Hard-learned lesson: The answer is never "Pick Bad Cat up."
The thing about a Bad Cat mauling is just when you think he ought to be letting go by now, he digs his fangs in deeper. It's all kind of a blur, really. A long, screamy blur. I was so mad--and also, it hurt--that I just burst into tears. I mean, after I was able to extract my arm. So I'm standing there at the sink scrubbing my wounds with dish soap or whatever, desperately trying to clean up before it's Too Late, sobbing. And I haven't cried since That One Time During Compocalypse '09 When I Started Throwing Things. But things are just really stressful around here right now, what with Sam's health and my grandmother's house and all, and I just did not want to go through the Flesh-Eating Catbitis Saga again--which, to catch you up on that, was an incident in 2007 where Bad Cat bit my thumb and the back of my hand, and my mother insisted I'd be fine, whatevs, walk it off, and then I end up at MedHelp four days later with an angry feverish streak spreading up my arm, two very enthusiastic (if incredulous) doctors, a steroid shot, and a prescription for 1) ~THE CLINDA~ (no relation) and 2) Doxycycline, "the daisy cutter of antibiotics." And I just could not face the prospect of going through that, at this moment, again.
And instead of two deep punctures, this time, I have six.
It's weird, because they kind of look like vampire bites. No lesser teeth or long scratches or anything, I mean. Just nice fangy punctures, two by two. There's one set on the back of my wrist, and I think it's the worst because it's the bony part (well, as bony as you get on me) right over the muscle, as opposed to the fleshy underside. Then, on the inside of my arm, another set, just below the wrist and to the left. Not the worst, but they're still pretty good. There is one fangy scratch on the wrist itself (not counted among the six), and some incidental marks that healed up pretty quickly. Then, all the way down near my elbow, another set--not very deep, but a little bruised. The weird part is, I know that goddamn cat grabbed me with his back claws, but I can't find any scratches--just evenly-spaced fang bites. But how did he bite me at the wrist and the elbow at the same time? I don't know.
So anyway, I'm staggering through the house, clutching my arm, cursing, sobbing, making a tour of Antiseptics We Have Known and Loved. I applied rubbing alcohol. I applied peroxide. I briefly considered Lysol, and then folks on Twitter suggested a vinegar solution, which, while less refreshingly pine-scented, seemed like a better idea in the long run. And finally: the Neosporin ointment and the Band-Aids. Four of them, big giant ones (this seemed more economical at the time) that then ripped off arm hair I didn't even know I had. You know that saying about how it's better to rip the proverbial Band-Aid off all at once? It's not. It's really, really not.
But, even accounting for the redness of forcibly exfoliated patches... yeah. The bite on the back of my hand was getting that telltale, spreading pinkness.
Kids, do as I say, not as I do. Get your cat bites checked out by a doctor. Don't go dig an old sulfur-based antibiotic (because you are allergic to penicillin) out of the kitchen cabinet and start taking that. You certainly won't be rejoicing when the swelling goes down, because you didn't take recycled medicine in the first place. Because that would be bad, and we don't do that. Right? Yes.
I'm still being very careful with the bites, but they're only pink on the very edges--you know, the way you would expect after having been snacked on. There's still a large sunburned-looking patch on the back of my arm... from the giant depilatory Band-Aid. Everything else, including my eight new tiny Band-Aids, which I change twice a day, seems to be in working order.