"Ginny Ballou was half asleep when she reached over to pat her cat, Pretty Boy.
Only the long-haired tomcat was nowhere in sight. What Ballou was running her fingers through instead was the coarse fur of a deranged raccoon.
The vicious animal had crept into the house through the cat door on Wednesday morning, sneaking in beside the 73-year-old woman in bed before jumping on Ballou's face and locking on, said police in Hingam, Mass.
"She had been sleeping on her bed and she thought it was a cat and she went to pat it and found out it was a raccoon," Sgt. Steven Dearth of the Hingam Police Department told ABC News.
"It began to attack her and bit onto her mouth."
Ballou, her lower lip locked in the jaws of the creature, struggled for a terrifying two minutes before managing to pry the raccoon off with her thumbs and throw it to the floor.
Ballou could not be reached for comment, but her daughter recounted the details of the unnerving ordeal to ABC News affiliate WCVB.
"She used her landline telephone to smash it on the head. It ran out of the bedroom; she closed her door and called 911," Jen Bowles said.