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All I wanted was a cat who loves me. One that would cuddle with me a little bit, here or there. Nothing fancy, nothing crazy. Just a companion to sit and be with me and then also purr next to me.
That is not what I got. I found Pika on Craigslist, just born and waiting for a home. I asked who the female kittens were, because I'd always had female cats and it seemed to be a good fit. They told me there were 4, and I picked out my little grey striped tiger kitty. She was so cute and sweet and beautiful! I knew that I was going to make sure she was sociable and friendly and loved being around people.
I named her Pikaboo because she was always hiding from me during those first couple days, exploring my apartment. Feeling out her territory, scurrying here and there.
Right away I decided I wanted her to not be scared of water, because I had a cat before that if I ever had to bathe, would scratch the hell out of everything and literally climb the walls of the shower to escape. "None of that!" I said, confident that if I started Pika early, then she would be a regular little water baby.
Sure enough, I gave her a few baths from the beginning, put her in the tub and let her feel it out.
A couple weeks went by and I took her to the vet. She was examined and she did great! The vet came in after thoroughly examining her and told me, "Well it turns out that Pika is actually a boy."
"WHAT!" I laugh-yelled, my jaw falling open. "Are you kidding me? But he doesn't have any parts!"
It was confirmed that indeed, Pika had balls and though little and really not noticeable, all the parts a male cat has. I was embarrassed. How could I not know that? What kind of a terrible cat-mom was I? I had been calling him "her" for the past few weeks and dressing her/him up in pearls and bows.
"No matter," I told Pika, apologetic. "You are still Pika and you are a handsome man."
Maybe that was the first sign, but I didn't think too much of it. Pika's quirks came out. He loved jumping into my refrigerator (often empty as it allowed him the space), and while I started off trying to get him not to be afraid of water, now he CRAVED water. He jumped in the bathtub all the time. I started leaving a little bit of water in the tub during the day so he could hop in and splash around. He played with it, drank it, sat in it. "What a weirdo you are," I told him, again and again, his wet paws on me. Now he actively waits for me to turn on the faucet in the bathroom sink so he can drink straight from the source.
I thought he was going to be okay with people. He started out okay, but I also live alone so the interaction is much less. As he got older, he became more vocal and talked back to me as I talked to him. And then he would growl-talk. And then if I had anyone over, he would hide. Except when he decided he was going to straight out attack them. He started batting people and running at them, and then also hissing at me if I was with them. Guilty by association, I suppose.
"WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS!" I asked him again and again. A growl and constant tail swishing. He was sweet right after he woke up, just enough time for me to hold him first thing in the morning, and first thing when I came home from work. I could hold him and brush his face and chin and head for about 1-5 minutes, before he would jump off or strain to get away. "LOVE ME!!!" I would whine after him.
He full out attacked my boyfriend when he came over. And myself. If I didn't clip his nails regularly, we might both be shredded up.
He gets especially upset when it's bedtime. I don't let him sleep in my room, so he knows my routine and starts getting agitated because he must know it's almost time for me to close the door. Sometimes he's fine. Sometimes he puts himself to bed on the bathroom rug. Sometimes he growls at me and meows. Sometimes he launches himself at my bare legs. I have a stash of old receipts that I grab and crinkle up and make into a ball for him, as he loves chasing them and batting them around. The quickest way to distract him is crinkling paper.
He's moody and unpredictable. Sometimes he is sweet, sometimes I want to punt him across the room. He weighs 15 pounds so he's a big boy. Long tail, big head, not overweight, but BIG.
I don't understand him. Right now he is laying next to me on the bed. He looks so sweet and soft and I want to just cuddle him! If I try to hold him, he will run away. What did I do wrong? I want to believe that he wouldn't murder me, but I can't totally be sure. If he were a person, he'd be an old man, one who growls at everyone and yells at the kids to GET OFF HIS DAMN LAWN. And occasionally busts out his shotgun to "scare" them a little.
All I wanted was a cat who loves me.