No Fancy Name
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
my flooring is beautiful but... hand? It will be scarred.

The flooring guys came out on Monday at 10am to put lovely beech laminate flooring and white colonial baseboards in my 12x13 bedroom. They were a few minutes early, enough so that I hadn't locked the cats in the bathroom yet (the front door had to be open while they were working). Max, my old cat, he loves people so it was no problem picking him up and putting him in the bathroom (although he was a little bummed he didn't get to hang with the people, of course). But Deuce, bless her little heart, was born a feral cat. Although she is now four years old and I've had her since she was two months old, she is quite terrified of people-who-are-not-me. I guess when you get thrown down into a sewer and have caustic goop thrown on top of you when you're a few weeks old, burning off parts of your fur and necessitating a month-long stay in a vet hospital after being rescued by a vet tech who happened to pass by the scene and hear your cries for help, well, that's imprinted on your wee psyche.

So when I reached under the pile of stuff on the couch where she had wedged herself, so I could pull her out and put her in the bathroom, she flipped out. Flipped. Out. She peed all over the couch, all over me, and scratched and bit the living fuck out of my right hand. I got her into the bathroom, and she and Max sat quietly on the counter for the next five hours—not a peep out of them. Meanwhile, I was bleeding from a deep scratch on my thumb and approximately eight punctures on my fingers. The flooring guys sort of looked at me like "uh, you're bleeding" and I said carry on, no worries. I wrapped my hand in a towel. The wound cleaning stuff was in—you guessed it—the bathroom with the cats. I wasn't going to open that door until the flooring guys were gone.

Then I got angry, because I was so stupid for not putting the cats in the bathroom ahead of time, and I couldn't leave the house because the flooring guys were here, and I smelled like pee, and I didn't know what I should do. So I called my buddy (who is also my boss), and she called Kate (who is also technically my boss) to have Kate come down and sit with the house while the flooring guys were here, so I could go to urgent care/the ER and have my hand cleaned up/get antibiotics/get a tetanus shot/etc. The third owner (aka my third boss, and the person who works harder than any of us) asked if I wanted her to come with me to the urgent care and I said no, I can sit by myself. In retrospect, it would have been wise to take her up on that offer, for reasons we'll soon learn.

I wrapped a bag of frozen vegetables around my hand, and waited for Kate.

If you know anything about cat bites, you know they're different than dog bites because of the shape of their teeth. Dog bites rip things open, while cat bites puncture and close in on themselves (thus trapping all the germs inside). I wasn't bleeding, and I had washed my hand under hot water, so it didn't look bad unless you looked closely and saw the swollen redness around everything. It was stiff and painful by this time, but didn't look like it.

I IM'd my buddy and said, "Kate's going to get here and think I'm a big wuss who smells like pee." Ever the wise one, she said, "no she won't."

Kate showed up, looked at my hand, confirmed it was a wreck. We made plans for me to head off to urgent care, after looking up the nearest one to my house—the only urgent care places I know about are the ones near other people's houses. Go figure. So I got in my car and headed toward the front gate. At this point, about 200 yards from my house, my horn started to blare—one long constant hoooooooooooooonk, very loud, very annoying. Now, I've had issues with the disarming mechanism in my car alarm for over a year, but got around the issue by never arming it. Apparently, it finally decided to arm itself on its own, and my remote transmiter wouldn't disarm it. I shut the car off, the horn still blared. I turned the car back on (and really I shouldn't have been able to do that, since it was the alarm and the alarm shuts the car off when it thinks it's being stolen) and threw it in reverse back to my parking spot.

I got the manual out of the glove box and frantically looked for the fusebox schematic so we could find the horn fuse and pull it. By this point Kate came out to see what the hell was going on, and she pulled it and the horn was still blaring so I yelled "yank the battery! yank the battery" and the horn was blaring and it was general mayhem until Kate got the battery disconneted and the horn stopped. So then we realized that we yanked the wrong fuse for the horn anyway, and she pulled the correct one out and reconnected the battery horn sound (yay!) but the car won't turn over (fuck). The alarm finally shut the car down because it was in "I'm being stolen" mode, so that's fine. I called AAA to have them tow it to the dealer. The tow guy came and of course it turned over for him, but the alarm still had control of the car because all the side lights were on and the little alarm light was flashing. But no horn sound because we pulled the fuse. So, he towed it to the dealer.

So Kate and I were both stuck at the house because the flooring guys were still there and there's no way she was going to let me drive her truck to urgent care (I don't blame her in the least). Funny thing, she said when she heard the horn blaring from afar, her first thought was "I hope she didn't pull onto the road and get into a wreck." Given events of the day and also in the past, this was a valid thought. If I had taken up the offer from my third boss, I'd have gotten myself to urgent care, but then this whole car thing would have happened anyway so I figured best to have it all happen on the same day.

Since there was nothing to do but wait until the flooring guys were finished, we did just that. Two hours later, the dealer called and reported that "everything is fine" with my car, that he just reprogrammed the alarm transmitter and receiver and the alarm can now be armed and disarmed. I was skeptical, because I know my car. But we said fine, we'll come get it. The flooring guys finished up and we headed off to the dealer. The plan was to get the car, then I'd go to urgent care on my own.

The dealer was wrong, I was right, and my car alarm was still messed up. Left the car with them, went down to the Enterprise Rent-a-Car place a few blocks down the road and got a rental. Kate said she'd lead me to the urgent care and make sure everything was settled there before leaving me on my own. So we got to the hospital ER (we thought they had a separate urgent care center but they didn't. no big deal, they weren't busy.) and I was registered and such and then Kate gets a phone call that there's some problem with the fence at her house (the fence that encloses her many dogs) so she had to leave.

The doctor and nurses cleaned me up, I got a script for antibiotics and also a tetanus shot ("whoa, you're a bleeder!" said the nurse who stuck me) and was sent on my way with instructions to come back the next day so they can make sure everything was healing appropriately (after telling my horror stories about vet techs and cat bites). I managed to get home without incident, and sat down on the couch and my formerly-freaked-out cat sat right next to me like nothing had ever happened and all was well. I apologized to her for having to yank her out of her hiding place to put her in the secure place, and licked my leg and rubbed her head on my knee and all was well.

My floor is really lovely. I can't wait to do this all again next week when the flooring guys come back to do the other room!

post-script #1: Kate's neighbor backed into her fence and broke it, but got it fixed up and the dogs were ok.

post-script #2: My boss broke her little toe last night. It's not a good time to be any of us. Or, we can say that bad things happen in threes, thus we're all done with the emergencies for now.

post-script #3: I will get my car back tonight, after paying $486 plus a hundred bucks or so for the rental. I still don't plan to arm the alarm, but the module will have been fixed, should I choose to do so.

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