I love adorable kitty-cats as much as the next non-monster, but, as the poets say: "Just because you love something doesn't mean it can't deliver a necrotic puncture wound that will cause your extremities to rot off!" A new study on the dangers of cat bites found that, while dog bites might be more crushing and dramatic, at least they just rip your flesh open in a way that can be easily cleaned and sewn up. Cat teeth are like little disease syringes that can essentially inject bacteria and debris deeply and directly into your tendons and bones.
Via the New York Times:
In a three-year retrospective study published in the February issue of The Journal of Hand Surgery, researchers reviewed records of 193 people who came to Mayo Clinic Hospital with cat bites to the hand.
Thirty-six victims were immediately admitted to the hospital, where they stayed an average of three days. Another 154 were treated with oral antibiotics as outpatients, although 21 of them eventually had to be hospitalized. Complications included nerve involvement, abscesses and loss of joint mobility.
..."The tendon sheaths and joints are superficial in the hand, and cat bites penetrate easily, seeding those spaces with the germ, " he added. "Once it's in there, it can grow quite rapidly in fluid-filled spaces that don't have blood circulation, and surgery is often required. That's an important message: don't ignore a cat bite."
One time my sister got super sick and went to the hospital and they were like, "Shoot, looks like cancer! Get ready to die!" And then she called all her family and friends and tearfully delivered the bad news, and then the doctor saw some cat fur on her jacket or something and was like, "Wait, do you have a cat? OH, MY BAD. YOU JUST HAVE CAT SCRATCH FEVER." And then they gave her some antibiots and she was fine.
I mean, I was pretty young when it happened. But that's basically how I remember it. Point is, if your cat bites you, go to the hospital, and if they tell you you have cancer, throw a cat at them.
Image via WhitePlaid/Shutterstock.