Cats can be dangerous. I have been injured numerous times by them. Most of the injuries have been accidents, and those that have not, have been my fault: putting a hand where it shouldn’t have gone or rushing trust when it required more patience. Just normal events in the life of a cat-owner.
I pick up Noah, my foster-cat, now and then. When I started doing it, I could tell that he was uncomfortable with it merely because he was unaccustomed to it. His case was not like Josie’s; my Chubs dislikes being held and her reactions to it are quite different than Noah’s. I usually hold the boy so that his forepaws rest on my shoulder, and I stroke his head and neck. He has grown to tolerate and even enjoy the treatment. His natural kittenish exuberance is, I hope, thus combined with an appreciation for quieter moments. This will, I think, allow him to mature without losing his youthful energy.
Last night, I was doing just this when we saw a crow fly past the window. Noah was interested by the flash of black, so I carried him closer to the window for a better view. I did not know that Tucker had approached, and was crossing in front of me, perhaps looking for a pet or two himself, or maybe heading for the food-bowl. In any case, I stumbled against him, my grip on Noah shifted, and the boy no doubt thought himself falling. His legs flailed and he flung himself away from me.
To get a better grip, Noah used his claws. These of course left their marks on me. Two tore small holes in my shirt and scratched my chest, while a third dug itself into the skin of my jaw. That one bled excessively. In fact, it was minor damage. I’ve done worse shaving. But at the time, it looked most impressive, as did my bloodied garment (the stain of which came out in the wash). None of the wounds are even sore today. I don’t think they will leave scars; in some cases they have.
The cats fared better. Tucker scurried away, thinking he had been punished for something and, though Noah was also unhurt, he didn’t see any more of his crow. I checked the beasts to make certain that they were all right, and to assure the roly poly one that he was not in trouble.
This was just another reminder that cats can be dangerous, just another evening in the life of a cat-owner. And I was holding Noah again a few minutes later.