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Diagnostic Code

A Penny for My Thoughts: When Woodpeckers Attack

I've been bitten by both dogs and horses. I tried capturing a feral cat once...quite the dumbest move I've ever made. Receiving the series of rabies shots was as awful as they're reported to be. And, yes the needle is about 8 feet long.

A couple of weeks ago, I was inside doing some chore. I heard my cat Leah wailing a sound that I had never heard. Running to the deck, I was startled to see feathers and tufts of fur and a tangle of bird and cat. Recognizing this aviator as a Woodpecker due to the crest on his head and a unique elongated beak, I ran out and madly waved my arms as I shrieked. (Again, I claim stupidity.) "Bomber" set his (her?) radar on me and dove in for an attack. In that nano second before it struck, my intellect... (I know, "What intellect?" You ask.)... worked in a fashion similar to this: 

I have terrible health insurance. My policy doesn't cover much and I generally have to submit appeals to get them to pay  a whopping fifty percent. When I go to the E.R. with woodpecker wounds, will they have a diagnostic code? Lacerations Due To Bird Attack and Psychological Complications... 300.10????

Bomber flew into the arm of my jacket, leaving a slit in the material. Having had enough I guess, he lopsidedly soared off. Leah's eyes were the size of a bird's egg as she — smartly — hid under a chair. I went over her with a fine-toothed comb and saw no injuries, just a few patches of missing fur.

After inhaling a Three Musketeer bar, I eventually calmed down enough to Google 'Woodpecker Aggression.' According to the many links that I studied, woodpeckers are NOT aggressive toward humans. I found one site that did state they will protect their nests. These nests are often on the interior of a home's siding, having been accessed through drilling with their sharp beaks. I found no holes, no nesting materials or droppings. Ah my, Woodpeckers.

"Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that has the blues? One reason why birds and horse are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses."
 ~ Dale Carnegie~

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Leslie Yager November 12, 2012 at 05:11 PM
WHAT A STORY! It's amazing how quickly the world crumbles, Kathy. Hope you didn't need a diagnostic code though.
Ken November 13, 2012 at 01:52 AM
There are actually E codes in the ICD-9 book that do list codes such as injury, bite or cut by wild animal. Speaking of birds and cats. We have a white cat who when she was still a kitten we worried could be an easily spotted small target for a bird. White cats are not exactly well camaflouged. Our kitten is now a cat, a bit on the heavy side, somewhere between 15-18 lbs. Now when a bird flys over head and sees the cat on the deck I'm guessing the bird takes one look and says no way, that is just too heavy to lift.
Leslie Yager November 13, 2012 at 02:13 AM
When daughter was 5, she was dive bombed by a seagull on the beach while eating a hamburger from the concession stand. Scary. Huge bird on her head, talons gripping, wings flapping, snatched her food from her lips. To this day she will not eat on the beach unless she's under cover.
Karl November 14, 2012 at 09:35 AM
Just wondering if this was at the time of Sandy? Maybe it got disoriented?
Kathleen Gemmell November 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM
This was just suggested to me by a friend. Actually, Bomber hit prior to the storm, but I can not recall which day. Where DO birds go during a hurricane...hmmm??

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