms (clammy, lightheadedness) and spent the day telling myself to get over it. By evening I realized I needed to get to the ER and the staff indeed confirmed that you don't mess with a cat bite. Their fangs are like little puncture pins of deadly bacteria.

Oh and it hurt like hell, too!

After the incident I ran into all kinds of people who had serious cat bite stories, many involving extended hospital stays.

I was woozy and not myself for a couple of weeks afterward.

Hope you feel better soon!

Eli Blake said...

palladian:

Step on cats? Smother them with pillows? Some people are ahead of you there;

Some Wisconsin residents (I'm sure that Ann and the rest of them on here remember that) actually considered legalizing and issuing hunting licenses for stray cats a couple of years ago.

Imagine if they had. Just think of the hunting stories you could tell your friends as you proudly stood in front of your stuffed cat, standing on its hind legs and posed to show its fangs and claws out:

"Yeah, Caleb, there ah wuz. All alone in the woods, an' suddenly ah wuz staring straight into the eyes of a viscious predator, jess a few feet away from me. We both knew that it wuz him or me, that only one of us was goin' to walk out o' there alive. He was sizin' me up, preparin' to leap when ah drew a bead on him with muh rifle. Ah knew ah had to make mah shot count, cuz Ah'd only get one chance. He leapt straight at me, with his razor sharp claws all th' way out an' his mouth wide open, an' a look of crazed hate burnin' in his eyes, with the loudest 'mew' yuv' ever heard. Jess as he was midair with those claws an' those fangs headed straight fer muh throat, ah fired. Luckily, it was a perfect shot, raht thru th' heart, an' he fell dead right at mah feet. Another six inches and ah'd uv been a goner, fer sure."

Wickedpinto said...

Nucleo, about the whole "cats are small and weak" thing.

I'm not affraid of anything dumber than me. I won't ACT on an animal that I don't understand in some way, but I remember DISTICTlY, when a friend of mine, we called him KJ, was terrified of horses, and all of us, his fellow platoon members, though every one of us was of lesser rank, and I told him "I'm not affraid of a creature dumber than I" "than I" he said, I said "I think" laughing.

Well, it turned out that there was a bull that needed prep for a rodeo, and needed to have his sack strapped.

I held the nose, the bull snorted, and I just hit the bitch in the face, then he raised his horns, then I grabbed his throat, and the bull calmed.

No crap. Dumb animals almost all act on the same basic rules. The bull might have been able to gore me, but I could have killed it as I was being gored, and animals know that. Humans don't.

John in Nashville said...

Maybe the cat hadn't read your vaunted archives and was not overly impressed with your recent Bushophile stuff.

hokuto said...

"like an injection"...

I have a tiny kitten, 3-4 months old and i get new claw and bite marks every day. I thought they are safe as long as they are vaccinated. Should I be worried?

Eli Blake said...

I could have killed it as I was being gored, and animals know that.

Except pit bull terriers.

In fact, it makes good sense to be scared or at least have a healthy level of respect for bulls, large dogs, rattlesnakes, or even hornets, animals that actually could hurt you. What doesn't make sense to me is this:

What I've noticed though is how many people (especially females) are scared to death of animals that are absolutely no threat at all to them, and that for that matter they could kill in an instant if they really did feel the need to get rid of it. Spiders are at the top of that list, although cockroaches and mice are on it too. I've seen a 200 pound woman scramble up a countertop and refuse to leave until somebody (a male, of course) has managed to get rid of a three ounce mouse, that if the truth be known, she could probably dispatch in an instant with no harm or possibility of harm to herself (especially in a kitchen full of stuff), but instead it was almost comical to watch. I'm not saying that all women are like that (I've also seen a woman finish off a mouse that had survived the mousetrap in fact), but some are, and running away from a bug or a mouse just doesn't make any sense at all to me.

Scott Wickstein said...

Look.

It's a cat. Not a snake, or a tiger, or an alligator.

Sheesh, sometimes Professor Althouse is SUCH a girlie blogger.

miked0268 said...

Yeah well, growing up we always had two or three cats hanging around. I was never a cat fanatic but I always kind of liked them. They are certainly not "real" pets like dogs, but they are clean and alot lower maintenance than dogs, so I always figured it was a break-even.

UNTIL, I married my severely allergic wife and we bought a house. Now after living a few years in a catless house I've learned that you wind up with a host of critters running around that don't belong there, and you have to make use of an exterminator. Growing up I thought the whole mouse in the house thing was a myth. NOT!

So, I can see why most prefer dogs but cats are definitely useful pets.

It's best to get kittens that have been with their mother until 6 months old or so, preferably from a farm or someplace like that, so they will be well trained hunters. They will happily feast upon any vermin unfortunate enough to make it into your house, including even bugs. Just be reasonable feeding them so they don't get really fat.

Ann Althouse said...

John of Nashville: Ironically, your comment only makes sense to someone familiar with the archives.

Eli: Why is your hunter a Southerner? Do you think people talk like that in Wisconsin? Souther = generic rube, eh?

Goesh said...

Good grief! Now you know why I wanted your son to post his cat picture. I'm sorry you got bit by one of the beasts, but they are not the cuddly, cute damn things so many purport them to be. they are predators and wouldn't give a human the time of day. I vividly recall alluding to 'chris's cat' possibly being on its way to tangle with a sewer rat or even to chew on a ghetto baby. I was right.

Bruce Hayden said...

For those who are, like me, not enamored with cats, you might want to try: 101 Uses for a Dead Cat, and if you are, then maybe: Cat's Revenge: More Than 101 Uses for Dead People.

I seem to be the only one in my family ambivalent about cats. I don't really hate them, but don't really like them either. But then, while I like dogs more, I have never been willing to give them much slack either. The only animals that I do give slack to are horses - and they don't fit a lot of places where I have lived over the years.

So, my solution to being bit by a cat is cat football. Ditto for small dogs. Large dogs (too large to play ball with) get a call to the authorities. But horses? Just testing to see who is boss. You expect it, and they expect to be disciplined for it.

Finally, as to hunting cats, the only realistic way to do it doesn't leave enough to mount. Yes, it is more sporting to use a light caliber (.22) solid shot weapon. But cats move fast enough that you often miss. Much better to make sure you get them on the first shot.

So, my suggestion is a shotgun. More humane and probably less likely to have stray bullets or shot whizzing around the neighborhood. Since I am not into "sporting", I would probably use my 12 guage with interchangable barrels...

Ann Althouse said...

Southerner... I mean.

Note: If I'd been afraid of the cat, I wouldn't have petted it. Analyze the facts accurately. (Non-girliness provided.)

Meade said...

Ann, how about an update? Prognosis? Is the cat being observed for signs of rabies? Antibiotics? Your fans need to know.

amba said...

I'm with Joanne: I've had many cats, have occasionally been bitten, and have never taken an antibiotic or gotten an infection. Maybe it depends on your immune system. (When cats bite each other, then it's a serious matter: they get abscesses. Why humans usually don't is a mystery.) I've heard the reverse urban legend about cat saliva, that it has antiseptic qualities. But one thing it definitely does have is an immediate inflammatory effect, which may be why people get so alarmed about cat bites: they turn red, swollen, painful and hot for the first 24 hours or so, but this is a temporary inflammation, not an infection. It goes away by itself.

amba said...

P.S. My brother says "Some people anthropomorphize their pets; you and J. felinomorphize yourselves." I've been known to hiss at my cats and, when they bite me in a non-serious, irritable, "Put me down!" way, to bite them back.

SteveR said...

Gee, I looked at my comment from last night, I said hyena duh try coyote. Some people we know had a small poodle, playing in the back yard while they were sitting outside enjoying the evening. A coyote jumped the fence nabbed the dog and jumped back and ran off. Less than ten seconds.

Melinda said...

Three years ago I was rescuing our cat, Chico, from accidentally almost hanging himself (looong story...this cat is Evel Kneivel) and in a panic, he sank one of his fangs right through my thumb. My husband was out and when he came in, I greeted him with, "Okay, first of all, Chico is all right and I can explain the thumb."

I was ready to go to sleep even though my thumb was swelling like in a cartoon. My husband thought I should get it looked at. We phoned a nurse friend of my sister-in-law and he said, "The cat walks around in the litter box and then licks his paws. My question is, how much cat sh*t do you want in your bloodstream?"

We went to the emergency room at St. Vincent's, and the staff reacted as though my hand were on fire and I was the arsonist.

"But he's normally a very nice cat," I explained.

Long story short, yes, it was infected, and I had to get an antibiotic drip, pills, and then come back a couple of days later (when my thumb looked like a giant zit ready to pop)and have it cut open and drained and get another antibiotic drip. But a couple of days after that, it was absolutely fine, not a mark on it.

So maybe my immune system is strong, since a serious puncture wound confined itself to my thumb and healed quickly. And afterwards, we found even more inventive ways to Chico-proof the house.

Dawn said...

I've been bitten and scratched by cats more times than I can count, and have never even thought about going to the doctor's about it. I watched the wounds for signs of infection, of course, but after giving them a thorough wash and a dab of antibiotic ointment, I never gave them any more thought than I did any other wound. Somehow, I've survived. I don't doubt your healthcare practitioners were sincere, but they may be just a tad over-zealous.


As a nurse, I can attest to the fact that cat bites are nothing to brush aside - as Melinda posted above, her catbite manifested itself into a serious bacterial infection. My friend Heidi's fiancee was bitten by their cat, and ignored her pleas (she's also a nurse) to go to Urgent Care to get it looked at and have a course of antibiotics started. The result? Two days later, he manifested signs of a blood infection, and nearly lost the hand that had been bitten - all because he refused to have it looked at. Cat bites are chockfull of bacteria, and are nothing to ignore.

So that is why the staff were acting '...a tad bit over-zealous' - they wanted to help you prevent this from becoming a potentially life-threatening situation.

Okay, I'm stepping off my nurse soapbox now. Ann, I'm glad you went to get looked at, and hope you are feeling better!

Ann Althouse said...

Amba: "...they turn red, swollen, painful and hot for the first 24 hours or so, but this is a temporary inflammation, not an infection. It goes away by itself."

Look at what Bunker and others said.

I wasn't eager to get treatment, but I called and talked to a nurse to find out if I needed to do anything and she was clear that I did. She said I should come in within four hours. I went right over. The doctor was absolutely clear about the danger of serious infection and prescribed a strong antibiotic, which I have to take for 5 days. I also was given a tetanus shot.

The cat had the proper rabies vaccinations, so I'm not worried about that.

The details of the incident are pretty boring. I was outside, talking to my son on the phone, and my next door neighbors' cat walked up and started rolling around at my feet, acting like it really wanted to be petted. I had been petting it for a while, and it had been acting like it loved being petted, when it suddenly sprang around and scratched and bit me.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I think this explains why your house hasn't sold yet.

Two neighbors, both lawyers, with a cat that bites.

Cat said...

Ann - you made a non-cat whisperer mistake. I don't know how long you were petting the cat, but cat's have this thing that even though they are LOVING the petting, the get very wound up with the petting and then turn on you suddenly when it goes from pleasure to pain. You just have to watch their body language. If they become stiff and their tail begins to lash - LOOK OUT! You went from being friend to foe in a few strokes.

They are predators and 100% carnivores. Everything that moves is seen as possible threat/prey. Especially when they are young (one they get old they really mellow out). They really are not domesticated animals and pets like dogs.

rafinlay said...

On the comparison of dogs and cats, I was most impressed by someone's comment some time ago that nobody REALLY prefers cats to dogs, as evidenced by the fact that we don't see pet cats as large as a St Bernard or Irish Wolfhound and, if we did, we would panic/run/shoot/die....

RogerA said...

Steve: sorry about the loss of your pet cat--but possibly a hynea? Wow! were do you live?

RogerA said...

oops--hyena

Anthony said...

They do that sometimes. You always have to watch carefully and be ready to whip your hand away.

But you know, all that rolling around isn't necessarily a "pet me" thing, it's their way of showing deference to a stronger, larger creature. They do this with other cats as well. But if you invade their personal space, they'll give you a warning like that. "I realize you're bigger than me, but don't push it."

P. Froward said...

Sometimes cats do that if they don't know you well. You probably crossed a red line you couldn't have known about.

They tend to be a bit paranoid, too: You're at least ten times their size, and (by their standards) alarmingly clumsy. Imagine yourself dealing with an over-familiar elephant. If a cat knows you well and likes you he'll always telegraph his intentions, but you can't go taking liberties with strange cats. They're not dogs. They'll accept you as an equal if you behave yourself.

It's usually just a scratch, though, unless the cat was abused at some point early in life, or is injured or Siamese.

I've been bitten in a serious way by cats a few times and ended up with a staph aureus infection every single time. By "serious" I mean deep bites, into the muscle; one nicked the bone. Those are the ones you need to see a doctor about. It's no joke. A surface scratch is no big deal, and the claws can't do real damage. It's the fangs that they kill prey with.

"Trust" shouldn't be an issue. They're violent and self-sufficient little beasts by nature, so they have clear protocols for interacting safely with each other. If you learn those and follow them, you won't be surprised much. It's like driving in the snow: It only seems nondeterministic until you learn the rules. Then it's fun.

P. Froward said...

P.S.

There are legitimate and troubling questions about just why a sensible adult would bother learning to mimic the social signals of small animals that eat rodents for a living.

I don't have answers to those questions; "if you have to ask..."

PatCA said...

I was going to say that the ER nurse sounded a bit caninonormative, but now I've read the rest and...ye gods, I'm calling the doctor! I've been scratched myself a few times. Bitten, maybe twice.

My sister was hospitalized years ago with a cat infection but she was sickly so I discounted the diagnosis.

Steven "A coyote jumped the fence nabbed the dog and jumped back and ran off." Happens all the time now in California. When I asked the Fish and Game rep why wild animals were protected yet our pets were not, she had no answer.

SteveR said...

RogerA yeah I caught myself, coyote actually.

I always like George Carlin's description or the differnce between cats and dogs. Dogs have eyebrows (or things that act like eyebrows), and thus show facial emotions, while cats just have these whiskers sticking out. When you come back, no matter if its two minutes or two days, a dog will act like it was never going to see you again, a cat won't even wake up.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, my regular doctor's nurse just called me up to make sure I had the medication and to stress the importance of keeping taking it. In the conversation, she told of treating someone for a cat bite and informing her that you could die from it, and the patient said "My sister died from a cat bite."

The nurse also said that cats had the third dirtiest bites (because they lick "everything"). What two animals have bites that are dirtier? (Answer later.)

howzerdo said...

Eli: I have never been afraid of spiders, mice or snakes, but in 1984 I was bitten by a brown recluse spider. Long story, but suffice to say that I got very, very sick, and only recovered because I was lucky to find a smart general practioner who knew what was wrong (the emergency room at the hospital didn't). So now I think it is wise to add some spiders into the category of creatures that could actually hurt you.

Bissage said...

You know, Ann, not to alarm you or anything. But the risk of infection may not be your greatest concern.

HaloJonesFan said...

SteveR: Hehe, yeah. Cats don't have eyebrows, they just have a bunch of shit sticking up!

Also, as he said, the only time that dogs really understand is "forever". That's why they get so excited when you go away--because, to them, you're going to go away forever. And when you come back, you've been gone forever.

Joan said...

I'm glad you got treated, Ann.

The thing is, I don't think every cat bite or scratch needs intravenous anti-biotics. If it's a deep bite that breaks all the layers of skin, then it probably needs attention. In my experience, very few bites are that deep.

My worst cat-induced injury happened when my geriatric cat fell off my lap. I was sitting cross-legged on the couch, and she was sitting on my lap. She got up to move, overbalanced, and fell off the couch -- but not before trying to hold on, with her claws, to me. Since I was wearing shorts at the time, it was not pretty. But I didn't get medical attention for those huge gashes because they were open, not puncture wounds. A deep puncture wound should always be treated seriously.

Amba: being able to hiss back at your cat is a useful skill. I never bit mine, though. But we often squinted (a squint is a smile to a cat) at each other, back in the day.

Palladian said...

I know the answer, Ann! The other two animals are humans and Komodo dragons, who have adapted a unique method of dispatching prey:

"Komodo dragons have not traditionally been considered venomous, but the serrations along their teeth are an ideal niche for over 50 strains of bacteria. If the initial bite does not kill the prey, and it escapes, the deadly infections caused by the bacteria living in the dragon's teeth kill the prey within a week. Then the Komodo dragon descends upon its victim, tracking by smell to feed upon its dead flesh."

Al Maviva said...

Cat Bites.... Hmmmm... Not shocking. Not shocking at all.

http://hitlercats.motime.com/

Meade said...

"What two animals have bites that are dirtier? (Answer later.)"

1. Humans
2. probably some other primate

Anthony said...

The Komodo dragon takes the prize for worst bite.

Ann Althouse said...

Meade's right. But maybe the nurse wasn't aware of that disgusting komodo dragon! It's humans, followed by monkeys, followed by cats.

And that "hitlercats" link: I haven't laughed that much in a long time. I had a cat like that once. I'll have to dig out the old pictures. Never though of it as looking like Hitler though. The cat's behavior was awful.

Anthony said...

Some movie star guy got bit by a Komodo dragon a couple years ago. He had a special showing in a zoo where they let them in the cage or whatever with it.

So really, you getting bit by a lowly domesticated Felid is hardly whine-worthy. . . . .

Anthony said...

[Edit] It was Phil Bronstein, Sharon Stone's husband

Some might say. . . .no. . . .I won't go there.

Sigivald said...

They're vicious little fuzzy, predatory death-machines.

But I like them anyway. Perhaps even because of it.

Laurence said...

This can only mean one thing...

Time to give treats to all my cats.

Sissy Willis said...

Trust but verify:

The dark corners of the medieval imagination

Internet Ronin said...

All of this reminds me that, until late last year, I thought "cat scratch fever" was just something a songwriter came up with. Then the one of my boys (who easily becomes over-excited and scratches when he just wants to play) scratched me and I got it. First time I ever got sick from such a thing in 20 years of serving as staff to resident cats. It was not pleasant. I agree that you did the right thing, Ann.

Word verification: dggre
--- How would a dog take the GRE?

Medopine said...

OMG! My cat is semi-hitler-ish. He is orange and white, and has a faded orange bit under his nose. Hilarious.

To the person that said a cat won't even wake up when you come home - my cat greets me every morning and is waiting by the door when I get home. I assume he jumps down off his nap chair when he hears the keys in the doors.

amba said...

I haven't gotten to the answer yet, but one of the two animals whose bite is dirtier than a cat's is a human.

Reading all these horror stories about people who got seriously ill from cat bites, I guess I must be lucky, or have a killer immune system. (Or maybe it was mind over matter: my belief that Cats Are Good made me impervious to infection. Maybe the dread that you will get an infection makes it more likely. Gotta ask a neuroimmunlogist.) If I do have a strong immune system (and I do), it's probably because my non-bacteriophobic mom let me play in the flooded gutters after thunderstorms and let the dog lick my face, according to the "hygiene hypothesis" cited at Sisu.

amba said...

Palladian:

And let me add to this: cats are not smart or devious. Their standoffish nature, which people often mistake as a sign of intelligence, is merely a sign of their abject stupidity. They react to stimuli, not unlike a bacteria (or a roach) does, and little else.

In fact, cats vary widely in intelligence. Some of them are very smart, and some of them are very stupid. You can tell.

amba said...

johnny nucleo -

Cats are small and weak compared to humans.

Here's a comment I wrote on Sisu:

I've often contemplated what happened to Roy, of Siegfried and Roy (whatever it was that happened: the tiger Mantecore's motivation was not clear) and thanked my lucky stars that my cats are not the size of a tiger. They might do me in in a moment of irritability, one that a fellow tiger's hide could withstand but a human's thin skin could not. (Was Mantecore trying to drag Roy away by a nonexistent "scruff"?) As it is, my size acts as an "equalizer" to their undeniable superiority. The other advantage I have in dealing with them is fearlessness. I've been bitten, I've been scratched, I have a high pain threshold, so big deal, bring it on. This means that when a cat has a fit of pique or panic, I can dial it down and get very, very calm, and they usually take a cue from that. If not, I just bite them back. It's very satisfying to de- I mean ascend to their level, even if the price is a mouthful of fur.

amba said...

eli blake:

If women are afraid of spiders, bugs, and mice (I'm not, mostly, except that swarms of anything, like roaches or maggots, give me the creeps), men are afraid of snakes. No?

And if so, why? Zey are symbolss of the Vater-Phallus, says Dr. Fraud.

amba said...

Hitler cats: Unbelievable that there's a website devoted to this. We have one (as you can see), who also, coincidentally or not, is nuts. We call him Adolf sometimes.

hokuto said...

I prefer cats to dogs. Living in a crowded city we have small apartments without gardens, and cat poop are handled much more easily than dogs. A month old and she already knows she should use the toilet, *my* toilet. That was before I got here cat litter.

canucme2039 said...

First, I would like to say that I am an animal love to all extents. I prefer some more than others; with cats being my favorite. I am in the Vet Tech program at my College, I volunteer at the local humane society, and I foster kittens. I have been bitten quite a few times by cats, and clearly you have no remote idea how to judge cat's behaviors. All cats think they are superior to humans- therefore they think you are at there beck and call, and they are allowed to punish you if you do something wrong. It's sad that you have completely sworn against cats- you really should have just said, "well I did something he didn't like so I deserved it." That's how it is in the animal world. Learn it, Live it, Love it! And since when is a cat bite worth posting a blog over? Whiner.