Help, my cats are trying to kill me: They look so innocent. But after they broke her ankle and cracked her rib AMANDA PLATELL'S getting paranoid...
Lying in the darkness on my hall floor, only the excruciating stabbing pain in my ribs and throbbing in my left thigh kept me from slipping into unconsciousness.
My family motto is ‘pain and I are no strangers’, but I was a stranger to this pain. For a moment I thought I was having a nightmare, until I felt a small furry creature nudging my face and licking my nose. The tuna breath unmistakably belonged to Jim, my octogenarian cat.
Suddenly, it became clear. I was struggling to breathe, unable to move, barely conscious — and all because of this blasted cat.
Ted: The rescue kitten who Amanda rescued from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home after he was abused by his previous owners
As Jim is so old now (if he were a person he’d be put on the Liverpool Care Pathway), he can’t manage the steps up to my bed and sleeps on an old blanket on the sofa downstairs. He’s almost blind, completely deaf and so sick that the vet has to do home visits. Only a few weeks ago he told me Jim was fast nearing the end of his nine lives.
So when I woke at midnight to hear him howling as if he were in terrible pain, I leapt out of bed and raced barefoot downstairs — only to lose my footing in my haste, and fall heavily on the stairs.
When I finally came round to find Jim licking my face, he ran straight to his food bowl! The old devil wasn’t in agony and about to leave this mortal coil, he simply wanted a midnight snack.
Horrified at the thought of having to drag myself off to sit with the drunks and druggies in my local A&E for six hours, I dosed myself up with painkillers and went back to bed — after I’d fed Jim and Ted, my kitten, of course.
When I finally went to my doctor in the morning, the prognosis was bleak — I’d broken my rib, and there was nothing he could do. Like a broken heart, it just takes time to heal.
Jim is so old that he is completely deaf and almost blind but this hasn't stopped him tripping up his loving owner
The doctor said I was lucky I hadn’t killed myself. Ha! Lucky my cat hadn’t killed me, more like. And this isn’t the first time I’ve been felled by one of my cats.
Looking at my adorable ginger Toms, you’d think Felix wouldn’t melt in their mouths. They are both rescue cats — I chose Jim at a Doncaster animal shelter, and got teenager Ted from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home — but are they grateful to their rescuer?
Not my brats. Not a bit of it. Instead, they seem determined to repay the loving human who took them in and gave them a good home by leaving me a mess of broken bones.
Actually, I’m starting to think my cats are waging a secret campaign against me, with the aim of keeping me injured, housebound and at their beck and call. Like in the film of Stephen King’s book Misery, where Kathy Bates keeps the author with whom she is obsessed alive but imprisoned in her house. The first incident happened a year ago, when Ted was just ten weeks old and newly arrived from the animal sanctuary where he’d been dumped.
He was so tiny he could curl up in the small bottom drawer of my desk, where he would sleep on his snuggle rug from the home as I worked — always by my side.
He was a needy little guy and no wonder. He’d been so badly scalded by his former owners that he had no fur left from his chest down to the tip of his tail. The woman who dumped him said he’d jumped into a bath of boiling water, but the red cross of St George sliced into his tiny belly hinted at more sadistic abuse.
Ted didn’t know that he looked like a rat without fur. He didn’t care, and nor did I. He followed me everywhere, leaping out of his drawer the moment I got up from the desk in my bedroom.
Lively: Kitten Ted's 'favourite game' is to race Amanda down a flight of stairs, weaving in and out between her feet and often with disastrous consequences
So when the downstairs phone rang one day while I was writing and I sprinted downstairs to get it, Ted joined me in what even today is his favourite game: the race to the bottom. Weaving in and out between my feet, his little body criss-crossed the stairs.
Halfway down I saw his white-and-ginger form flash underneath my foot, and did what any loving owner would do — leapt out of the way to avoid crushing him to death. But as I jumped, I lost my footing and plunged all the way to the bottom of the stairs.
Anyone who has ever fallen down and really hurt themselves knows the feeling. First, utter shock, then a feeling of being stunned and unable to move. I actually passed out for while.
'I was embarrassed about having to explain that my broken ankle was down to my cat.'
Slowly I came round, discombobulated that I was lying flat on the floor with Ted nudging my face. I was in agony.
When I finally tried to stand, my ankle collapsed underneath me. Within minutes, it was red and swollen. Within an hour, it was the size of a ripe watermelon.
I had broken my ankle and, as the doctor in A&E said later, was lucky not to have broken my neck.
As it was a hairline fracture, they gave me the choice of wearing an ugly-looking space boot or letting it heal naturally, although the latter would be more painful.
My feet are usually clad in red-soled Louboutins, so the thought of a hideous space boot was just too much and I opted to go barefoot.
That meant I couldn’t leave the house for two weeks, hobbled around in agony and had to spend every spare moment with my foot iced and elevated.
Ironically, the only friends keeping me company were the furry ones who had injured me in the first place. My boyfriend lives in Brussels, so he couldn’t be there often — much to the cats’ delight.
Amanda is convinced she is not the first to fall victim to her cats, last year 86,000 people were injured tripping over their pets
When I woke at 2am, pain shooting through my ankle, Ted would nudge me and purr reassuringly. Perhaps he was trying to say sorry.
Having me at home suited them down to the ground. I could stroke Jim all day long, while Ted would hunt moths and slugs — before proudly depositing them on my chest.
And if I was embarrassed about having to explain that my broken ankle was down to my cat, imagine how I now feel — having to admit that they’ve caused my broken rib, too.
Yet I quickly discovered that I wasn’t the only animal-lover who’d been felled by their pet — though I might be one of the few publicly to admit it.
Recent research has found that 86,000 people trip over their pets annually — with cats being the prime offenders.
A friend of mine, who fell and dislocated his shoulder while trying to avoid stepping on his cat when he got out of bed, was so ashamed, he told his work colleagues that he’d been mugged in the street.
Irony: Amanda says that despite her cats causing her major injuries they were also the ones who faithfully kept her company while she convalesced
A girlfriend who got up in the middle of the night to try to separate her kitten from a mouse he’d caught, slipped on the stairs and cracked a rib. When asked what had happened, she said she’d fallen out of bed during a wild love-making session.
They lied partly out of embarrassment, partly because they didn’t want to pin the blame on their beloved moggies — they love them too much for that.
I certainly can’t lay all the fault at my cats’ paws. I have to admit I have treacherous stairs that are exceptionally twisty and steep. Having my cottage valued recently, the surveyor said they wouldn’t be allowed these days. Health and safety and all that.
But how to avoid further injuries? Have the cottage remodelled, fit a Stannah stairlift, or — the unthinkable — get rid of my cats?
While some friends have encouraged me to give Jim and Ted away after my latest injury, saying that at 55 I can’t afford to break any more bones, I won’t countenance it.
As I write this, Ted — too big now to fit into his desk drawer — is sleeping on my desk, while Jim is downstairs, miaowing for yet more food. And, predictably, the cats have never been happier. I’m not dashing about, leaving early and coming home late, only to see their two ginger faces waiting eagerly inside the front door.
Instead, we’re all snuggled up at home together — me, two wannabe-killer cats and one very achy rib.
Read more: AMANDA PLATELL'S cat's trying to kill her: They broke her ankle and cracked her rib | Mail Online
Our cat nearly sent me down the stairs the other day too. Normally when she's pottering about and I'm going upstairs I go half way up and then stop and wait for the inevitable thunder of tiny feet as she races past me to be first to the top. However this time the little bastard caught me unawares - I thought she was asleep and she wasn't, and instead of trying to beat me to the top she decided she wanted to attack me feet. It's a good job we have a sturdy hand rail!
I've also lost count of the number of other times I've been tripped, scratched, bitten hard enough to leave scars, come close to suffocation due to sleeping cats on my throat/sleeping beside my head and then sprawling and on one memorable occassion I even knocked myself out headbutting my bedroom wall after my first ever fat bastard cat had slept on the small of my back and somehow gave me a dead leg that meant I went crashing when I tried to get out of bed.
When I start thinking about all the moggy-related injuries I've had over the years I wonder why the hell I keep them. Then I look at the furdemon I share with the Bloke, purring while stretched out asleep on her back and I'll get a phone call from my BFF and then spend most of it miaowing to and being miaowed at by my older girls and I remember. It's obviously because I'm nucking futs.