Dede Phillips just wanted to photograph a new bumper sticker on the back of her truck. She never did get to snap a photo of thing, which read "Women who behave rarely make history," but the 46-year-old grandmother did wind up proving that message right earlier this month.
That's because a few weeks ago when Phillips walked outside hoping to take document her truck's new accessory, she unexpectedly came face to face with a rabid bobcat. After it watched her for a few moments in the front yard of her home in Georgia, the cat pounced on her, teeth flashing and claws out. Using only her bare hands, Phillips says she wrestled the creature to the ground, all while her five-year-old granddaughter slept inside, CBS reports.
"As soon as it took the first step, I was in trouble and I knew it," Phillips told CBS. "My first thought [was] Not today! I wasn’t dying today." The bobcat leapt, teeth aiming for her jugular, but Phillips managed to dodge the potentially fatal bite.
"It caught me slightly on my face, but I got him before he could do much damage there," she explained to OnlineAthens. "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."
She began strangling the animal, hands tight around its neck, as it twisted and bit her. Phillips said she wanted to scream for help, but stayed quiet, knowing it was the only way to keep her young granddaughter safe.
She eventually strangled the bobcat to death, hesitant to let go even after the rabid animal lay motionless on the lawn next to her. Her son arrived shortly after the attack and stabbed it a few times just to make sure it was dead. Phillips was then taken to the hospital, where she was treated for the bites and claw marks covering her body, as well as a broken finger she sustained fending off the unprovoked attack. She was also given a string of rabies vaccines, and authorities burned the animal's blood in her front yard after finding out it had tested positive for the disease.
Phillips's medical expenses have already reportedly cost $10,000, but a new Fundly crowdfunding campaign is trying to raise money to help the brave grandmother out. So far, the campaign has raised nearly $30,000 for Phillips, with more than a month left to go. But all money aside, Phillips should feel pretty good about the fact that she's just made history—as the world's most badass grandmother who really doesn't seem to be afraid of anything.
"It was either me or the cat," she told NBC affiliate WYFF, "and it was going to be the cat that day."
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