I was in Urgent Care on each Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of this week, with threats that I might have to go to the hospital to have surgery on my hand.
I volunteer with numerous different organizations here in the Twin Cities, many of them relating to animals. one such organization, that I shan’t name in this context, needed some help fostering two feral kittens a while back. with Brian’s approval, I volunteered. shortly after, my contact (henceforth “Contact”) for the fostering said it wouldn’t be necessary, as she found someone else.
a few weeks pass, and Contact requested again that I foster the kittens. I agree. when next she contacts me, she informs me she needs me to foster an adult feral from Mexico (henceforth “The Cat” or “Motherfucking Bastard”). I hesitate. I’ve assisted in and/or have fostered all ages of cats before. but my guy was telling me this was a bad idea for both The Cat and me. however, I didn’t want to back out of a volunteering offer I made, so I reluctantly agreed.
I’m back at work, but I’ve a brace on my right hand. the pain is so great that I can’t even drive my stick-shift car or hold a glass of water. I could not wear pants due to my inability to zip or button them.
Contact arrived with her “kitty condo” — something similar to this –, explaining that she was hoping we’d keep The Cat in it and inside the room in which we spent the most time. that would be the Office. again, I had reluctance. my tactic was always keep the feline in the bathroom — she had space to hide, but would still be exposed to use frequently. but it was her cat I was fostering, so I followed her rules.
at this point, The Cat was responding well enough to me. she let me pet her and almost never hissed at me. by the third day, however, she was hissing more than she let me pet her. she also had begun yowling at night and pacing in her cage. it was obvious she was growing miserable in that small, enclosed space wherein she had no control over her visibility.
the trick is to give them somewhere they can hide slightly if they like, and let them come out at their own time. this tactic has never failed me.
by the end of the week, I would get near the cage and she would hiss. her yowling was incessant. and even Zero was getting upset with the situation.
I called Contact and explained that this wasn’t working. after brief discussion, Contact and I decided I would still keep her in the office (per her request), but that she’d be out of the cage (my request).
and that’s when all hell broke loose.
the pain in my hand is so great I am occasionally taking Vicodin. me, with my high-ass pain tolerance.
Brian and I walk the Office trying to remove as many too-small hidey holes as we could. I thought we had done a sufficient job….
Saturday afternoon, while transitioning The Cat from the cage into the room, she spazzed and escaped into the living room. it was my fault for not ensuring the Office door was closed; that fact, I will own. in an attempt to collect and relocate her, she scratch Brian on the nose and bit deeply into my right hand. nevertheless, I got her into the office with no actual physical pain on her part (as far as I could tell).
and then she was MIA for two whole days. she did not come out to eat, drink, or use the litter. I was terrified she got herself into a hidey hole we couldn’t find, and was going to starve herself to death. I was terrified that I had now scarred her forever, and she’s in a worse sociable condition now than when we first got her. I was terrified of so many things.
at one point, an IV drip of antibiotics was rushed into my body, as mere oral dosages were too inadequate for the severity of the infection.
meanwhile, my hand was swelling up and turning red. Brian urged me to the doctor; I denied — both repeatedly. then one of the bite marks started to puss, and I had lost most mobility in my thumb. I reluctantly agreed to go Sunday evening.
the doctors expressed great concern that, even thought The Cat was fully vaccinated, I may have an infection that was starting to go after a tendon or the bone. while I was sitting on an IV drip of antibiotics, I was also prescribed oral antibiotics and Vicodin for pain. I mistakenly expressed no need for the pain medication; let’s just say I have since been very glad multiples times that we got it filled anyway. I was instructed to come back ASAP the next day.
I messaged and emailed the attorneys at work a brief tale of my misadventure, requesting to remotely do payroll from home so that I can then promptly go back to Urgent Care to get my hand reviewed. my supervisors are very wonderful, understanding persons. they approved my request with no hesitation, informing me to let them know if they could help in any way.
back at Urgent Care Monday afternoon, my hand showed signs of neither worsening nor improving. after some discussion and inspection, the doctor braces up my arm. I’m instructed to once again return to Urgent Care the following day. this time, if no improvement was evident, hospitalization would be required — surgery to either mend the wound or amputate part of the hand.
when got home that day, Monday night, we see evidence that Motherfucking Bastard emerged and ate her food. we still have no idea where she is hiding. but at the moment, it’s not our top concern. the potential necessary removal of my right hand was.
I work a full day on Tuesday, very slowly and almost ineffectively. after work, Brian takes me once again to Urgent Care. three times in three days. this time, however, there was evident visual improvement of both the infectious redness and of the swelling. I was released on the condition of continuing taking my antibiotics (and probiotics) as instructed and that if it at any point gets worse, I was to just give up and go to ER.
once again, The Cat had emerged ate, and even new feces was in the litter box.
so where are we at now? it’s Thursday morning. how is The Cat doing? how is James’s hand? how is Brian’s face? what all does Contact know of situation? for how long are those fools going to keep The Cat?
Brian’s hand and face were fine. he’s on the same antibiotic plan as me, minus the initial drip. by day two, everything was cool for him.
my hand is healing, albeit slowly. I still can’t really use it for anything. I can type on a full-sized keyboard for the most part, though my usual usage of countless keyboard shortcuts are limited and typos are abound. however, I cannot use my right hand, thumb, or index finger for: texting on my phone, anything that requires fine motor skills, anything that requires more than minor grip or holding, anything that requires muscle usage in the aforementioned areas. as I’ve already stated, I couldn’t even wear pants to work for several days because I could not operate the zipper or buttons. I’m wearing clip pants today, and I’m learning that was a bad idea.
Motherfucking Bastard is somewhere still in the room. I don’t know where. the current plan is keeping her for the next two weeks. at that point, I will return her to Contact, explaining that Zero is not pleased and my family are coming with their dog the following week. however, if she continues to not emerge at all while we are in the room, eating and shitting only while we are at work or asleep, I may send her back sooner. it’s doing no one any good if she is that terrified.
and currently, Contact knows nothing after the phone call wherein we came to a compromise of letting The Cat loose in the Office. I wanted to wait to see how things panned out first.
I tried to keep identity of the involved people, animals, and organizations. but I may never foster via that group again; I will, however, still help and volunteer because of what their primary goals are. there’s a difference between fostering feral cats, and housing a yowling monster.
that’s not to say Contact isn’t kind. she purchased us a new super-large litter box with Zero, provided a ton of dry and food wet and of cat litter for The Cat, and even gave me a Starbucks giftcard as thanks. but I think their system of fostering just doesn’t sync with me.