Toilet Paper Paws

Are you there, God? It’s me Jyl. It’s me Jyl and, for the third time in five months, I am back on the healing couch. Is it weird that this time I am here for my actual heel? Do we now call this the heeling couch? Also, are you mad at me?

Dear Lort.

Yes, I have been relegated to the healing couch again. The healing couch? Let me explain. In our living room, we have a full-size couch and a loveseat (well, as I am among the shorter members of society, that means both pieces are full-size to me). My “spot,” as declared by my family is on the big couch. I most often sit there when watching television while I have one or both dogs sprawled next to me. Please note that any and all are welcome on the couch. My teens like to pretend that the reason they don’t come to the living room is that I have taken it over. Not true. Remember, teens stream … no need for the big tv. Their choice.

Anyhoo, when I am ailing, I tend to move to the loveseat as it provides a change of scenery for long days of respite. It also prevents the “I can also fit here” insistence of the dogs which is relatively important as I often ail in the form of recovering from injury. Oddly, my injuries favor the right side of my body, and that side, on the love seat, is safely tucked away from public viewing based on the position of the healing couch.

Dear Lort. I have spent way too much time on the healing couch in the past five months. 

As a follow-up to wrist surgery (November) and hernia surgery (February), the universe answered a request for inclusion from my lower limbs. Like, at my feet. By “universe” I mean our fat cat, Gunter. Gunter is an 18lb example of what happens if you don’t take care of yourself. I suppose that could explain it right there: Gunter didn’t want to be the only one lying in the living room like a sack of potatoes day in and day out so he solved his self-consciousness by attempting to amputate my foot using his mostly unused fangs and we-need-to-cut-his-nails nails. 

Are you there, God? It’s me Jyl and, yes, Fatty McCatterton lost so much of his mind on a random morning that I ended up on the healing couch AFTER A TRIP TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. 

This cat has taken the phrase “cats are dicks” to a whole new level.

As you may have guessed from previous entries, we have too many cats. How many is too many? For me, that is more than one. We have three cats. Last Sunday, two of them decided to have a conversation about who was our favorite feline and I made the mistake of going to investigate. While chatting on the phone with my sister, I followed the debate down to the basement in hopes of staving off any flying fur. 

Evidently, I arrived at the exact moment that Gunter declared his launch (into the other cat) nominal. That was also the exact moment I arrived behind him. 

Triggered? Yes. I have a firm understanding of the word now. 

The launch proceeded but with a 180-degree turn of his fangs and claws aimed right at my ankle. The right ankle. At least he knows which side I’m trying to rebuild. I can’t really describe the fire that shot through my leg, but upon further review, we discovered that he had bitten straight through the soft spot between my Achilles and heel. While he was latched on like a pussy pitbull, he did that whole cat thing where his front claws claimed his prey and his back claws stomped it to death. Again, the prey was my dainty ankle.

Hearing “faint” screams (prepare yourself, ladies, this is life), my husband pattered around the house looking for me. I could only get the words “Gunter attacked me” out before collapsing into a heap on the floor. Rich was definitely stymied as to why I was one thousand percent hysterical over a couple of cat scratches until he looked down. He noticed the puddle of blood and went into first aid protocol. I honestly have no idea if he got the cat off my leg or if I did.

I will not include pictures. You’re welcome.

When our youngest was certified in First Aid last year, we had no idea how we’d test him month after month. From a finger sliced by a knife to a reaction to medications, we are making sure he is always at the ready for anything. Zack came running straight from his very interrupted slumber (two floors up) at the sound of my shrieks. This child takes his certificate seriously and this mom is proud of him! In this situation (and the two above, actually), he insisted that we do not create a fix via our bin of zombie apocalypse survival items.

Thank goodness. I could tell by Rich’s eyes that he was hoping to use his staple suture gun.

Off we went for a professional glance.

The emergency room was blessedly quick. In and out in under three hours with a pile of antibiotics that should keep me infection free well into the next decade. Did you know that animal bites don’t get stitched? Me neither. Instead, you get to nurse an open wound for (I don’t actually know how long yet, it’s been 8 days at this point) until it pushes all the goop out and closes on its own. Cat bites are especially prone to infection because of their Toilet Paper Paws. 

I have been sporting a Sharpie circle around the “safe zone” with instructions to come back if my ankle turns red beyond it. Evidently, that is the preferred method of “we are going to make you super paranoid.” I feel like I should have titled this paragraph “Things I Didn’t Want to Know.”

Are you there, God? It’s me Jyl and I am back on the healing couch. 

This is my least favorite healing assignment because lower limbs are tricky what with that whole USE THEM TO WALK thing. It is also tricky because, as the mom, I am REQUIRED to get back up almost immediately each and every time I sit down, no less than three times. When my family sees me wandering, I’m given looks of, “but why didn’t you just ask?” Well, I’m bored out of my mind for one and a visit to the freezer for another ice pack has become my main source of entertainment.

I have made progress though. I even went out in public yesterday after not being able to take this solitude anymore. The gash was thoroughly wrapped lest I bumped it, stepped in a puddle, or anyone happened to look down. My eyes were strained from staring at either the television or my laptop or my phone and I needed air, freedom to roam, and interaction with actual people. My kankle is slowly getting smaller, the gash seems to be slowly closing, and I have mastered downing antibiotics meant for horses without sending my stomach into a “reverse course!!!” response three times in a row.  

Maybe this week, I’ll actually be able to wear both shoes!

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