DeDe Phillips’ first thought when a bobcat attacked in her driveway in Georgia was “I wasn’t dying today,” she says.
As the large feline clawed her, the adrenaline kicked in and she decided to strangle it, she says.
Phillips, 46, told CNN affiliate WGCL that the animal attacked on June 7 at her home in Hart County – about 110 miles northeast of Atlanta.
She had just put a “Women Who Behave Rarely Make History” sticker on the back of her new truck, she says. When she returned outside to take a picture, she encountered the animal.
“As soon as it took the first step, I was in trouble and I knew it,” Phillips told the affiliate. Knowing that her 5-year old granddaughter was sleeping inside the home, she took action after the bobcat jumped on her, she says.
“I grabbed it by the shoulders and pushed it back away from me … and I took it down,” she says.
During the struggle, Phillips says, she got her hands around the animal’s neck and strangled it to death.
Phillips told the Athens Banner-Herald newspaper that she did not scream for help until she thought the animal was dead. “I was scared … that my granddaughter would come out and I didn’t want that to happen,” she says.
The attack left Phillips with puncture wounds on her hands and some broken fingers, along with cuts and bruises on her body.
It wasn’t until the next day that she found out the bobcat tested positive for rabies, and she had her first round of rabies shots.
The Hart County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that deputies responded to an incident involving a bobcat attack last week. When authorities arrived at the scene, they took the dead bobcat to be tested for rabies, the Sheriff’s Office said, adding that the animal also had stab wounds.
The newspaper reported that Phillips’ son used a knife to stab the animal and make sure it was dead.
“My son stabbed it four or five times, but it never budged so I knew it was completely dead,” she told the newspaper.
Though bobcat sightings are rare, the animals have been known to attack humans and are especially aggressive when they are sick.
A bobcat attacked two men and a dog last year in Arizona, and later tested positive for rabies.
CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report.