jump to navigation

The Walking Wounded August 19, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Family, Home, random stuff, Stupor Kitty.

Sunday I decided that it was time for Stupor Kitty to re-join the land of the living. She’s been holed up in the basement for over 4 months now, and, let’s face it, she’s getting a little strange. 😦 She’s starting to remind me of Mr. Rochester’s mad wife. . . only in the basement rather than the attic.

The longer she’s down there, the worse it’s going to get. Obviously. She won’t come up on her own, and she’s not cleaning herself properly (again) and now she’s been, uh, leaving surprises on the floor. This has Got To Stop. 😦 So I carefully picked her up and brought her upstairs and oh-so-quietly walked into the living room, all the while shielding her from view safely in my arms.

Unfortunately, the Big Lug noticed. It may have been his keen sense of smell. Perhaps it was my unnatural walk across the room. Or maybe, just maybe, the subtle growling-snarling-hissing that was coming from the general vicinity of, well, me, was kind of like a beacon to the excitable boy. 🙄

Did you ever really, really piss off a psychotic cat? Well, it turns out that they don’t like being barked at and jumped at and slobbered on and, well, held. I don’t recommend that. Not at all. 🙄


I do accept full responsibility, though. I brought her upstairs, and I, while trying to make her feel safe, apparently made her feel confined. She eventually dashed upstairs to the bedroom, where she was safe from marauding puppy dogs.



And there she stayed until Peeps took Jarly out for an extended before-bed walk-and-pee, and I was able to coax her back downstairs with a treat. . . back to the safety of her nasty dungeon. I’d so hoped we’d have made a bit more progress by now. 😥

However, that’s a problem for another day, I fear.

Today was for dealing with the immediate problem – that would be the entire mouthful of kitty teethmarks in my forearm. 😯


We cleaned the wound thoroughly, and, since it was Sunday, we decided that the best course of action would be to, rather than go to the emergency room for my past-due tetanus shot (you know, once you’re past about 30, you really don’t tend to get hurt as often as you used to, and, therefore, don’t worry so much about things like tetanus shots, do you?), anyway, I would call my doctor first thing in the morning, have them sneak me in at some point during the day.

I swear, the Plan of the Health Care System is to break the patient. Reduce her to the point of tears THEN she’ll do whatever you want.

Yes, doctor, I’ll sign the consent. Go ahead and cover me with leeches and dance naked around me. Just please – please in the name of all that’s holy – please let me go home soon!

A brief summary of the Health Care System From Hell.

8:30 am. Doctor’s office opens. I place call. I’m placed on electronic-hold for approximately 10 minutes before a real live person picks up. (All of our representatives are busy. Your call is important to us. Blah-dy Blah-dy Blah.)

Basically, I just need an appointment sometime today to come in and get a quick tetanus shot because I was bitten by my cat.

“Date of birth?”

I told her. Along with my name, in case she was interested.

She wasn’t.

“When was your last tetanus shot?”

It’s been well over ten years. In fact, I’m not even sure I remember exactly when it was, which is exactly what I told her. I’m past due for one.

“I’ll have to (get this) go look at your file and have a nurse call you back.”

OK. You will look at my file, and you’ll see that in the well-over-ten-years I’ve been a patient here, I have not had a tetanus shot, and you’ll have a nurse call to set up an appointment? Well, all righty.

9:00 am. So I waited.

9:30 a.m. And waited.

10:30 am. And waited some more.

11:00 am. Don’t get me wrong. I was working, so it’s not like I was sitting there watching the phone not ring. But still.

11:30 am. I didn’t dare even step out for a few minutes for fear I’d miss the call. Do you have any idea how much coffee and water I drink in the mornings? And we all know what drinking a pot of coffee and several glasses of water in the space of about 4 hours does.


I called them back. Less than happy. And sore.

I explained (again) my situation and added that I’d called several hours previously, was still waiting for the return call, and, if I needed to take time from work, I needed to know.

She put me on hold again.

11:40 am. Then came back and told me that they didn’t have an available appointment and I’ve have to “go to ‘After Hours.'”

Huh? After Hours? What is this and how does it work?

And why was it such a big secret 3 hours ago – the first time I’d called?

You’ll need to go there and they’re going to have to give you an antibiotic.

An antibiotic? Don’t they do tetanus shots anymore? 😯

“They’ll take care of it at After Hours.”

OK, I guess we’re going to have to back up. I am not familiar with this “After Hours” of which you speak. Where is it? Do I need an appointment? Do I just walk in? Come on, lady, give me something to work with. I’ve been sitting here for 3 hours with a sore arm and a full bladder waiting for you to call me back. Just try to work with me, will you?

She gave me the phone number to find out for myself. And she was done with me. Nice. 🙄

11:50 am. I phoned After Hours while simultaneously looking up the service online. So it seems that they’re basically a 7-day-a-week emergency back-up doctor’s office – but not the Emergency Room. If I’d KNOWN about this, I would have just gone there when The Incident happened on Sunday afternoon. 🙄 It’s great to know there’s such a valuable service available in the area, isn’t it? Too bad they didn’t actually ever bother to tell anyone. . .

12:05 pm. Still on electronic hold. But it turns out, after you’ve been holding for 10 minutes, your call goes from just being “important” to them to being “very important” to them. Huh.

12:10 pm. Eureka! A live person! I explained the situation, gave her my date of birth, assured her that, yes, it was my cat, and yes, the cat is, in fact, up to date on rabies shots, and no, I have not had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years. Or 5 years. Or any time in recent memory. NOW can I get a shot? Yeah, it sounds kind of crazy put like that, doesn’t it? Kinda wondering if Stupor Kitty’s Feline Psychotic Vampirism was contagious, aren’t you?

So they’ve got an available appointment at 1:45. Do I want it? Normally, I’d say, well, do you have anything a little later, since I have to leave work early, and yadda yadda yadda. Not today. Heck no. You’ve got an appointment for me – GREAT! I am SO THERE. And as it happens, this office is literally on my way home from the office anyway – you can practically see it from the highway – just exit, turn once, and you’re there. So, regular doctor’s office, HA! No having to drive way the freak out to North Greece today. 🙂

PLUS getting out of work early. On a Monday. Yay!

1:45 pm. I’m there. Shifting hurts. My arm is red and sore. The place is quiet (maybe because no one knows about it?), and I check in, and within 5 minutes, I’m taken into an exam room. Wow. If only I’d known. . .

They gave me an “extern.” At the time, I assumed it was like an “intern” – maybe someone on loan from another facility? Well, it appears that a medical extern is a medical student. And, apparently, a really new one. 🙄

So after new chick takes my blood pressure, and we figure out what medications I’m on (all two of them) (she wasn’t really familiar with them), then the real nurse came in and, uh, clarified matters. . .she also took Stupor Kitty’s information – I sure hope the Health Department doesn’t come knocking on our door. . . 😦

Then along comes the doctor. Or at least I think he was the doctor. He acted like one. Evidently, cat bites are a problem. They tend to get infected (nasty redness and soreness of my arm, I’m guessing). And do I remember when my last tetanus shot was? I’m gonna need an antibiotic.

OK. Fine.

Problem. The most common antibiotic in this situation is amoxicillan. And the last time I used that, it made me itch. A lot. In my girly-parts. 😳 So we’re not prescribing that anymore, thankyouverymuch.

Now we evidently have a problem. The doctor is convinced that, because my arm is already red and swollen and sore, I need to have antibiotics intravenously. Fine. Bring it.

Not so much. He’s not equipped “here” to shoot me up with anything but amoxicillan-the-itchy-drug. I’m going to have to go to the emergency room.

W.T.F? 😯

You can’t prescribe something?

Not so much.

Yeah. I can either go to General which is right there or up to Park Ridge, which is closer to home. OK. Park Ridge it is.

Then the nurse came back and gave me the tetanus shot, anyway.

2:30 pm. North Greece, here I come.


3.00 pm. I’ve called and explained the situation to Peeps, I’m hoping to be home by 4-ish (based on our prior experience with Park Ridge ED) and I’m in the actual Emergency Room.

Waiting. I’ve checked in, gotten my little “just in case you lose consciousness while you’re waiting and can’t tell us who you are” bracelet, and now I wait.

They’re in a “code red” situation, so it could be a while. Thanks.

On the bright side, I read the current City magazine cover to cover while I was waiting. And the July issue of Country Living. Twice.

4:00 pm. A guy came and got me for X-rays. Erm, excuse me? Cat bite. My bones are fine. She didn’t bite me that hard. Really.

Nope, he checked my date of birth. It’s me he wants. They want to make sure there are no broken teeth or anything under the skin. And again, I say W.T.F Fine. Whatever.

4:20 pm. Back to the waiting room. Oh, good. I was in the middle of an article about, uh, designer sheep and their wool. Or maybe it was regular sheep and their designer wool. Country sheep and their living wool?


Obviously, there must be some kind of blood pressure monitor or something in the little bracelet they stick on your wrist when you check in. They seem to realize just when you’ve reached the quiet desperation stage.

4:30 pm. Then they take you away where the other patients-in-waiting can’t see or hear you.

And they (guess what) tell you they’ll be right back. Yep. Heard that one before. 🙄

Fortunately, I had grabbed the Country Living magazine and read that again. :mrgreen:

4:45 pm. Along comes the Physician’s Assistant. Date of Birth. Yes, it was my cat. Yes, she’s up to date on her shots. It happened yesterday. Afternoon.

And on her way out to get, presumably, a prescription pad (why don’t they just carry those things in their pocket, do you suppose?), she asked about the status of my tetanus shots. Um, I just had it about 3 hours ago.


Full stop.

“You’ve been to your doctor and they didn’t give you an antibiotic?”

W.T.F? Do any of you people listen? Or talk to each other?

MY doctor’s office couldn’t fit me in, so they sent me to “After Hours” at Wilson on my way home from work. THAT doctor said that I couldn’t have amoxicillan.

“So he couldn’t prescribe something else?”

Well, that would have been my question, but I just figured that he, being a doctor and all, well, you know. 🙄

“Hold on. I’ll be right back.”

Dear GOD. Do all of you people suffer from ADD?

5:00 pm. So she eventually comes back with another guy and, presumably, a student or intern or extern or something. I don’t frickin’ care at this point.

So they all looked at the Lady With The Hideous Cat Bite Arm. Yeah, exciting stuff there, huh? Bet you never saw anything like that in your medical texts, did you? 🙄

I’m getting hungry. Can we move this along?

So new guy, in quite the official, making-up-statistics-as-you-go-along way says to me:

85% of cat bites get infected. Do you know why?

Um, because they’re filthy skanky little beasts that lick their own butts and have crap attitudes?

Curiously, that was not the right answer. It’s because they have “sharp little teeth that carry germs that get in there and don’t come out.” Duly noted. Can I go home now?

The trio left after warning me to “watch” for “signs of infection” and to call my own doctor if the redness in my arm spread. Any more than a half inch or so, anyway, because it’s going to take about 24 hours for the antibiotics to start working.

Antibiotics? You mean the Reason I’m Here?



5:15pm. Completely new chick comes in with two prescriptions, which she proceeds to read aloud to me. Thank you can I go now? And she doesn’t show me the way out, so I end up . . . I don’t know where. I mean, I saw a sign that said, in big red letters, “EXIT,” but evidently it wasn’t what it really meant. But fear not, I found my way out.

To the “discharge desk.” Where I’m stuck with a $100 co-pay. After the $35 co-pay at the After Hours place. When if my regular doctor’s office had just dealt with me in the first place, the co-pay would have only been $25.


5:30 pm. I am so out of there. I got out to the car and called Peeps to let him know the deal. He’s gonna have to take Jarly Mon for his long-ish walk alone, because I have to stop at Wegmans and get my prescriptions filled and GOD KNOWS how long that’s going to take. 🙄

5:50 p.m. “It’s going to be at least 40 minutes for your prescriptions. Sorry, we’re a little backed up this afternoon.”

Noooooo. . . . ..

I’ll come back after dinner, OK?












1. judy - August 19, 2008

Well, when I said there must be a story I would never have expected what REALLY went down. That IS a story. And a sorry one at that.

I am now tired after reading that. 🙂 Unbelievable.

I sure hope today is better for all of you.


2. Toy Lady - August 19, 2008

Thanks, Jude. 🙂

Ultimately, though, I keep reminding myself that It’s My Own Damn Fault. I should have just left her in the basement to molder. 😦

But oh no, I have to try to “help.” 🙄

My own damn fault. My own damn fault. My own damn fault.

Though the idiocy and lack of communication with the doctor’s offices sure wasn’t. 😦

3. origamifreak - August 19, 2008

Geez. I wish I could say I’d never have expected or heard of anything like that, but I can’t.

Remind me sometime to email you the short version of the surgeries and car accident I went through while I was trying to finish my PhD thesis, and all the bizarre and stupid things they tried to do – like force me into a wheelchair right after surgery on the part I sit on.

Then I moved to Las Vegas, and after visiting the ONE doctor in the entire valley who did this sort of thing, I was so unimpressed (from being burned by idiots before) that I opted to have my follow-up surgeries in San Diego. Flying. Each way. (At least I could stay with my sister, who lived there.)

Or about the time here in NY that I needed some tramadol to just get me by for 2 days until my ob-gyn cramps appt, and no one at my “medical associates” office would give me a scrip “because I hadn’t seen the doctor.” Keep in mind I’d been going there for over 4 years, and seen the Nurse Practitioners so many times we were on a first-name basis.

So they couldn’t write me a scrip until I’d seen “my” doctor, just to say “hi,” apparently. When could they make such an appointment? How about 9 weeks from now? HUH?!

So I switched doctors, and got in to see the new doctor in TWO DAYS. It pays to shop around. *sigh*

Anyway, Miaumoto once stapled the fleshy part of my thumb with his fangs because my other sister scared him (long story) and it was pretty swollen and sore for a while. And it was on my shifting side, too. I got pretty good at shifting without my thumb. I can recommend ice packs. Lots and lots of nice, cold ice packs.

Also, have you considered a pet gate or something so that Mrs. Rochester can be in your bedroom while Lug is excluded? I’m sure you’ve considered lots of things, that included, but I just thought I’d mention it.

Hang in there.

4. origamifreak - August 19, 2008

P.S. I just wanted to say that cats do seem to be able to hold a grudge for a long time. Miaumoto was so mad when we adopted Latte that he didn’t speak to me for over two years. He’d just kind-of slink around, glaring at me and the Lap Usurper.

Eventually he did come around, after several moves back and forth across the country, and after they had to spend 9 days together in a cubic meter cage at a kennel. (another long story) After that, it seemed they had worked out whatever issues they had. (Mostly on Miaumoto’s side.)

And also, by the way, there is consultation service at the Cornell Feline Health Center, in case you get desperate (and it sounds like you might be close) http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/camuti.htm

Good Luck!

5. Toy Lady - August 20, 2008

Oh, dear, OF, that is the Very Reason I avoid medical care wherever possible! I watched my mother suffer at the hands of incompetent, uncaring medical “professional” (and kind of unprofessional, too, come to think of it) . . . no thanks. I’m sure it’ll stop bleeding or grow back or I’ll learn to live without it – whatever it is. 😦

I had a cat many years ago, when Surly Boy was born, that pouted for a while. It was just sad, yet funny. Merlin did exactly what yours did – he slunk around the house and ignored me. If I tried to pet him, he’d just turn his back on me, or he’d get up and walk away, and he wouldn’t eat if I put food down for him (he waited for his father to get home to feed him).

But this is different. She just won’t even try. I almost think she wants to come upstairs (occasionally, during the Morning Walk, Peeps says she’ll peek her little head through the kitty door), but if there’s any chance of the dog’s being anywhere near – nope. If she’d just slink around, I’d be satisfied, and if she’d turn around and swat his big slobbery nose, I’d be ecstatic. But she just sits down there and wallows in her, uh, skankiness. . .

She’s perfectly safe in the bedroom, and she knows it – it’s always been one of her “go-to” places when she’s freaked out – depending on where, exactly, in the house she is – if she’s near the front of the house, she’ll run upstairs, hit the bed, then vault up onto the dresser where she can relax in the window and still keep an eye on the door, but nothing bad (or canine) can reach her. And if she’s near the back of the house, she squeezes through the kitty door (kind of like a fat little hobbit) and to the basement, from the chest freezer to the top of the upright – again, safe from everything yet able to watch the entrance. 🙄

I fear she’s gone beyond “sulking” and moved to full-blown paranoia. She’s nuts. N.V.T.S. Nuts.

I know what they say about animals and “reflective thought” (my philosophy prof and I devoted an entire class to it one time), but she almost seems contrite; when I visited her last evening, she was actually affectionate and gently nibbled my fingers – she hasn’t done that since she was a baby, er, kitten. 😥

Right now, it’s back to square one, I think – trying to get her to trust me again. Or someone.

6. origamifreak - August 20, 2008

Poor Mrs. Rochester.

If Cornell is too far, it looks like you have a cat behaviorist a little closer to home: http://www.rochestercat.com/fees.htm (and they apparently do house calls)

Hang in.

7. Toy Lady - August 20, 2008

Very cool – thanks, OF! We’ll definitely check this out. Right now, I think probably our best bet is to let her calm down for a bit (again!) and give her a chance to trust me again. 😦

8. Monday Musings - 03.30.2009 Edition « Dark Side of the Fridge - March 30, 2009

[…] more than that.  She seems perfectly content with her underground lair.  Lord knows I’ve tried to convince her to join the land of the […]

9. The Importance of Personal Hygiene « Dark Side of the Fridge - April 1, 2009

[…] her Queen of the Underdark preference, and how (and why), at this point, we hesitate to try to force her to join the Land of the […]

10. Home Sweet Century « Dark Side of the Fridge - May 20, 2009

[…] to re-open the original store, or at least that was the story back when I was hanging around the Emergency Room for the better part of an afternoon back last summer. . . as evidenced my second or third time […]

11. Stranded Kitty « Dark Side of the Fridge - June 5, 2009

[…] keeps trying to find ways to bring Stupor Kitty out of the basement and into the world of light.  Some of them don’t work out too well.  Her latest one seems to be doing a lot of […]

12. Monday Musings – 06.15.2009 « Dark Side of the Fridge - June 12, 2009

[…] She actually drew blood.  Again.  […]

13. Monday Musings – 06.22.2009 « Dark Side of the Fridge - June 22, 2009

[…] a little background.  More recent background, that is.  So.  When Peeps and/or I take the dog for his walk, we’ve been opening the […]

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: