By Rebecca Drew
THIS WOMAN wasn’t FEE-LINE fine when she woke up with a BLACK EYE and SWOLLEN FACE after being scratched by her own cat whilst trying to calm her down and ended up on an IV for FOUR-DAYS.
When digital marketing consultant, Heidi Plamping (42) and her three-year-old cat, Storm, from Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, travelled to British Columbia at the start of this month to stay and work with friends for the summer, their trip didn’t start as smoothly as Heidi had imagined.
When they arrived on May 2, Heidi let Storm out on her lead as she had done countless times before when they’ve visited. However, since their last visit, Heidi’s friends had got two Great Danes who were very friendly and excited to meet Storm but the large dogs scared her and she started to get tangled in her lead as she panicked to get away.
Heidi rushed to Storm’s rescue and started to untangle her beloved cat as she climbed up her face to the safety of her head. As a result, Heidi had seven scratches on her face and three more on her hand and arm and the next day she woke up with a black eye, thinking that would be the end of the drama, Heidi thought nothing more of her injuries.
When she woke up on May 5, Heidi had a swollen hand and eyes but due to having sensitive skin thought that she could possibly be having a reaction to any dust that could have been present in her new surroundings and brushed it off. The next day her symptoms were worse, and she went to a doctor where she was given pills and told to come back the next day if her condition deteriorated.
On May 7, Heidi’s face was significantly more swollen and covered in rashes so she went back to the doctor who was shocked and explained to her that cat scratches can be very serious and cause sepsis or even death. She was put on an IV and had to return every day for four days to get a new dose of antibiotics administered.
Following her allergic reaction to the scratches, animal lover Heidi says that Storm looked at her funny for a few days whilst the swelling went down but they forgave each other instantly and Heidi says she wouldn’t hesitate to rescue Storm again if the situation arose.
“I let my cat outside on a leash as I have done many times before. This time however, my friends have acquired two Great Danes. Their dogs are very friendly, but my cat hasn’t met a dog before so when one of them showed up she freaked out,” said Heidi.
“Her leash was getting tangled and I was trying to free her. Eventually I picked her up so I could bring her inside. She was so scared she climbed my face to my head while I screamed murder and put her inside.
“So, I had about seven scratches on my face and three on my hand and arm. The next day I had a black eye and I thought that would be that. On May 5, I woke up with swollen eyes and hand. By May 6, it had gotten worse so I went to the doctor.
“Mostly I thought it was related to the scratches. A small part of me thought that I had just moved to my friends’ cabin and cleaned it and possibly I was allergic to the dust, I haven’t had a bad skin reaction in a long time but since high school I have had sensitive skin. I have had rashes off and on all my life from dust, detergent, perfumes and dyes.
“They gave me pills and told me to come back within 24 hours if it got worse. On May 7, I was significantly more swollen and rashy so I went back to the doctor. This time they were a bit freaked out by my face and informed me how bad cat scratches and bites can get. It can lead to sepsis and even death.
“They put me on new pills and an IV that I would keep in my arm and come back to the doctors every day to get another dose of antibiotics. The next day, the swelling was going down but a rash was spreading on my arm.
“The doctor outlined my arm where the rash was and told me to go to the emergency room if it spread any further that night. Thankfully it didn’t and once the hand swelling went down they finally gave me prednisone to help with the swelling and rash in my face.
“They said it is common for cat scratches or bites to cause infection. When they had to order antibiotics that had to go into me through an IV, I knew it was serious but was just thankful that we were heading in the right direction to make me better.
“I started getting upset when my face was so tight and itchy and the medication made me nauseous and sleepy. I knew it would get better, but I was growing impatient. So, it wasn’t exactly the first week in British Columbia that I had pictured for myself.”
Heidi has had Storm ever since she was four months old and says that this incident hasn’t changed their relationship, but Storm is now more wary of going outside.
“Storm is very hesitant to leave the cabin. Back home in Alberta she freely goes outside. Here she is nervous about the dog,” said Heidi.
“She looked at me weird for a few days when my face was swollen but I forgave her right away and actually asked for her forgiveness as I knew it was a very scary situation for her meeting that huge dog.
“If I had to protect her again and pick her up, I would. I don’t have kids. She is my baby. My fur baby.
“I wasn’t aware that cat scratches were so infectious. If you get a cat scratch or bite, go to your doctor right away.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/heidigothere