A woman was hospitalized with dozens of deep scratches after being attacked by a domestic cat.
The woman, identified only as Tina, was told by doctors that she will likely have dozens of scars, in addition to possible tendon and nerve damage, reports the Daily Mail.
Photos of Tina's hands and arms show bloody scratches and puncture wounds which look like they were caused by a large animal, but in fact they were caused by her neighbor's pet cat.
The date of the attack was not disclosed, but the Daily Mail article, published Sept. 4, implied that it occurred within the past few days. In September 2016, the Queensland Times also reported the case of an anonymous woman being hospitalized after being attacked by a domestic cat.
Tina's ordeal began when she noticed the cat in her yard, growling at her own cat.
After rescuing her cat, she attempted to return the growling cat back to her neighbor's yard.
Tina approached the cat and began petting it, which she said it seemed to enjoy. However, the cat's demeanor changed drastically when she went to pick it up.
"I tried to pick it up and hand it over the fence, but it latched on and attacked for dear life," she explained. "The neighbor had to jump the fence and help me, he was just as traumatized witnessing the whole thing and his wife was pretty shaken up."
Despite being viciously clawed, Tina holds no ill will towards the cat.
"I have only myself to blame," she said. "Stupid me; I shouldn't have picked it up. If I knew it was going to freak out, I would have just left it and let the owner jump the fence to retrieve it. I'm guessing, because it's in a new environment and a stranger picking it up, it was scared and reacted."
Tina's numerous scratches could be more than just painful, however, because "Cat Scratch Fever" is not just the name of a Ted Nugent song.
The clinical term is Cat-Scratch Disease, and it is a serious bacterial infection, according to the CDC.
It is caused by a bacterium called "Bartonella henselae," which is carried by approximately 40 percent of cats at some time in their lives. Cats get the infection from flea bites and flea droppings.
It is transmitted to humans when an infected cat licks a person's open wound, or bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the surface of the skin.
Symptoms include fever, headache, poor appetite and exhaustion. In rare cases, the disease can lead to severe complications that affect the brain, eyes, heart or other internal organs.
Jon Taylor of Devon, England, was one of those rare cases. He was given just 48 hours to live after being scratched by his mother-in-law's cat in 2011, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Streptococcus bacterium from the cat's claw had entered his bloodstream, infecting the aortic valve in his heart, which required emergency surgery to save his life.
"The doctor didn’t mess about; he told me if I didn’t have the surgery, I’d be dead in 48 hours," Taylor explained.
To help prevent Cat-Scratch Disease, the CDC recommends washing cat bites and scratches well with soap and running water, and not allowing a cat to lick a wound.