Posts Tagged ‘Bacteria’

Atticus, Warrior Cat

We never owned cats when I was young. My mom said they were sneaky and that was the end of that. We had dogs. And I brought home a skunk and iguanas and african frogs. But, cats were out of the question. My bff, Ramaine always had cats. I thought they were so cool. They weren’t sneaky at all. My mom was a loon.

Even after we had children, my husband didn’t want to have any inside animals. But, he cracked under pressure and brought home a cat for my daughter. She is still alive and my husband, now ex-husband, still hates the cat.

My son decided to go the cat route. He got a cat and named him Atticus. He had planned on training it to be “Atticus, Kick-Ass Cat.” He told me he was going to get a little ninja headband for him and would teach him to use and flush the toilet. Yeah, good luck with that. Well, he did turn out to be a killer cat. I am lucky to have survived the vicious cat attack inflicted upon me.

My daughter warned me not to cat sit when Adam went to Europe over Christmas 2010. She stayed at his apartment one time and awoke, finding Atticus right by her face, eating her hair. She was afraid for her cat, Whiskers. Whiskers lived with me when Alex went off to college. She will be seventeen this July and can hardly walk. Atticus, warrior cat, would simply destroy her.

Sure, looks are deceiving

It was hell. It really was. Whiskers would scream and hiss at Atticus. Atticus would jump out at Whiskers whenever he had the chance. Whiskers would attack, and Atticus would back off. Atticus was just a young cat, still learning how to act around another cat, perhaps. But, then he found my leg.

I guess he thought I wanted to play. He came over and took a little playful bite. But, I didn’t want him to play Warrior Cat with me. I wanted him to be a gentle, non hair eater. I simply pushed him away and told him, “No.” Well, that was like an invitation. Atticus came at me and bit my leg.

I pushed him away. And he came at me again and really let me have it. He really bit into me. I screamed and pushed him away. He came at me again. I had about three good sized bite marks on my leg. I screamed at him again. It was like he turned into a monster cat.  I grabbed my door mat, the closest thing I could find to hide my legs. I had exercise capri pants on, so he was concentrating on my lower legs. I was very afraid.

Well, Adam returned and came back for the little shit. Whiskers slept for days. But, what happened next was bad, very bad. The cat bite became infected. I washed it with soap and water after he bit me, but  I had no idea that a cat that has been  kept inside could have such a potty mouth. I read how the cat’s mouth is just laden with bacteria. And now it was showing up on my leg.

At the time, I didn’t really want to worry my son. I did show him the corner of my new pull out couch where Atticus decided to use as a scratching post.

“You owe me a couch.”  Adam felt bad. I didn’t really want to tell him how bad my leg was. It was getting bad. So, I thought I should probably go to the doctor. Probably means no. I decided to head to the internet instead. Looks like I needed antibiotic. And I should go to the doctor. Should means no.

Well, not a good idea. I started taking amoxicilin. Thank God I had a stash. My leg became ugly and oozy. I babied it and looked at it all the time, worried that pus was just not a good thing.  The information on the internet about cat bites scared me to death. Every day I would say to myself, “Today is the day I should go to the doctor.”  I have since decided that I am very stubborn about visiting a doctor. Not my cup of tea. The picture below was taken a few weeks after the bite. It was looking much better at this point. Really it was.

Ew, I know, right?  Notice the dark mark. That was my brilliant attempt to monitor my condition. I took a pen and drew around the redness to see if it was getting worse or getting better. Why didn’t I just go to the doctor? Well, because I have no brain.

It took almost a month to heal. I probably have some sort of parasitic cat worm traveling around the inside of my body. I am pretty sure that the overdose of anitbiotics helped.

After the cat bite, I bought some betadine and keep it in my medicine cabinet. Good thing, because he bit me again this evening, the little shit.

Yeah, I’m cat sitting again.

He can be a sweet cat. He really enjoys jumping on the table and sitting on my arm. When I graded school papers, he sat on my arm. He is furry and soft and I really like him.

But, then he turns into Psycho cat. He just looked at me and then promptly bit my hand. Oh, it was just a little bite, didn’t really break the skin. I ran to the bathroom, washed it with soap and hot water, then put some Betadine on it.

He’s been here seven nights and he will be here six more. Tick Tock Tick Tock.

At least Whiskers seems to be doing ok.

Reheater Repeater Eaters

Two of my co-workers, Sharon and Shawna, think I am one card short of a full deck because I am very attentive to the rules of reheating food. I believe the word they use is “anal.”   While Sharon was eating leftovers that had been re-heated twice, I told her she was going to die.  So, after the pointing laughter and chiding subsided, I told them that I was going to write a blog about it and research the rules of reheating…  Before they die of some bacterial poisoning that has many syllables in its name. I shall prove them wrong and remove my “anal” moniker.

When I make my spaghetti and meatballs, and heat, say, 3 of the meatballs  the next day for leftovers,  and then decide to only eat one of them, I can NOT  re-heat those other two meatballs. That is it. They are finished. They have already been heated, cooled, then re-heated and then cooled again. If you re-heat again, you will die.

I’m also wondering why people would leave leftover pizza in the box out on the counter overnight. One person told me they put the box in the oven overnight. The oven isn’t on, mind you.  I’m calling people out on this one. I say you are lazy. Yep, lazy. Get 2 pieces of foil and wrap up the damn pizza. Then you can just throw it in the oven the next day and not be found dead clinging on to the pizza because of food poisoning.  The problem with pizza-leaver-outters is that they believe the box is too big too put in an already full refrigerator, so they leave it on the counter so they can die the next day.

My feeling is that bacteria that normally live on the pizza would feel all warm and cozy and start multiplying and possibly mutating. They would like that lukewarm environment. If one eats that pizza, then the bacteria travel to their stomach, where they will start a conga line through your intestines and you will then die.

I went to the Head Honcho of  Food Preparation, the USDA, to find out the answers. This is the United States Department of Agriculture. They know everything. So, read on.

Q. USDA guy- Many people leave pizza out overnight on the counter. Is this smart?

A. “No. Perishable food should never be left out of refrigeration more than two hours. This is true even if there are no meat products on the pizza. Foodborne bacteria that may be present on these foods grow fastest at temperatures between 40 and 140 °F and can double in number every 20 minutes.

Other take-out or delivered foods such as chicken, hamburgers, cut fruit, salads, and party platters, must also be kept at a safe temperature.   Discard all perishable food left at room temperature longer than 2 hours.  Use safely refrigerated food in 3 to 4 days.”

Ok, one point for Vickie.  Death to you lazy food counter sitter-outters.

Q: USDA Guy, I never re-heat leftovers more than once. I think it would cause bacteria to form on the food and people will die. What do you think?

A:  (He’s thinking)….He’s going to let the FDA answer this one. “According to a guide from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA),passing food through the “temperature danger zone” of 41 degrees to 135 degrees Fahrenheit more than once carries greater “potential for the growth of spore-forming or toxigenic bacteria” as well as “the potential to be recontaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which could grow during refrigerated storage.” (Meaning, you will surely die)

2 points for Vickie.  Take that, future Listeria monocytogeners.

Ok, while I am sitting pretty, let’s find out about butter. There are some pathogenic spewing people out there that  don’t have a problem with leaving butter out on the counter. Now, I realize that my mom did this, and I am still alive. But, I think I am barely alive because of her butter behavior. I posed this question on facebook and found that there are many butter-on-the-counter facebook friends. I shall miss all of you. I say that keeping butter on the counter is like eating rancid yellow crap, like pus, perhaps. Hope that grossed you out, because I find keeping butter on the counter just wrong. You’re all going to die.

Q:  I leave my butter out on the counter. Cold butter is just so hard to spread. Is this a good practice?


A: The USDA guidelines state that butter should be stored in its original protective wrapping or a container until ready for use,  and to remove from the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes before use. They also suggest freezing butter not intended for use within two or three days. So, my rancid friends, spread that warm butter on your bread and enjoy!

I think that I have made my point. I think you should admire my vast knowledge of food handling and re-heating requirements.   I am a responsible re-heater. And I have the utmost butter  behavior.

So, in the end,don’t re-heat more than once, don’t leave your pizza out overnight, and put the damn butter in the refrigerator.

Or you will die.

So, what do you do?


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