Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mr Zurik's fury and his many "muka kesian" faces

This morning, something fell at the patio and I heard the sound of cat aggression and growling. So I went out and saw Mr Zurik and Vincent about to get into another fight.

It was completely foolish of me, but I picked up Mr Zurik by the scruff of his neck with the intention of putting him into the cage, but he somehow managed to turn around (so picking up by the scruff of the neck is not foolproof!). He bit and scratched me real bad.

The pain was beyond words as he had bitten really, really hard. I thought his teeth had hit my bone. I ran to the sink and washed the wounds. Blood was spurting out nonstop from the deepest of the 7 wounds and scratches.


I washed with soap and sprayed Path-Away generously on all the wounds and scratches.

Only one bite was really deep and excruciatingly painful.


I still managed to feed all of them, though, but by then, my husband had chased Mr Zurik out to the drain and back to his "headquarters".


Rosie was afraid and came inside to eat.


Even Willy was here this morning.


My husband made sure Mr Zurik went back to his headquarters, which is behind the roof tiles in the neighbour's drain.

I'll bet he was just there...with his shrews. I saw Igor pop his head up to peep.

Coast is clear, boss..

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Seven wounds in just a split second.

But of course, what on earth was I thinking? Trying to break up an escalating cat fight with my bare hands? A moment of sheer stupidity. Can't blame Mr Zurik, really. He was already all worked up and in a deranged state of mind.

I did, however, splash a bowl of water on his body to shoo him away. He ran off but boomerang-ed right back to the patio with a "muka kesian". After that, my husband heard about it and chased him back to his HQ.

The clinic wasn't open yet, so I waited until 8.45am. I thought antibiotic prophylaxis may be necessary. Better be safe than sorry. My tetanus jab done in February 2014 is still valid.

It was a very long wait for the doctor but I finally got my turn. The doctor gave me a 3 days' course of antibiotics to play safe. He says if I had a fever or if the skin around the bite wound turns red, I should go back for treatment. Otherwise, I should be fine.

Then I rushed to work.

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The bleeding finally stopped after one-and-a-half hours.

I brought food to work and took a few minutes' break to quickly eat and take the antibiotics. I had already checked with my daughter through a text message and she said this medicine may cause diarrhoea, but a short course ought to be okay.

I taught my two-hour class, then went to the office to do some paperwork before going for lunch.

A unexpected thing happened at the food court. Perhaps I had rushed around a bit too much, but as I sat at the table and had just begun to eat, I suddenly felt cold all over. Oh gosh, this is bad. I knew I was going to either faint or throw a seizure.

After having thrown quite a number of seizures over the past decades, I more or less can detect an episode coming.

I felt my whole body going limp and I slumped on the table. I was conscious, so I tried to call my son on the phone, but I was too weak and disoriented to use the phone. The nausea was getting worse and I started writhing in pain.

I could only wave at the chapfan man, but he just said, "Oh, you pening ar?" and continued going about his business. Well, what did I expect him to do, right? He has a business to run.

I saw legs walking past me and I think I was already groaning and writhing in pain, but as expected, nobody stopped to help. The nausea was getting extreme and I started convulsing. Please don't faint, I told myself, please don't faint. Please don't die!

The extreme pain was only probably for a few minutes, but it felt like agonising hours, especially when I felt so helpless.

Finally, I vomited everything out - all the food I had just eaten.

Oh, that finally provided some relief - the vomiting.

I sat with all the vomit and people continued walking past me.

I felt sorry, not for myself but for the college students who were walking past me. So much for being educated...

Finally, the chapfan man managed to call a cleaner to wipe up the mess I'd made. The cleaner came and looked pretty much disgusted and walked off. I don't blame him. I was quite disgusted with my vomit too.

I sat there until I felt a bit better. I had to cross the road to get to my college and then to my car. It was quite a distance. I certainly couldn't risk falling on the road. I won't be surprised if cars won't even stop if they see a body on the road! Oh well, what an inconvenience, just roll over it then. Who knows?

So I sat there facing my disgusting vomit and finally I felt well enough to walk back to my car. I told the chapfan man to please ask the cleaner to clean up my vomit as I was too sick to do it myself.

So I walked back and managed to cross the road. But halfway to my car, I thought my legs were going to go limp again.

Oh well, since I'm writing this now, you know no disaster happened and that I got back to my car, sat to compose myself and regain my stability. Then, I drove back home. All in one piece.


Mr Zurik came to rub himself all over my legs, as though saying sorry.

Poor guy...


I'm sorry...

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Okay, Mr Zurik.

At least you have more morals than those humans who walked past me at the food court.


Tabs sat with me.

Cats know when you are unwell and they will strive to comfort you.

Oh but wait...the story continues...

My daughter said vomiting can be a side effect of this drug, so I called the clinic and explained to the attendant that I had a vomiting reaction to the drug, so may I please speak with the doctor to inform him and ask if I should continue with another dose, or should the medicine be replaced.

The attendant said: I have never heard of vomiting due to this antibiotic. First time I hear such a thing. Dr too busy now. He cannot speak with you. Call back in one hour.

So I waited and meanwhile, I had google-checked on this drug. It can cause vomiting (1 in 440 people), nausea and in rare cases, anaphylaxis (the strongest allergic reaction known, it can cause organs to shut down and hence, death). Now, I had an anaphylactic reaction before to the Hepatitis B vaccine and that nearly killed me. Luckily the doctor administered adrenalin in time to revive me. It was the only case in Malaysia. Even babies can take the Hepatitis B vaccine safely, but I cannot. I could die from it. Scary, isn't it?

After one hour, I called back and explained my situation all over again as this was another attendant. I said I had called earlier and was told to call back so may I please speak with the doctor as I need his advice.

The nurse said: Dr so busy now, how to speak with you?

Okay...no point in arguing with her, I guess.

By this time my husband, who was at work but had been kept informed, had had enough of this nonsense.

So he called the clinic and he got to speak with the doctor (that's after telling the attendant he would hold her responsible if anything untoward happened to me).

I suppose twenty years in the armed forces does pay off in certain ways, a privilege I unfortunately, do not have. I have a personal fear of hostile face-to-face (including phonecall) confrontation. I don't mind emails, but not face-to-face. I don't think my heart can take it.

So my husband told the doctor what happened and he said best to discontinue the medicine and to go back and get it changed.

So I drove over and handed the medicine to the attendant. The first attendant avoided my eye. The second attendant took the medicine without a word, went to the doctor, and after sometime handed me another packet containing a new medicine.

I asked, "May I see the doctor?"

She said, "No need" but there was no arrogance about her this time.

There were many patients there so I didn't want to insist. Sigh...one would expect clinic attendants (and both were very senior too), though not trained, to have at least learnt through the years to not take complaints lightly. Reactions to medications can happen, even if it is a one in a million chance. No medication can claim to be 100% safe.

I texted my daughter the name of the medicine. As it turned out, the doctor had given another antibiotic from the same family of drugs as the one that had caused me to grow cold, go limp and vomit, so it could cause the same reactions too. I don't know much about medicine apart from all my experience with animals and vets, so I shall not comment on this.

I don't even know if I should even take the medicine at all.

Ask me the names of the antibiotics for skin puncture wounds in cats, and I will be able to rattle them off. For humans, I do not know.

My left hand is now incapacitated and I cannot even squeeze a piece of wet cloth. But life goes on...


No signs of infection...phew! But it feels very swollen and is still painful to the touch.


The scratches are minor.


Dinner time!


I think Mr Zurik feels really sorry.

Oh well, I've been bitten by Indy and Cow when they were in a deranged state of mind too - many times.  So, I would understand Mr Zurik. At least you could see he feels really sorry. Poor guy....if he could talk, I'd bet my last dollar on the fact that he would apologise, which is more than what I can say for those two attendants at the clinic!

Lessons learnt:
1. Holding by the scruff of the neck is no guarantee that you will not be bitten. Or maybe, I did not hold hard enough.
2. Next time, just splash water!
3. Best to put a speed dial on one's phone for emergency contact.
4. Medications can cause reactions, sometimes severe ones too. Ensure last will and testament is done up properly!

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (Cats WILL bite if I were stupid enough to try and stop a fight with my bare hands; clinic attendants won't give a hoot if you experienced reactions to medications or die, people generally may not care if you are suffering in pain in a public place, etc.)
The courage to change the things I can (Splash water at aggressive cats; pluck up courage to insist on your rights, etc.)
And the wisdom to know the difference!

Talking about apathetic people, I chanced upon this video: http://www.scoopwhoop.com/news/shocking-reactions-to-rape/


Wong Yoke Mei said...

Oh my gawwwdddd....take care take care. Maybe you would want to go to an outpatient treatment at the nearest hospital to double confirm on the injuries and medication. Pray that you are well and speedy recovery. Please stay safe too. You could use a big piece of cardboard to separate the cats from fighting next time. I have tried spraying tonnes of water, but if 2 males are at it, how much water also won't break them up.

Sammy, Olie & Babygirl sending over positive vibes so that you would heal soon..... :)

chankahyein said...

Yes, spraying water doesn't quite work, yah? I've tried putting a blanket over the growling cat and almost got bitten too.

Thanks very much for your concern. I think it ought to be okay...

Chen said...

What a day! Hope everything gets better soon.

Another item to use to break up fights is an umbrella. The open-close-open umbrella movement at the aggressive cats can be very scary for them and they'll all run away.

Morton's Mom said...

Dear Dr. Chan,

Hope that the swelling and the numbness will go down in few days. If not and you feel that if has moved up above your wrist please do consult another doctor in another clinic. We will pray that you will have a speedy recovery and heal soon. Happened to me once when interfering with 2 cats in a fight. But all is well within a week ; allergic to meds too. Now the best thing to do when 2 cats in a brawl is actually throwing wet towels over each one of them. Once they felt the coldness and dampness of the towels it should stop them on their tracks (cold shock perhaps).

All the best. Take care.

Peggy Quah said...

oh dear Dr. Chan. still feeling the heat of the bite? hope it heals soon
takes a few days though. do take care. Cats x know how to accept a refere only will bite to defend its own honour

Juliana said...

Oh, gosh! I visibly winced at the first picture.

Sometimes we know what to do (water gun, towel, cardboard, etc) when we have time to think about, but in the heat of the moment, when our adrenaline is pumping, it's hard not to rush in and react. I don't think you were foolish, even if you knew better, you know? It happens ...but maybe that's why they say nothing teaches best like experience! :P

I'm sad to hear about the apathy of the college students, and even the cleaner and chapfan man. :( Why do we have such a "not my problem, so don't care" attitude? It's very disheartening. It's also a little scary! I hope that if I had been there, I would have at least walked over and asked if you were okay, or needed help.

I'm a little frustrated, too, over the clinic attendants. Again, this is also a very "not my problem, so don't care" attitude. The doctor is busy, but what if this reaction was a symptom of something serious? Would it be that difficult to write down your particulars on a note and just slip it to the doctor so he can judge whether this is serious or not?

I get the feeling that the argument here is that "if it's serious, then you'd insist, but since you can wait, then wait lah" mentality. But at the same time, we have such a "don't want to trouble others", "don't want to fight", "aiyah, never mind, let it be" culture here, too, which makes us back down rather than stand up for some consideration. Sigh!

Sorry, just rambling.

I'm very glad your husband called the clinic, and "schooled" them a bit :P I understand that they may be busy, there's lots of patients, the doctor is busy, etc, but they're in health care. They should have exercised more responsibility and care.

Take care of yourself! I hope you are feeling better soon. And I agree that Mr Zurik feels sorry. What a day for all of you!

chankahyein said...

Thanks, everyone. Will try the cold towel trick. Mr Zurik and Vincent fights every day, so I'll certainly try that next.

Oreo Bartholomeow Balestorm said...

Dear Dr Chan,

We hope you feel better soon-ngiao! Mr Zurik and the clinic attendants got off lightly, if it had happened to Mama, Papa would have roared at Mr Zurik and the clinic attendants until they tremble in fear-ngiao! Trust me, you don't want Papa to roar at you. Hazel thinks Mr Zurik is a big bully. We hope he has learned his lesson-ngiao.

Take care of yourself-ngiao!

Purrs and headbonks,
Oreo and Hazel

chankahyein said...

Thanks, Oreo and Hazel! I think Mr Zurik has deep-seated "issues", maybe he is a neglected pet or something. I'd just have to find a way to deal with his issues and hopefully minimise his aggressive ways. As for the clinic attendants - oh well...Let's hope I don't have to go to that clinic that often!!

jasmine ong said...

You had a really horrible day Sis. I can't believe that those college students just walked past indifferently while you were slumped on the table and clearly in pain. I felt so very sad, it's unbelievable that people can be like this!!! People have changed so much in the urban areas :(

Luckily you made it home safely despite pain and discomfort and had your medicine changed. Thank goodness your husband dealt real nicely with the clinic attendants as how they should be dealt with. They certainly deserved it!!

As for Mr Zurik, he is one lucky chap because mummy clearly still loves him and have forgiven him despite his bad naughty behavior.

Do take good care of those wounds and yourself too. I always pray that may devas protect you always wherever you are.

claire said...

WOW that is one scary episode! Seriously ppl these days lack EQ..........I had a similar deep bite wound from my cat out of fright because of my dog while i was carrying her. I couldn't even hold anything properly nor the strength and it was swollen cos it nicked my smaller veins. I find it best to massage your arm away from the swollen area works to reduce the swelling at a faster rate. I myself can only take the capsule form of antibiotic and not the tablet forms because it makes me feel nausea.

I'm glad your ok too!

ps: My cat felt really guilty after biting me, she didnt try to play with my hand that she bit even after it was healed.

Lovely and Purree said...

Dear Dr Chan
Glad to hear you are ok now.

I was also bitten by a stray cat middle of the night last month when the stray dogs were biting a cat and i managed to carry the cat by its arms to a safe place but it bit my fingers. i only managed to go to see the doc the following morning. The cat didnt make it.

Do take care of yourself always and when one is well then only one can really continue to help the animals. You and you comes first.

Also take seriously any symptom as could lead to fatality.

Ya nowadays people have this "tidak apa" apathy attitude. Also i dont blame the clinic attendants.. Its how the doc (their boss) handle situations and they just follow.. If the boss's instruction is to connect emergency calls no matter what then the staff will follow.

My two cents.

chua suk fang said...

Have a speedy recovery, Dr Chan. Take good care of yourself.