A Georgia woman fought off and killed a rabid bobcat with her bare hands, suffering only a broken finger and some semi-serious puncture wounds in the process, the Athens Banner-Herald is reporting.
DeDe Phillips, 46, wasn’t interested in dying the day the 40-pound feline came after her, telling the local media that the only thought running through her mind as she battled the crazed animal was, “Not today, there was no way I was going to die.”
It was about 6 p.m. on June 7 when Phillips had put a new bumper sticker on her truck, and she grabbed her cell phone to take a picture of it and share it with her husband. However, she was distracted by the sound of a neighbor’s dog barking, so she turned toward the sound and came face to face with a bobcat. She turned her camera toward the cat, but it was on her in a heartbeat.
“I saw the cat and I took a picture. The cat took two steps and was on top of me…. It came for my face.”
Being the daughter of a bobcat trapper, Phillips knew enough about bobcats to know what the animal had on its mind: instinctually, she says, bobcats go for the jugular vein, so that was the part of her body she protected first.
“It caught me slightly on my face, but I got him before he could do much damage there.”
Unarmed, Phillips figured the only thing she could do was to try to choke the animal to death. Eventually, she got her hands on his throat and tightened her grip until the beast stopped moving. At some point during the commotion, her son had emerged with a gun, but Phillips told him not to shoot the animal because she was too close. Instead, the young man grabbed a knife and stabbed the animal until both were completely certain it was dead.
When the dust had settled an ambulance was called, but Phillips instead drove herself to the hospital. The good news is that save for a broken finger and some pretty horrifying puncture wounds, she emerged mostly unscathed.
The bad news is that the bobcat was rabid, which means that DeDe will be undergoing rabies shots.
Meanwhile, Phillips’ cousin has set up a crowdfunding account to help DeDe with medical bills. As of this writing, the account has raised just over $10,000.
And as for the bumper sticker that almost cost her her life, it reads, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”