Cats are said to have nine lives. I wonder how many I have.

black cat on planters pot
Photo by Katarzyna Modrzejewska on

The first time I can remember that I came close to death was when I was a delivery driver for a fried chicken takeout and delivery place on Main Street in the 60’s, I had popped in to a Carols, a fast food, hamburger joint across the street for a bite to eat. As I was leaving the parking lot, I was making a left hand turn out of the driveway. Some kind person, in the outside lane, stopped to let me pass thru the traffic. I drove thru the gap and was broadsided on the driver’s side, totaling the car.

Speaking of car accidents, there have been a couple of other times I have totaled cars. The next time I was driving south on Niagara Falls Boulevard. I was in the inside lane when a car going the other way crossed the double yellow line and hit me. My car was crumpled on the driver’s side from the front bumper to the back. The windshield and the windows on the left hand side of the car were shattered. My car was pushed into a gas station and came to a stop a few feet from the gas pumps where the attendant was pumping gas. His jaw hit the ground.

One other time I was going to a repair shop due to a gas line leak in my car. I was going down a hill when suddenly, the brake lines blew. I thought this was the way I was going to die but I managed to swing onto a side street to avoid smashing into the guard rail at the bottom. I jumped the curb and crashed into a tree instead. When the car stopped, I was under the dashboard on the passenger side with only a cut on my nose.

Twice, while I was in the service, I think we came close to losing our ship. The first time we got lost at night in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. All of our navigation and radios had suddenly gone out. We didn’t regain them back until the morning and no one ever found out what had happened. Another time, in the North Atlantic, we ended up putting a gash in our hull during a storm at night. The water was gushing in. We plugged it up as well as we could. Every portable pump we had on board was pressed into service putting the ocean back outside where it belonged.

I had a brush with death when I first met Lady Electricity. We had a lamp that needed to have the socket replaced. I laid out my tools and sat on my couch to do this relatively simple project. I had disassembled the light and went to disconnect the wires. Hello! How was I to know you should unplug the light before touching the wires?

Electricity and I have gone around a few more times in my life. I was working at a vinegar plant when I was told to put a few new circuits in the lab because some new equipment was overloading the breakers. “Easy Peasy Piece of Pie,” or so I thought. There was a conduit with wiring running to the lab so all I had to do was pull a few new wires through it. There was plenty of room.

I would be able to separate the conduit at the joints and push the wires I needed into it. I was doing this when I got the shock of my life. All I could do was hang on because all my muscles had tightened up. When the 30 Amp breaker tripped, it dropped me in a pile. I must have blacked out because the next thing I can remember is seeing spinning lights. Eventually as I came to, I thought that I couldn’t be dead because I was hearing sounds from the plant.

But this wasn’t the last time electricity tried to get me. I was working at U. S. Sugar and was trying to rewire a panel. My meter was broken so I borrowed a buddy’s. Call it inexperience with this type of meter but I thought everything was off. I went to hook up some wires when the 440V picked me up and threw me across the room. I spent three weeks in the hospital with 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns.

Are we counting? This is eight times I cheated death. I cheated death three more times by beating cancer. My first dance with this dreaded disease was ten years ago. After my surgery, the surgeon said if I had waited two to four weeks longer, he wouldn’t have been able to save me. The cancer metastasized two more times. I was told the last time it was stage four. Neither my oncologist nor I expected me to survive the last time.

I have also had pulmonary embolisms twice. The last time the doctor stated that it was the worst case he had ever seen in a living person. That the only time he had seen embolisms this bad was at an autopsy.

I think that death now looks at his to do list and if he sees my name, he crosses it off because he is tired of dealing with me.

Tagged with: Death, Cats, Cancer, Electricity, Bermuda Triangle, Niagara Falls,