North Carolina couple attacked by bobcat speak after viral video, rabies treatment
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Kristi and Happy Wade are on the mend after being attacked by a rabid bobcat in the driveway of their North Carolina home in a wild, viral video that shocked social media.
On the early morning of April 9, the couple was getting into their car to take their cat to the vet when a bobcat pounced on Kristi’s back and bit her, prompting her husband to toss a tray of brownies and run around the SUV to help her. Happy was also bit while wrangling the wild animal, which he was able to chuck across their front lawn and escape from harm’s way. The wild surprise was caught on a home security camera and has since been viewed over 12 million times since hitting Twitter last week.
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Law enforcement arrived at the Wade home, where officers killed the cat, WECT reports. Its body was sent to the state lab in Raleigh, where testing revealed it was positive for rabies. Because the bobcat bit both Happy and Kristi several times, the Burgaw couple has received treatment for rabies – including many shots – to fight the virus.
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Now, the Wades have opened up about the overnight hype and their recovery from the cat attack. Speaking with USA Today in an interview published Tuesday, Kristi said that she and her husband now wish the video had never been circulated, and can’t even attend church without being approached about the must-see moment.
"They've called us jokingly, ‘They're celebrities,’ but we don't feel like celebrities," Kristi confessed. "We wish the video had never been shared, but it was, so now we're dealing with it."
Kristi, 52, said she was bit three times by the rabid animal and sustained over 20 puncture wounds, while the cat bit Happy, 56, three times as well.
Though the couple was hospitalized within an hour of the attack and immediately began receiving antibiotics, the painful process has taken its toll. The Wades have received a grand total of 35 shots in 14 days after being exposed to the viral disease, which can be deadly.
"I said to the nurse it was almost as bad as being attacked by the cat," Kristi told the outlet.
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The woman claims the response to her husband’s immediate reaction of drawing a handgun and shooting at the bobcat has been mixed, with some commenters criticizing the man for attempting to kill the animal. However, Happy insists that he knew something was wrong with the cat because it viciously attacked them out of nowhere and also looked underweight.
"Unfortunately we did have to put the cat down, but that cat was suffering, and it was the right thing to do," he told USA Today.
The Wades call themselves as animal lovers and are involved in the local Pender County Humane Society. They’re also the proud pet parents of one rescue dog and two rescue cats.
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As for lessons learned, Happy hopes the wild tale will remind others to get their pets vaccinated from rabies. What’s more, he’s grateful to have been there to protect his wife in the surreal situation. The couple have been married for almost 30 years, and have known each other since they were teenagers.
"I'm pretty lucky that I married somebody that I feel that way about. Not everybody can say that," Happy said of his spouse. "I just think I'm a loving husband, who was lucky enough to marry the right girl."