WEST RUTLAND, VT. - Three days after fighting off and finally hacking and shooting to death a bobcat as it tried to enter their house, a Vermont family learned yesterday the cat was rabid.
"I heard this awful noise coming from our German shepherd on the porch," said Linda Tuliper, describing the events of 3:30 a.m. Sunday. "When I opened the door this big cat lunged, but I slammed the door and caught its head and one paw." She held the door while her husband, Edward, 38, grabbed a machete and hacked at the snarling cat. After Brittanie, their 13-year old daughter, retrieved a pistol hidden by the couple's bed, he shot the cat in the head, finishing it off.
||"When I opened the door this big cat lunged, but I slammed the door and caught its head and one paw."
"We were all screaming," said Linda Tuliper, 57, who says she still sees the scene when she closes her eyes. "There was blood all over us.
"After it was over, We just sat on the couch and looked at each other, all shaking and crying," she said.
They went to the hospital after scratches she had received began to ache.
When the game warden came the next morning, he inspected the animal, which appeared normal. The dead bobcat was then tested and found positive for rabies, which is spread through saliva, blood, and nervous system tissue.
The Tulipers will be treated for rabies today.
LOAD-DATE: May 18, 2000