Backside bigspin, photos: Chami

The rumor is that Raffin really turned it up in the last few weeks of filming.
Yeah, that’s what I heard too. I was hearing stories and stuff. I missed three weeks of filming because I got sick. I got some bacteria infection from a cat bite. I couldn’t skate, which was driving me nuts, stressing me out. When it comes down to a deadline, you always want to do as much as possible, but with skateboarding, you can’t really say it and do it, it’s just a matter of getting it done. You never know if you’re walking away from a spot with a trick. That three weeks, from what I hear, he was gettin’ some shit done.

Was it a stray cat or your own cat?
Stray cat. That was the most f—ked up thing about it. We didn’t know anything about the cat. It was living in a colony of cats and there was a skunk living with them, and skunks and bats are the number one carriers of rabies. So I was like stressing out super hard thinking I possibly had rabies. If you read up on it, once you have symptoms of rabies, it’s too late to get help—and you’re dead [laughs].

So if it wasn’t rabies, it was just some other type of infection?
Yeah, I got blood tests done and all this crap. The thing that really nailed it down was the center for disease control or something called me. They weren’t supposed to, but my mom was freaking out because I went straight to the hospital after a week or two. The lady on the phone said, “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but the cat didn’t have it [rabies].” You’re supposed to have the vet contact you and tell you that you’re safe, but the lady gave us good information. Hooked it up.

Damn, so you had to bring in the cat too, to get it tested with you [laughs]?
Well, that’s a whole different story. In order to test an animal for rabies you basically have to chop its head off and test the brain.

Holy shit.
We actually had to put the cat down anyways, because it had some birth defects where it couldn’t breath properly.