Georgia grandmother fights off rabid bobcat with her bare hands

A Georgia grandmother had nothing but her bare hands to protect herself when a rabid bobcat attacked her in her front yard. It turned out that was all she needed.

DeDe Phillips strangled the cat after it lunged at her face and she took it to the ground, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. The attack happened around 6 p.m. June 7, when the 46-year-old woman spotted the animal in her Hart County yard and tried to take a photo.

Phillips lives in a rural area near the Hart-Elbert line.

“I thought, ‘Not today,’” she told the newspaper. “There was no way I was going to die.”

While Phillips got the upper hand of the brawl, she didn’t make it out unscathed. According to the Banner-Herald, she is now being treated for rabies at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. She is also recovering from a broken finger and several bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs.

DeDe Phillips is being treated for rabies at Northeast Georgia Medical Center after a bobcat attack. She also sustained bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs. (Credit: Athens Banner-Herald)

icon to expand image

She told the newspaper she walked outside that night with the intent of snapping a photo of a new bumper sticker on her truck. The sticker aptly reads: “Women who behave rarely make history.”

Instead, she turned her attention to the bobcat.

“I saw the cat and I took a picture,” Phillips told the Banner-Herald. “The cat took two steps and was on top of me. ... It came for my face.”

She said once her hands found the animal’s throat, she squeezed and didn’t let go. She was afraid of calling for help because her 5-year-old granddaughter was in the house, the newspaper reported.

Eventually, when she suspected the animal was dead, Phillips yelled for her daughter-in-law to call 911. She finally released her grip after her son arrived to relieve her.

“My son stabbed it four or five times, but it never budged so I knew it was completely dead,” Phillips told the newspaper.

Her cousin, Amy Leann Mize, has set up a fundraising page to help with the expense of Phillips' rabies shots.