Girl-with-Fingers-CrossedWhen I was little – I’m talking 6 or 7 – I told a pretty big lie. One, that when I think back on it as an adult, could have had some pretty serious consequences. Lucky for me, like not wearing seat belts, wearing no bike helmets, and taking candy from strangers, I managed to survive to the ripe old age of 48 despite this big lie.

It was a summer afternoon, and I was outside trying to find something to do. I was left in the care of my older brother and sister, as my mother had gone down the street to have coffee with Aunt Dorothy, who wasn’t really my Aunt – just my mom’s good friend.

Ah, Aunt Dorothy. She’s almost worthy of a blog post of her very own. She was the type of friend that was both a blessing and bummer. Never having had any children of her own, she was always quick to criticize my mother about how she was raising us. She reprimanded often, and had a “children should be seen and not heard” type of attitude.

But, she always made me rye toast with Breakstone’s butter, which I loved, and she always let us watch “The Wizard of Oz” at her house because she had a color TV when we only had black and white. And let’s face it, seeing Oz in black and white is like trying to eat with no taste buds.

When mom was down at Aunt Dorothy’s it was a strict rule that we were only supposed to call in case of an emergency. Too many times had we disturbed their coffee klatch with nonsense like “Judy ate the last Yodel” or “Stefan is hogging the TV watching the Yankees.”

That afternoon my brother probably was watching the Yankees, because I know I was bored and roaming around outside. I was in front of my neighbor’s house when I spotted a cat on the sidewalk. I’d never seen it before and wanted badly to play with it. However, my mom had told me not to mess with stray kitties because we didn’t know if they were mean or nice or if they had their shots.

But it was such a cute thing, so I wandered over, calling to it in kitty talk. I petted it for a while and then got the idea to pick it up and carry it to my yard. This was a mistake.

Upon picking it up it scrambled madly to get away. In the process of making it’s escape, it managed to use my forehead as a springboard. I felt a horrible pain on my head, reached up to touch it and found that I was bleeding.

I remember I took the front of my shirt, and lifted it up to my forehead to try and wipe off the blood. When I pulled my shirt back down the amount of blood seeped into the front of it was way more than I had ever dreamed would be there.

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! I ran down the street and into the house to show Wendy and Stefan. I must have been a sight with a manhole-sized blood stain on my halter top and probably as much on my head and face. Stefan grabbed the phone and dialed Aunt Dorothy’s number where he got immense satisfaction at saying,  “YES! IT’S AN EMERGENCY!!!”

When mom came rushing home she asked me what happened. Remembering that I was not supposed to pick up strange animals, I told my mom that I had been sitting on my neighbor’s wall, saw a spider and fell off, hitting my head. This is the story that was told at the emergency room, as well. I stuck to it like glue.

I’m sure my wounds puzzled the doctor, and may have cast doubt on my story, but I don’t ever remember anyone questioning me further. I got 7 stitches and was sent home.

Me with swollen eyes staring longingly at the sea...

Me with swollen eyes staring longingly at the sea…

A few days later we all went to Jones Beach, but I couldn’t go in the water because I couldn’t get my wound wet. Plus, my eyes had puffed up something terrible as a result of the stitches. My brothers and sisters made fun of me – and it was no fun being at the beach when you couldn’t go in the water.

A few weeks later I got my stitches out and the whole incident was over.

Thinking back, I realize how bad of a lie this was. How big of a lie. Can you imagine if that cat had Rabies? Or had some crap under it’s claws that could’ve given me an infection? The doctors didn’t know to give me anything special as a precaution, because they didn’t know a cat was even involved in this injury.

It’s like I said earlier, it’s a wonder I managed to stay alive with all the dopey things I’ve done over the past 48 years. Thank goodness I am one, strong, hearty Slovak.