EXCLUSIVE — WFOR’s Gary Nelson Sidelined by Cat Bite!

Gary Nelson

WFOR-Channel 4’s Gary Nelson: “My felonious feline caused me a lot of pain!” (WFOR photo)

WFOR-Channel 4 star reporter Gary Nelson is finally getting better – six weeks after he was sidelined by a serious infection in his right wrist.

How did the nasty bacteria end up embedded into the joint, causing him to be unable to hold a pen?

Blame the jailhouse cat that Nelson rescued in 2005 while covering serial rapist Reynaldo Rapalo’s brief escape from Miami’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center!

“My cat Buckles, which is an indoor cat, got out one night and I went in the driveway to fetch him,” Nelson said, “and he wasn’t ready to come home. So he bit me right, perfectly into the joint.”

Since then, the 62-year-old newsman has had to contend with three surgeries, two hospital stays, one month on an antibiotic IV drip, a toxic reaction to the antibiotics and hours of physical therapy.

Buckles, Gary Nelson's cat

Buckles: Rescued by Nelson and named after an escaped Miami inmate (Gary Nelson photo)

He’s expected back on the job he’s had at the CBS affiliate for 22 year within the next couple of weeks.

“I just started being able to hold a pen,” he said. “I’m anxious to get back.”

And Nelson obviously forgave Buckles, who first cozied up to Nelson outside the jail after an inmate abandoned him. Nelson took the kitty home to Palmetto Bay and named him after Rapalo fellow escapee, Rodney Buckles. (Both cons were eventually arrested, btw!)

“I love that cat,” he said. “The lesson is: Don’t try to make a cat come home until he’s good and ready.”

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  1. Toni says

    I too am a cat lover with an inside cat that got out. The cat got out and did not want to go back into the house but I was smart enough to realize she would bite me if I tried to pick her up. I ran into the house and got a bathroom rug, threw it over her, scooped her up and then dumped the whole thing down once in the house. My cat loves me dearly but the thrill of being outside is more than she could handle. Another time she got out and I tried to catch her, couldn’t find her and then gave up. In the mean time she had worked her way around the garden and gone back into the house on her own. So when I walked back in, almost in tears, there she was! Hope the newscaster has a speedy recovery and thanks for forgiving Buckles.

  2. Roy Harris says

    I, too, love cats and I had one for 16 years but I would have locked that Buckles up in a pen for a couple of weeks after I got him home…the cat knew what he was doing. Or, I would have gotten rid of him; I don’t tolerate pets that bite their masters.