Samson bit me once – I spent three days in hospital with cellulitis. It happened years ago in the middle of a catfight between a screen door. There was an interloper cat, a Birman, a shaggy white rag of a thing with blue marbles for eyes. There had been a scrap through front door earlier that week. The Birman would taunt Samson from the outside of the house baiting him with little daggers. Samson was a prisoner and unless guard on his turf and some dickhead was prancing around on. T
Mrs B said to throw water on the rancorous duo, but in moments like this, I was as brave as they were little and opened the door to skedaddle the Birman. Samson was jacked; his eyes wide black and smouldering, coat bristling, tail bottle-brushed. The Birman slinked off into the night, traceless before I’d stepped out. Upon entering the house again I stuck a leg in to push Samson back from the threshold – just in case. Blind and berserk he sank his fangs into my left calf and deployed his claws on me like steely Velcro. It lasted moments as I tried to shake him off. Samson ran off and hid. I staggered bleeding to the other end of the house and collapsed. Samson came trotting up meowing softly and licking my hands and purring. It was cat for sorry – I knew that. I spent the rest of the night slicing off little gouges of dermis and fat that was strung from my calf. Self-surgery is existential under the guide of opiates. It is cool and numb.