Three days into our visit and Polly cat is behaving responsibly, not venturing far from the mother ship and not complaining when we keep her inside from dusk to dawn. This is part for her safety and consideration for our neighbours who don't choose to have a pet and may not be happy to have a strange one visiting.
Last night while we were having dinner we had all the door and all the hatches closed except for the one over the forward head which was covered by our upturned dinghy. Suddenly there was a flash, a dash of orange and Polly flying ahead of an invading ginger tom cat. I caught Polly. David grabbed the invader and put him out on the dock but the cat was reluctant to leave and David had to stamp his feet and shoo him away down the pontoon. But halfway along the pontoon the cat stopped, turned and leapt at David raking the back of his left hand with its claws and sinking its teeth in to the back of his right hand where it hung on swinging from his hand. It did let go and then it ran away leaving blood pouring from David's wounds.
There was one gaping laceration and other smaller hole and claw scratches. I washed them, cleaned with medical alcohol, added plasters and a bandage to keep all in place overnight. Next morning his right hand was hot and swollen. We were talking to our neighbour Joseph who when he heard the tale and saw the bandage insisted on driving us to see his wife who is a doctor. If it were simple she could clean and glue the wound. It wasn't simple. The wound was deep, infected and we needed to go to the emergency department at the hospital. Joseph insisted on taking us which was a big help because he could translate the intricacies of hospital check in.
|twelve hours later and infected|
The doctor's diagnosis was the small cut was the worst because it was a deep puncture wound. The larger gash needed a stitch and a drain to allow infection a way out, but he had been very lucky because the bite didn't sever the tendons. With a course of antibiotics for a week and the need for daily dressing changes we would need to defer our plans to work on the boat and to tour the island.
We were very fortunate to have Joseph's help. Apart from taking us to his doctor wife and to the hospital, he introduced us to Christine, a dentist, who lives on the boat opposite us, and a doctor and nurse who live on their boat on the end of our dock. Christine did the first dressing change on Sunday morning and then Dr Christoph and nurse Noelle took over the care.
It took two weeks, but David's hand healed completely and the scar will be a permanent reminder of our visit to La Reunion.