If you follow this blog, you know that throughout this trip I’ve encountered several small, but bizarre injuries in my travels. First was my broken toe in Nepal, followed by my perforated eardrum on the way home from Everest Base Camp. Although both of these injuries were avoidable (wear better shoes while hiking and don’t try and pop your ears on the plane), neither of them can stack up to my recent malady’s stupidity.
Not a week after I posted an article bemoaning the dumb choices traveller’s make, I did the most idiotic thing I’ve done on my trip so far.
I got bitten by a mongoose.
But let’s back up and start at the beginning. A few weeks ago, I posted about having tried to famous Indonesian “Cat Poop Coffee.” Since our first experience with the brew had been at a mall kiosk, we decided to spend some time visiting the coffee plantations and checking out the cats behind the coffee.
Our first stop was a local man who had set up shop outside a temple in Bali. He himself owned two of the Civet Cats which he kept as pets and used to produce his coffee. The two “cats” lounged around the shop and allowed patrons to pet them and play with them using a large feather duster. In essence, they were totally tame.
The next day, we headed to a coffee plantation to see the entire process from bean to cup. I’m not much of a coffee person, but it was interesting to see how the beans are harvested, roasted and ground up to make coffee.
As with the shop owner, the plantation also had some Civet Cats on hand to help produce their expensive beans. They kept them in a large cage near the restaurant so that you could watch them play as you ate.
Of course I decided to get a closer look and thats when the real excitement happened. Of course, by excitement I mean horrible decision making.
The four of us gathered around to take pictures and one of the cats woke up and came to nose around by our cameras. Without so much as a thought in my head, I stuck my pointer finger in to pet it’s head just like I had done before with the tame cats.
Again, I’m an idiot.
I should pause here and mention that while I am using the term “cat” these are not actually cats. They are large ferret like things that very closely resemble the mongoose. Many of the signs and menus in Indonesia actually refer to them as Mongeese. Anyway back to the story.
As soon as I stuck my finger in it’s cage, the little jerk spun around and bit my finger. All of the sudden this large angry rodent thing had clamped its fangs into the most important finger on my most important hand…and he wasn’t letting go.
If I had to estimate how long I was caught in this evil mastermind’s weasely clutches I would have to estimate it was somewhere around an hour, hour and a half. Of course, my friends insist it was closer to 3 – 4 seconds.
Sadly, I’ve been bitten by many a cat in my day and while it’s not my ideal way to spend time, its nowhere near as painful as the bite from this mongoose. The glorified coffemate got such a good hold on my finger that he managed to inflict three puncture wounds – one of the pad of my finger and two more going through my nail.
Luckily, I was fine. Our taxi driver had a oddly well stocked first aid kit readily available and I was soon cleaned up and bandaged. Besides the possibility that the plantation may need to release a limited edition Liz flavored coffee, there were no ill effects.
Even though I freely admit that the viscous mongoose attack was technically my fault, Shannon had to spend a better part of an hour talking me out of my wild plans to sneak back into the plantation that night to exact my revenge.