Cat Bites Chunk Out of Woman’s Finger
You may have read about this story. I would just like to put in my two pennies worth. The story began normally enough. A woman, Karen Costa, living in Queens (which I presume is Queens, New York) adopted two cats from a PETCO fair. One was male the other female. They came as a couple.
In fact Karen wanted to adopt a female tabby cat but was asked to also adopt the brother of her selected cat, which she accepted. She called them Harry and Sally.
Harry, apparently, spent three weeks under her bed on arriving at her home. In other words he was scared to death. Nothing has been said about his sister so we have to assume that she was settling in nicely.
We are told that Harry eventually came out and bit Karen on the middle finger of her right hand taking a chunk of flesh out of it.
As a result she was hospitalised for 3 nights and had 6 months off work! She is suing for compensation having, she says, lost a major contract resulting in financial loss. Her claim for compensation states that Harry was a feral cat and not domesticated.
Now, how plausible is all that and who is at fault?
How likely is it that the brother tabby is feral and his sister is domesticated? I would have thought that highly unlikely. Much more likely is that they were both domestic cat living together in the same household until put in a shelter. For some reason the boy was more unsettled than his sister.
Then if Harry is frightened and showing clear signs of that emotional state, a prepared and educated cat caretaker should be respectful of the emotional stress that the cat is going through and take appropriate steps. This means exercising caution, care and patience and even seeking advice.
It also means not pushing the cat to do things that are unacceptable to the cat and which might and probably will provoke a hostile reaction. This is what probably happened.
Now I am guessing but Karen probably stuck her hand out to Harry to pet him and perhaps get him out from under the bed and he bit her. Whose fault is that?
And to take a “chunk” out of her finger sounds very odd to me. The only way I can see that happening is if Harry bit her and held on while she pulled her hand away hard. Once again I see a lot of contributory negligence in Karen’s behavior if my assessment is correct.
Thus far then I would say that Karen is likely to be the author of the injury that she suffered – it was probably mainly her fault.
Then we have the three nights in hospital! Sounds plausible or sensible? No.
Finally to claim for 6 months six leave is astonishing.
My conclusion must be that her claim will fail on a number of levels, the most compelling of which is that she adopted a cat for the first time while failing to educate herself as to how to be a proper cat caretaker.
It’s her fault and she is exaggerating anyway. I also think that her claim is bad publicity for the domestic cat. It may and probably will put people off adopting cats. This is a bad thing at time when more people are needed to come forward.
In my opinion, therefore, her claim has been made recklessly without regard as to the wider consequences. If criticism is to be laid at someone’s feet it should be at hers. We are in charge when it comes to domestic cats. Cats react to the environment that we create for them. They are our responsibility.