I knew I was not going to get through this feline blending without getting bitten; the question was merely by whom. Torvald drew the straw, after a mostly peaceable bit of parallel dining during which he finished first (he is a speed eater) and then began to approach Mr. Ferguson. Fergie is surprisingly annoyed about Torvald, considering how he let Nickel Catmium the Insane Bengal chase him around the house; gender thing, maybe, or just a matter of character. The whole thing turned into a Large Catron Supercollider before I knew what was happening, and like an idiot, with a squirt bottle of water in my hand, I grabbed Torvald and he chomped me.
Not deeply, not like the late great Apricat, who when he bit went gum deep and for the bone. Still, I wasn’t going to be casual about it, and after hitting it with scalding running water, salt, peroxide, iodine, myrrh, Thieves’ Oil and Neosporin, I broke out the well aged bottle of Tetracycline — it was prescribed in 2005 for a breast infection that got better on its own, but that’s another story — and sank a loading dose, hoping that what you read is true and that drugs stored in correctly dry and dark conditions don’t punk out the way the labels say.
The back of my hand has a touch of rubor, calor, tumor, dolor, as the medical texts define inflammation, just enough to blur the usual harsh relief map of veins and tendons into the semblance of a regular person’s hand, really. Poulticing it with salt and a tea bag seems salubrious. I will check in with a walk-in clinic if I must, but I really would have to be convinced I was in danger of necrotizing fasciitis or the like to deal with motherfucking doctors. My blood pressure always shoots through the roof in doctors’ offices, owing to how they have been managing to mostly treat me like a political prisoner in a police state since I was four; they don’t like people who ask difficult questions, know things that only they like to think they know, and pose problems they can’t glibly solve. I have an internist for seriously tough spots, who has distinguished himself by bucking the conventions that say “bludgeon people to death with invasive diagnostic tests and never let them out of the medical combine’s clutches once they pass fifty.” But it would probably take a week to get in there. I seriously bar walking into another urgent-care place and having some dork with a still-drying medical degree lose sight of the reason I came in to bullyrag me about my blood pressure. They don’t believe me when I explain that the pressure goes with a heart rate ticking at about double its usual coasting sixty-per-minute because I am here standing in front of you, sir or madam. It happens every goddam time.
The first time Apricat bit me, I didn’t realize what I was dealing with and ended up needing — as it happened — Tetracycline, but things got better pretty much as soon as I went back to work and starting hosing some circulation through the scene of the crime. This morning’s workout suggested this situation would play out about the same way. I mean God gave us macrophages for a reason.
Meanwhile, every cat in the house is swanning adorably and filling me with wonder at the perfection of the feline being. How can I hold it against them?