Thursday, March 1, 2007


Z. picked me up at about 7. He had invited me over to his place to ignore a movie. We decided to go for a walk on the hike and bike trail first since it was such a warm evening. It was getting to be dusk, but there was enough light left for a quick walk around the lake.

We got around to the south side of the lake, near the pedestrian bridge, but instead of going over the bridge, we thought we'd go under and around a different way. We both spotted what we thought was a cat sort of strolling several yards in front of us, but when we got closer we realized it was a small raccoon. A baby raccoon.

It turned around and saw us and stayed where it was. We stopped about 20 feet away from it. I guess we stopped because we wanted to look at it without scaring it away, but it was not at all afraid of us; in fact, it walked toward us. I got a little scared. Something felt wrong. It walked right up to our feet, poked around at our shoes. I was backing away from it, but Z. stayed put. The raccoon climbed up onto Z.'s leg with front paws, sniffed a bit, then bit Z.'s calf.

Z. shooed him away, and he backed off, but not much. He kept trying to come back to our legs. By this time I was freaked out. As we tried to back away, the raccoon followed us. We decided to take the bridge after all, and he pursued us all the way to the stairs but didn't follow us up. We stopped on the bridge to look at Z.'s leg. It was a very minor bite, but the skin was broken in a little curved row of teeth marks.

I knew from the moment I saw the raccoon take a bite that we'd be headed to the hospital soon. Z. was less sure. We went to his place, looked up some info about rabies on the internet. "Immediate medical attention" was the phrase that kept coming up. We did pause to make out for a few minutes, which was pretty funny to recall later.

So instead of a movie, our evening's entertainment was the emergency room waiting room. We arrived there at 9:30. We remarked on the way that it was a good thing this had happened not too late on a weekday, that the emergency room would probably not be too crowded. At about 1:30, Z. saw the triage nurse. At about 3:30, he saw the doctor, and at 5:30 they were giving him three big shots, one in either hip and another one all around the wound (which involved sticking the needle in and moving it around to get what looked like about half a cup of liquid into the muscle). I had to stop looking at that one because I started to feel woozy.

We left at 6 a.m. and had breakfast on the way home. Neither one of us had had dinner, so we were famished. After breakfast, Z. called in sick to work. I think the ordeal was worth it for him for the amusement he got from telling his boss that he wouldn't be coming in today because he'd been "up all night with rabies."

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