On June 7, DeDe Phillips put a bumper sticker on her truck that read: “Women who behave rarely make history.” She was taking a photo of the sticker when she heard her neighbor’s dog barking, looked up and saw a rabid bobcat.
“The cat took two steps and was on top of me,” Phillips, a resident of Hart County, Georgia, told OnlineAthens. “It came for my face.”
Phillips had grown up in the country, and her father-in-law once trapped bobcats. So she knew how the animals kill. “They go for your jugular,” she said, “because when they can get the vein you’re dead in a couple of minutes.”
Phillips told CBS46 that when the cat jumped on her, she was able to grab it by the shoulders and wrestle it to the ground. It bit and scratched at her. So Phillips started to strangle it.
“I took it straight to the ground and started inching my hands up to its throat,” she told Online Athens. “I knew that was the only way I was getting out of this.”
Phillips did not scream or call for help; her 5-year-old granddaughter was inside the house and she did not want the child to come to the door. Only when the bobcat stopped moving did Phillips shout for her daughter-in-law to call 911.
Fingers on both of Phillips’ hands were broken during the attack, and she needs to go through several rounds of rabies shots. A Fundly page has been set up to help with her medical expenses.
Throughout the terrifying ordeal, Phillips was determined to stay alive. “I thought, ‘Not today,’” she told CBS46. “There was no way I was going to die.” She added, “It was either me or the cat and it was going to be the cat that day.”