A dog walker thought she was going to die when a rampaging cow head-butted her, leaving her with a “monster’s” black eye and a “wobbly face”.
Cathrene Mieras, 26, was headbutted twice by the 70-stone animal as she walked her family dog on a lead in a public field near her home in Carlisle, Cumbria.
The environmental officer believes her screams may have frightened the brown cow and stopped her from killing it.
She checked on her pet Collie and called her dad and boyfriend for help after looking at his injury on her phone camera, fearing his “eye was coming out of my head”.
She was taken to hospital and an X-ray revealed she had no broken bones. but she was left with a giant, bloody, black right eye, the size of a tennis ball. She also suffered jaw pain so severe she couldn’t eat and was forced to live on smoothies for two weeks.
Cathrene Mieras, 26, checked her injury on her phone camera after the attack in Carlisle, Cumbria, and initially thought her eye was protruding from her head.
The swelling in her eye has now completely gone down, but she says she is still numb and has no feeling in her face.
Ms Mieras was listening to her podcast at the time and had strayed from her usual route along the river to walk through the fields due to the unseasonably warm weather on September 4.
Recounting the horrific moment, she said: “I thought it was going to kill me. It’s the most scared I’ve had in my entire life.
“I started walking in the field, and the next thing I remember I looked up, because I was looking at the dog going ‘good boy,’ and this big brown cow was rushed towards me.
“He dove his head in and headbutted me twice. The last thing I remember is this huge head hitting me.
“It was just this one cow. I don’t remember how it scared me, I think I just screamed.
The fitness enthusiast knew there were cows grazing on the other side of the field so she “wasn’t bothered” and says she knows “pretty much every trail in Carlisle”.
She now thinks the blazing sun could be responsible for the cow’s brutal attack.
She was taken to hospital by her father after being headbutted by a cow while walking in a field near her home. An X-ray revealed she had no broken bones
She was attacked by the 70-stone animal while walking her family dog and believes her screams could have scared the brown cow and saved her life.
Ms Mieras was left with a giant bloody, black right eye the size of a tennis ball and suffered jaw pain so severe she couldn’t eat for two weeks.
Ms. Mieras was unable to eat for two weeks and lived on smoothie drinks. It would take two days before he could open his eyes again
“A lot of people I spoke to said it was possible for cows to be reactive in very hot weather, it was a very hot day,” she said.
“Or someone said the cow might have been scared by a dog before, but obviously the dog wasn’t responsive.”
During the split-second attack, Ms Mieras was knocked to the ground and narrowly avoided catastrophic injury.
She picked up her dog and ran out of the fields as far as she could before taking out her phone to check the damage on his face.
“My eye was very swollen, and because I was in shock, I thought it was my eyeball coming out of my head,” she said.
“I somehow managed to hold on until I got to the parking area.”
She called her father and her boyfriend who both thought she had been hit by a car.
At the Cumberland Infirmary, Ms Mieras was given painkillers through an intravenous drip, before being sent for an X-ray. His “monster” black eye had caused it to swell and it would be two days before he could open it again.
She had strayed from her usual route along the river and opted to walk through fields due to the unseasonably warm weather in September.
But the fitness enthusiast didn’t stop her from returning to the gym a few days later and even finished third in a CrossFit competition and a half marathon three weeks after the attack.
“When my eye opened it was full of blood and you could see the visible swelling in my jaw and this big lump over my eye,” she said.
“I still have numbness now, I have no feeling in my face.”
She added: “I didn’t realize how lucky I was, because I started hearing all these other horror stories about cows and people being trampled and having much worse outcomes.
“I consider myself very lucky to have managed to walk away without knocking on wood, without lasting injuries, just a wobbly face.”
Sportswoman Cathrene bravely returned to the gym three days later and even finished third in a CrossFit competition and a half marathon three weeks later.
She believes her fitness has helped her recovery, but she is now afraid of being near cows and has almost had panic attacks.
Ms Mieras said: “I went for a walk alone the other day and wanted to see if I could get close to a cow, and I did another one of my usual routes.
“I got on the field, I’m wearing a fitness watch and my heart rate was extremely high. I thought I was going to have a panic attack.
“It will be a long time before I can be with them, I’m lucky to be alive.”