Not “fall” as in the season. As in hitting the concrete.
Bugs continues to spray, every morning once or twice. I have given up on the homeopathic approach. Last time I tested him, his urine was still positive for white-blood cells.
With that in mind, two Saturdays ago I drove up to the house to find one of the neighborhood kitties on the property. On the theory that Bugs might be spraying at least partly for territorial reasons, I jumped out of the car to chase the kitty off – forgetting I was shod in clogs that were a smidge too big. I had padded these out with thick socks in hopes that tactic would make them usable. It did, mostly. But not when jumping out of the car to chase kitties.
The clogs slipped sideways and the next thing I knew I was lying on the concrete, in total shock and disbelief. And then, as I lay there writhing in pain, trespass-kitty came over and started rubbing on me.
Sure scared her off.
About the only good thing that can be said at this point is, and I know it could be a lot worse but I’m simply not interested in how much worse, thank heaven for ten years’ martial arts training. I broke my fall in perfect form, hands wrists elbows clavicles knees and hips all completely intact and without even a scrape.
The same cannot be said for my left foot. Apparently the clogs tore a fracture in the key bone holding my arch together. “Yes,” the orthopod said in deep-Arkansan, “you have a Liz Franks fracture.”
I wondered who Liz Franks was and how well, if at all, she recovered.
“Liz” turned out to be Joseph Lisfranc, a field general in Napoleon’s army. He wrote about this injury leading to an amputation, where a man had fallen off his horse and been dragged with his foot in the stirrup.
That’s one more good thing to be said. I have every expectation that if I do need surgery, as the orthopod thought and the surgeon may or may not confirm shortly, the procedure will not need to end up in an amputation.
(My riding days are over for this fall. I will need to get back up on that horse in the spring. I hope I can stop myself perseverating, then, about being dragged by my foot in the stirrup.)
Here’s what the injury looks like on some other poor soul (hopefully mine is not this bad). The arrow points to three fracture-dislocations of metatarsal bones toward the toes, and the oval points to fracture-dislocation of the bones at the other end, at the arch.
film by James Heilman, M.D.
Another good thing, and that would be putting things mildly, is my neighbor. She is simply saintly, helping me with everything because I am on crutches and can’t hardly do a blessed thing.
But, not so good – one nanosecond of inattention on her part and Bugs ran out the door. Chasing trespass-kitty himself, this time.
This time, though, was infinitely worse. This time I was on crutches and could do absolutely not one single damn useful thing.
Here is the picture I put on his “Wanted” poster, which my saintly neighbor, by now in regretful anguish, put up around the neighborhood. And then, each time I would catch sight of this poster, I would burst into tears.
As the day wore on, I called my other close friend to come help, as neighborhood kids and other friends searched and searched for Bugs and there was still no sign of him. As night fell, this friend suggested I shut Barney up in the box room and then leave the front door open all night, so Bugs could simply dash in if he was of the mind.
All night long I sat next to the door, lights out so bugs of the insect variety wouldn’t eat me alive. Each half-hour I called Bugs and shook his treat-bottle and whistled as I do each time I feed the cats. Each time this would rouse Barney and he would start mewing and clawing at the door that was shutting him in. No Bugs.
As dawn broke, I figured I had better try one last time to call Bugs, before the motorcycles and kids and dogs and lawn mowers and construction-projects geared up again. I stumped around the property, calling and calling and shaking the treat jar and whistling. No Bugs.
Trespass-kitty’s dad did allow, though, as how he might have heard Bugs mewing. He thought maybe Bugs was up on a roof. He said he’d get around to looking later.
My friend Kim, though – who was on the phone with me constantly throughout this ordeal – lit a fire under me. “Later” is not acceptable! Get him now! He could move! Kim suggested I ask the kids. She said they generally know what’s going on long before the adults do.
And so my saintly neighbor and I went back over to trespass-kitty’s house. And sure enough, one of the kids said he knew where Bugs was. Not on a roof. Under the cabin. And there he was.
Well, what we could see of him, that is. He had wedged himself up under the cabin struts and no way was he coming out, not in a month of Sundays.
I sat on the ground and offered stinky fish and begged and pleaded. He actually retreated away from me. I could not help musing on the reality that Bugs would have heard me calling perfectly well all through the night. He wasn’t 150 feet away. I tried not to take this personally.
Finally trespass-kitty’s dad, an extremely brave man, crawled under the cabin, spoke gently to Bugs, and pushed him toward us til we could grab him by the scruff and dump him into the carrier.
How this man could bring himself to do something like that is beyond me. Do you know we have brown recluse spiders in Arkansas? Do you know what brown recluse spiders can do to a person? The “recluse” part of the name is because they like to be reclusive. Like, for example, under cabins. Read about the brown recluse here.
I know of a baby who died from a brown recluse bite.
How do men do this kind of thing? Good thing we have them around, that’s all I can say. Not even for Bugs could I do such a thing. I wouldn’t even think of doing it. This man just went ahead and did it.
Here is the offender later that morning, after he had got done eating and peeing (in the box) and re-inspecting the in-house territory. The tail is Barney, on his way from here to there.
And here is Barney. When I finally let him out of the box room that morning, he hugged and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. What a guy. (You can just about see the top of a crutch, to the right.)
And now I am going to pay for an enclosure to add to the front of the house. That 26-hour period was one of the worst times of my life. It must never be allowed to happen again.
Now I’ve got Bugs back, I’m going to try treating his urinary thing with corn silk supplements. I’m glad to be vexed by this problem.