Grandmother strangles rabid bobcat after it attacked her

‘As soon as it took the first step, I knew I was in trouble. All I thought was: ‘Not today’. I wasn’t dying today’

By Maya Oppenheim, The Independent

A 46-year-old has strangled a rabid bobcat to death after the large feline attacked her.

DeDe Phillips said the wild animal, which is a relative of the lynx, emerged next to her pickup truck in Georgia while she was in her front driveway on 7 June.

“As soon as it took the first step, I knew I was in trouble. All I thought was: ‘Not today’. I wasn’t dying today,” the grandmother told local television station WGCL.

 She said she had just put a bumper sticker with the slogan: “Women who behave rarely make history” on the back of her new truck, and when she came outside to take a photo she was faced with the prowling animal.
 Ms Phillips, who lives in rural Hart County (about 100 miles northeast of Atlanta), told the Athens Banner-Herald: “The cat took two steps and was on top of me. It came for my face.”
  Her father-in-law used to trap bobcats, she said, but she herself had never come across one in the flesh before.

“They go for the jugular. When they can get the vein you’re dead in a couple of minutes,” she said.

The cat leapt at her face, but she managed to grab hold of its shoulders and push it back, dragging it to the floor.

She said: “I took it straight to the ground and started inching my hands up to its throat. I knew that was the only way I was getting out of this”.

 Ms Phillips then squeezed the predator’s throat while still holding it down and called for her daughter-in-law to get help. Her son then came with a knife and stabbed it “four or five times” to make sure it was dead.

Her five-year-old granddaughter was sleeping inside her home when the attack took place, so Ms Phillips reportedly did not even scream for fear of waking the child up.

 The attack also left her with broken fingers on both hands and bruises and cuts to her body.

She is now forced to get an expensive series of shots to make sure she does not catch rabies from the bobcat, with the first round already costing her $10,000.

Ms Phillips’s cousin has set up a fundraising effort to help with the medical expenses. As of Sunday night, it had already managed to raise more than $26,000.