The cat won.

A cat challenged me informally to a duel once. At the vulnerable age of nine years old, I was laying on the floor watching TV. I believe it was Bill Nye, the science guy. I’ve always been a loser. It was always either Bill Nye or The Joy of Painting. Or Reading Rainbow. We only got PBS at my babysitters. I SHOULD BE SMARTER, DAMNIT. Bill, Ross, and that guy from Star Trek betrayed me.

Anyways, the babysitters cat, a sleek black ruffian about a year old, decided that he really didn’t like my attitude. He was fed up with me eating food and prancing around and generally being a human. He neared me, looking innocent enough. “Hey rasc-” DEATHSTRIKE

That little fucker grabbed my face and didn’t let go. He dug into my delicate little 9-year-old cheeks like so many chunks of salmons, using his front ones to anchor into my skull.

My babysitter, upon hearing my deranged screams, rushed onto the scene. She ripped the cat off my face and threw it outside, then hurried me into the bathroom and began to clean me up. Tears and blood were streaming down my face. Mostly blood.

“DON’T *SNIFF* HURT *SNIFF* THE-E-E-E KIIITTTYYYYYY” I cried.
She brushed my hair away from my bloody face. My mom arrived early from work for some reason just as my babysitter had begun to call her.

Mom: WHAT HAPPENED?
Babysitter: I WAS IN THE KITCHEN MAKING SUPPER AND I GUESS THE CAT GOT HER
Mom: OH MY GOD, SKYLAR ARE YOU OKAY?
Me: Mommy, am I going to have to go to the doctors?
Mom: OF COURSE YOU ARE! YOU’RE PROBABLY GOING TO NEED STITCHES.

I knew what stitches were. When my sisters dad had hurt himself, he had to get stitches. I did not want stitches.

Me: MOM JASON HAS STITCHES AND THEY LOOK LIKE LITTLE NAILS IN HIS ARMS AND THEY LOOK BAD AND THEY ARE REALLY GROSS AND WHAT IF MY FRIENDS WILL NOT PLAY WITH ME ANYMORE BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT TO GET STITCHES BECAUSE JASON HAD THEM AND NOW I HAVE THEM TOO.
Mom: Skylar, don’t be ridiculous. You have to get stitches. That scratch is really bad
Me: NO MOMMY IT’S NOT IT DIDN’T HURT AT ALL

I removed the washcloth I had been holding over my face and, lo and behold, it was bad. I could feel the warm blood trickle down my face, and it was coming quickly at that.

My mom rushed me into the car and buckled me into my seat. We got to the hospital, a 20 mile trip, in under 10 minutes. I was pretty impressed. So impressed I questioned the validity of that time estimate.

My mother Bulldozed her way to the front of the line past someone who looked like they may have just lost an eye and an old guy who was yelling at his feet, and plopped me on the counter.

Mom: MY DAUGHTER IS BLEEDING TO DEATH AND SHE NEEDS TO SEE A DOCTOR NOW.

I’m entirely unsure what happened in the time waiting for the doctor, because I can’t remember any of it. I don’t know if I was unconscious or just thinking about cats.

Once we got in there the doctor examined what was left of my face.

Doctor: Hmm…what did you do to make the cat hate you?
Me: NOTHING I WAS WATCHING SCIENCE.
Doctor: Haha, well, you’re going to have to get stitches
Me: YOU CAN’T JASON HAS STITCHES AND THEN NOT ANY OF MY FRIENDS WILL PLAY WITH ME

He must have thought I was psychotic.

Doctor: We’ll numb you and everything, it won’t even hurt. Now, lie down on the surgical table.

He administered the shot, and my mom pet my hair. “Now see,” she asked, “was that so bad?” I whimpered.

Doctor: Alright. Now is the fun part.
Me: Is this going to hurt?
Doctor: With that shot you shouldn’t feel anything but a tickle under your cheek

He was right, I didn’t feel anything. Well, until the last 3 stitches were put in and the numbing hadn’t reached up there. I started groan

Me: Mooooommmm it hurts so muuuucccchhh
Mom: You’re numb you can’t feel anything.
Me: Mom it huuurrrtttsssss
Mom: It’s all in your head. (leave it to my mom to try to convince me I’m wrong about being in pain)
Doctor: Actually, I don’t think we numbed her enough, so she may be feeling these stitches going in.
Me: Will you put more numb stuff in?
Doctor: We’re almost done
Me: But it hurts so much

That didn’t stop him though. No sir, he had a job to do, and that was making my face better. If he had to shove a needle in my completely responsive and very-much-sensitive skin, then damn it, he was going to. He finished up

Me: Mommy my face hurts
Mom: I know sweetie.
Doctor: I think she needs to get a tetanus shot though
Me: Is that going to hurt?
Mom: You know that new Pokemon game? Crystal? Let’s go pick that up right after the shot, because you were such a good girl. But, you can only get it if you don’t move during the shot.
Me: YAY! OKAY I PROMISE

I didn’t know what kind of commitment I was making. The tetanus shot was the worse thing I had been through all day. I remember wanting to trade in the tetanus shot and just get mauled by a crazy cat again.

Me: Can we go get Pokemon now?
Mom: Yes, we’ll go now
Me: Can we go to McDonald’s? I’m hungry
Mom: You can’t eat with your mouth stitched shut!

I tried to open my mouth, and realized she was right. That day I played Pokémon Crystal and ate lots of applesauce.

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