Editor’s Note: Mallory Sadler is a contributing writer for Catster’s sister SAY Media site, xoJane. This article first ran on xoJane, but we’re rerunning it (with permission!) so Catster readers can weigh in.
Six years ago, a beautiful tiny cat came into our lives. A gift from my mother-in-law, Chloe was a half-feral rescue cat. She was so small when we got her that I worried over her constantly. She was so sweet to me and my husband. She would peek out from under my book while I was reading, and my heart would just melt.
Our first houseguest after Chloe arrived almost broke her paw. She somehow wound up under the rocking chair where he was sitting — and when he stood, the chair rolled over her tiny paw.
I burst into tears as she cried out in pain. Luckily, she was physically fine. However, I am convinced her emotional issues started with that incident. If she went to therapy, that would surely be her “root.”
Chloe is still the sweetest, most loving cat in the world, so long as you are my husband, my mom, or me. Anyone else gets the claws. I warn anyone who enters my home at the door, “Don’t pet the black and white cat, even if she seems like she wants you to. Seriously.”
Friends who have been to my house many times cringe when Chloe comes near. New visitors greet her with a smile and an “Awwww.” The lure to pet her is there, even with my warning.
Chloe is not content to simply run and hide when company comes. She will rub against you, almost daring you to pet her. Everyone thinks they will have the magical cat-petting power, even though they’ve heard the stories. “Maybe all those other people were bad with animals,” a newbie might think, or “Maybe Chloe just smelled something on them she didn’t like.” They believe that if they approach her slowly, maybe she will let them pet her. Right? Wrong.
Move a muscle, and the quickest claws in the South come at you, so fast you can’t move. There is no warning; suddenly it is war. She will hiss and draw as much blood as she can, leaving huge scratches. She won’t back down until I run her off, then she’ll hide under the bed until company leaves. At least, that’s what we hope for each time.
Sometimes she sneaks up on people. Once she ran across my entire apartment to claw my mother-in-law’s hand for no reason.
Vets get the worst of this behavior, as Chloe not only hates people, she is terrible at traveling. Even though the vet is literally around the corner, she will poop her carrier, and then claw anyone who tries to remove her from it. Our vet has told us they will now have to sedate her with happy kitty gas whenever she needs to come in.
No amount of socializing has helped with Chloe’s temperament, and though I probably should be mad at her, I really can’t be. My cat is a demon, but she is my demon. For some reason, she lets me hold her and love her, and that makes me feel special. I love her more than I love most of the people she claws, and she is part of my family.
Just like with family, if you insult her, you insult me. I can say she’s a demon, but you can’t. If you come in my home, you’re in her home. Respect her space, which means listen to me and leave her alone.
Maybe she gets it from me. If given a chance, I’d probably let only a few people ever come near me. If I couldn’t tell people to back off and had no thumbs for opening doors to get away, I might claw everyone, too.
So, the evil cat and the door-warning stay. Pet at own risk.