A lot of strange calls come in to column central. But I’d never heard of a situation like Laurie Whitesell’s until last week.
Whitesell is 77. Gene Whitesell, her husband of just under a year, is 80. Both are previously widowed and they live in a second-story apartment at the independent living section of Pheasant Ridge, a retirement community off Franklin Road. He gets around mostly in a power chair.
The problem? They were being held hostage in their apartment by their pet cat — a large, ornery, long-clawed female named Skeeter.
It sounds humorous in an oddball sort of way, right? But it wasn’t at all, listening to Laurie Whitesell tell the story. She quavered over the phone. She was in mortal fear.
Skeeter is black, white and gray. She is old. Gene Whitesell has had her for about eight years. Twice in the past three weeks Skeeter’s bitten Gene badly. Once he had to be treated in a hospital’s emergency room. He’s still taking “heavy-duty” antibiotics, Laurie said.
The cat is nocturnal and prowls around the apartment at night. “She stalks us,” Laurie said. Last week, the Whitesells went to bed wrapped in double blankets, because they were afraid she would attack them in their sleep.
“This is the most terrifying experience I’ve had in my life. I’ve seen her bite Gene and claw me,” Laurie said. “I didn’t sleep for three nights.”
Laurie was also frustrated. She told me couldn’t get anyone to help them do something about it.
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