I've been sharing my apartment with a furry little hellbeast since last Thursday, and while maybe someday I'll look back on all of this and laugh, right now I'm afraid of my cat and really sad at the thought that maybe she's irreparably broken.
I'm not one of those super huge animal lovers. Dogs freak me out and I will rarely even pet them because, I don't know, I have issues. Cats I like. I know it's stereotypical but whatever. I've liked cats ever since I was, like, seven. It was my second grade shtick. I was the cat girl. (No, I didn't have a lot of friends, why do you ask?). I only have one and even then sometimes I get annoyed more than I think a good pet owner would. I attribute this to the fact that I have no maternal bones in my body or any ability to care for things smaller than me. (I mean, I get "maternal" about my friends and I tend to worry more than I let on, but it's not the same. It's not like they are depending on me for their life or well-being. I'm just a... supplement, if you will. I'd be an awesome grandparent. Which, you know, is impossible to be without having kids first. Ah, well. I'll be a super aunt. And great-aunt. And then I'll be the crazy great-great aunt. I'm digressing.)
All that said... I do love my little kitty. They say people start to resemble their pets (or is it vice versa?) and I suppose, personality-wise, it's true. We're both kind of moody and independent but we like attention and cuddles. So, you know. That is the vaguest description of not only all cats but all women as well. Anyway. I've had her since she was a kitten and so her personality has probably adapted to fit our joint housing lifestyle situation. (nature vs nurture, etc... who knows? maybe she'd be a completely different cat if she lived somewhere else. Something to think about.)
My point is, here, that while sometimes she's annoying (like cats can be), she's a very easygoing, even-tempered kitty. She lets me dress her up, for fuck's sake. (And before you say it: NO, that had nothing to do with this current situation, I have not dressed her up in ages). Which is why this whole thing is so bizarre and unsettling.
So, here is the situation, as it stands (I'm lazy and am copying this from an email that I sent so if the tenses are all weird and jumping all over the place, I apologize):
Thursday evening, I get home from work, and the kitty is fine. Like, totally normal, waiting for me at the door, roaming around, occasionally meowing. My mom comes over for dinner and she's hanging out in the living room while I'm cooking stuff in the kitchen. I come around the corner into the living room to talk to her, and I catch kitty off guard. She arches her back and gets all fluffed out, like she does when she is startled. So I move toward her, because usually she'll "deflate" and then I'll pet her and it will be fine. INSTEAD, she hisses at me and then starts shrieking and practically chases me out of the living room. She's then sitting in the entryway between the living room and whatever this weird entryway room is that joins the living room and kitchen, shrieking and yowling and screaming bloody murder at me. If I inch toward her, she hisses and swipes at me. I acknowledge that this is weird and I back off and go back into the kitchen and kitty goes under the couch.
A few minutes pass and I (try to) go back to the living room... I no sooner step my foot over that threshold and she's screaming again. I swear it sounds like I am abusing this poor animal and I am nowhere NEAR her. (I texted my downstairs neighbor to apologize, lord only knows what she is thinking is going on up here). It just gets louder and more hysterical and at this point I'm like, "okay, this is not right" and I call the emergency phone number for the ISU Vet Med place (hooray for living in a college town!) since it's after-hours and my vet is closed. The girl on the phone can hear her and makes a few notes and says she will call me back. All she can really tell me is that they can't really figure anything out over the phone but it sounds like maybe she's in pain or something and we should probably try to bring her in. So my mother and I are like, "oh, great, we get to try and CATCH this angry demon beast" and so in what I'm sure was a comical scene, we've got her cornered at the far end of the couch, I've got everything pulled out from it... where I then discover that she has totally shit all over the floor. Which she has NEVER EVER done. (The vet said that this isn't totally uncommon, when they are threatened, they'll do that as a defense mechanism of sorts). So we move the couch (okay it's a futon, whatever) and she darts out of there and into the bathroom. So we've got her cornered there and she's behind the toilet and if I reach at her she just violently hisses and swipes at me (I am wearing oven mitts at this point and my mom is holding a towel and we've got the cat carrier at the ready).
I move in on her, she shoots past me and my mom, only to have a closed door, so she launches herself, I shit you not, off the TOP OF THE TOWEL BAR and then into the shower. (I mean, this thing is pretty much at boob height for me - that's a BIG jump for a kitty. It was some Matrix shit all up in there.) Well from there she's pretty cornered so it's me & the mitts against Angry Kitty. She got a good chomp down on my finger (I think the mitt took the majority of the cat saliva so I kind of lucked out there that it didn't get infected) but finally I got a good enough grip on her to drop her into the carrier. She manages to bite my mom on the forearm/wrist on the way down.
Kitty - 2, People - 1.
Once she's in the carrier, she gets a bit quieter. We take her to the Pet ER at ISU and we're there forever for them to basically say that they can't find anything wrong with her at all and to just go ahead and take her home, keep her isolated in the bathroom so she's not in the open space and will be easier to monitor her and/or catch her again if needed. The only thing I can think is what if I get her home and she freaks out again? and they're like, "oh, then just bring her back." Yeah. Because I want to spend all night and all of my money for them to tell me nothing's wrong with her.
I get her home and let her out and she's quiet and lets me pet her, we bring in all her food and water and a bed and stuff, and she's quiet for quite a while until my mom decides to use the bathroom. Then she's all hissy and yowly again. Then she's quiet until I go in to get ready for bed and she's hissing and yelling the whole time and I'm just frustrated and tired and sad and I just gave up and went to bed.
The next morning I come up to the door and I'm like "kitty?" and NORMALLY she'll mew back at me, but all I got from the other side of the door was a hiss. So I go in and she's hissy and yelly, though the longer I'm in there, the more she calms down, and she lets me pet her and by the time I'm done showering and getting ready, she's like my BFF again. Which is good. When I got home later, she would hiss until she realized it was me coming in and then she was cool.
Saturday, she answered me with a meow and was fine until my sister stopped in and there was a stray hiss. Sunday morning, it was back to square one. She was hissy and screaming and she peed on the floor by the shower and then pooped on the floor by the toilet. But by the time I was done getting ready she was quiet again and let me pet her. Later today I was in there and she was all LOVE ME LOVE ME and kept nudging me and jumping up at me trying to solicit pets.
It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. It was like she was possessed or something. She's let out loud angry meows before (usually when I'm cutting her toenails because OMG I AM SQUISHING HER FEET HOW DARE I) but NEVER like this. My ears were ringing from how loud her screaming was and she was SO angry and violent. It was so random, too. One minute she was fine, and the next: DEMON KITTY. So I don't know if there's something in the apartment that's freaking her out, if there's something ELSE that's freaking her out... or if there IS something medically wrong with her.
I had my former roommate and one of her friends come over because they're not only good with kitties but also paranormal stuff (hey, covering all my bases! She was acting like cats do in a horror movie when evil is lurking about!) and they couldn't tell anything wrong with her until, apropos of nothing other than me trying to walk into the other room, she does the whole freakout thing again and is shrieking and pooping and it's upsetting and traumatizing so I have her locked in the bathroom again and every time I go in there she violently hisses at me and growls and screams and I'm afraid to be in the same room with her. It's a lot more emotionally draining than I ever would have thought because it's just a cat, you know? But it's MY cat and she's usually lovey and cuddly and right now I'm afraid of her.
So, back to the vet she goes tomorrow, the regular vet this time, I could use a second opinion. She's behind on her shots anyway so that will be a fun surprise for her. Heh.
I'll keep you posted.