HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
October 16, 2006, Herald Journal

Watch out for those kittens

By JENNIFER GALLUS

Have you ever been bitten by an animal? Well, besides mosquitoes, biting flies, and the like, I have now been bitten by not only a dog, when I was about 5 years old, but just last weekend, I was bitten by a kitten, and it drew blood!

The incident with the dog was pretty traumatic. My family and I were visiting friends in Texas, and their dog was a Doberman pinscher. I managed to aggravate the dog, I don’t remember how, but I was bitten in the hind end and it wouldn’t let go until the owners and my parents noticed that the thing was on top of me.

So, I was brought to the hospital and given the usual treatment for animal bites. You would think my parents would be fairly cautious with a child that recently had two large canine teeth holes in her behind, but that was not the case.

A few days after the bite - the very traumatic bite - my family and I visited an animal farm. My mom had some strange need for me to get my picture taken with a goat, that, by the way, had very large, curly horns.

Of course, since I had been recently traumatized, I refused. My not-so-over-protective mother insisted that I stand by the goat for a picture. I kept insisting no, and that I was afraid of being bucked.

Well, my mom won, and I stood by the goat, and got bucked right in the behind. Down I went onto the ground. My mom hasn’t heard the end of that to this day. And, by the way, boy is she an over-protective grandma!

So, I’ve been fairly cautious around animals until last Saturday night. It all started that morning when one of my boys left a window open while we ran to town. The window did not have a screen on it.

When we got home, we walked in our front door, and found a barn cat on the kitchen counter, and our outside dog strolling around with two stuffed animals in his mouth.

We scooted the two offending animals out the door, but didn’t realize that three barn kittens were yet in the house. A couple hours later I happened to catch a glimpse of a kitten cruising down the hallway.

The search was on. These kittens were fast, psychotic, and quiet, once they found a hiding place.

Barn kittens are not so tame, and really don’t want to be touched, let alone, cornered. One kitten ran into the laundry room and launched itself about five feet off the ground and into the steel door to the garage!

It felt like a medical extraction that a skilled surgeon would perform just to get a cornered kitten out from under furniture.

The last kitten was captured at about 9 p.m. that night. It was the easiest of extractions, from behind a plastic tote, and just when things were looking good, it turned ugly. The cute kitten bit me at the base of the thumb.

Then commenced the slicing and dicing of my hands by the tiny beast, until I maneuvered all external razor parts of the animal away from my flesh. It left two bleeding teeth marks, and several slices on my hand, arm, and stomach, and it hurt!

Of course, my husband had to ask the intelligent question of why I didn’t have leather gloves on for the procedure, to which I had no answer besides stupidity.

I learned my lesson, and will not again mess with such cute, little, vicious creatures. The kitten was just protecting itself, and you can’t blame it for that.

On the duck front, I still have to decide which, and how many drakes to get rid of. I like them all; it’s a tough decision. The jerk drakes are an easy call, but the perfectly nice drakes are the hard ones. It all comes down to genetics. The drakes that have the best conformity and colors will stay, and the others will go to a new home.

I’ve also pondered the idea of having a bachelor drake pen, so that I wouldn’t have to get rid of too many, but don’t tell my husband!

Kid-isms

One of my boys said, “I met a new friend on the bus. He lives in Howard Lake town and he lives in a compartment!”