Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted Sep 21, 2015
Until this past spring, I've always had shorthair tabby cats around. As kids, my sister and I used to relentlessly scoop up our black and white cat, Chester, and cradle him or push him around in a baby carriage (I'm sorry, Chester...). And our grossly overweight but incredibly sweet tabby, Dupus, would climb into anyone's lap as soon as they sat down. Any child could have tugged on his tail and suffered no consequences (though I certainly wouldn't have advocated for it, in any case). But Zoe was a different story. I rescued the kitten at the tender and naive age of 9, when I must have had some misconceptions about socializing a cat. I kept her sheltered and, unfortunately, she became quite skittish over time. Her tolerance for being petted was short lived, and anyone with slow reflexes would soon feel the sting of a bite or a scratch if they didn't stop as soon as she felt it was time to be done. She was sweet in her own way, all the same, and adoring of me. She became my companion over more than a decade and a half, curling up in my lap on cold winter nights and chasing toys when she didn't feel too lazy. Sadly, she didn't gain much favor with anyone besides me. If anything was out of place in her territory, someone would pay for it (usually a roommate finding poop on their handbag or favorite rug). When I came home with a puppy two years ago, Zoe waged a several week war that resulted in unexpected "presents" all over the house. She became known as the "demon cat" by friends - seemingly vindictive, scared of visitors, and quick to lash out. Contrary to the nickname, I expect Zoe was just doing as she felt was right. I'm sure she was not, in fact, vindictive at all, but acting instinctually out of fear or dislike for a change in environment. Despite her faults, I still loved Zoe...even if I'm the only one. Cats are nothing if not very particular creatures, and I expect I'm not the only one with stories of naughty felines giving owners and visitors "their due."