Tortoiseshell cats, or torties as they are affectionately known, are often high spirited, obnoxious troublemakers. While tortoiseshell refers only to the coat colour and not to a specific breed itself, any tortie owner knows they are indeed a breed apart. They are the feline equivalent of the stereotypical red headed, freckle-faced child - mischievous, hot tempered, but incredibly endearing. Anne of Green Gables on four furry feet.
Allie is the quintessential tortie. A devil in fur. A thorn in my side. As likely to lash out and slash you as to nuzzle your chin and meow for treats.
For the past several days she's been under the weather (just one of several under the weather pets and people in my life right now). At first I thought 'hairballs', as she had thrown up a few times in recent weeks, and so I pulled out the hairball medicine and a fresh pot of cat grass. She's an indoor cat, so lives in a pretty safe environment. Not much to cause her harm here.
Then I came home Sunday to find her totally spooked by something, eyes big, slinking under furniture and hiding out behind the toilet. I knew it wasn't the dogs' fault as they were all with me. And so I watched her carefully. Noticing she wasn't jumping, climbing, pouncing, talking, kneading, biting, or even eating, I wondered if she had fallen somehow and hurt herself.
She would eat and drink when I put food or water right in front of her, but mostly she just hid under a blanket on a chair in the corner of the living room. I moved the litter box from the bathroom to her side, put an x-pen around the whole area to keep the dogs from getting in her space, and continued to monitor her. She'd pee at night, she did a very small poop one day, but she very definitely wasn't her usual self.
So I made an appointment to take her to the vet. That is a decision not made lightly - she is every vet's worst nightmare, and they are no happier to see her than she is to see them.
An hour before the appointment, I pulled out the travel crate, walked over to the lump under the blanket, and picked her up. She took one look at the crate, stretched all four limbs out as wide as possible, extended claws and fangs to grab onto anything within her reach - drapes, blankets, edges of crate, and any part of the only person in the world who gives a damn about her, and with a quick twist of the body and a large chunk of the gloved hand that feeds her, she flew across the room hissing and growling and standing her ground.
The chase was on. No amount of Temptations, sardines, cajoling, swearing, chasing, blanket tossing, or pleading was going to get her within my reach. After half an hour of trying to get her, I ended up cancelling the appointment.
I'll just let nature take its course - if she can race all around the house trying to avoid letting me put her in the carrier, then she's not as close to death's door as I feared.
Allie, there are thousands more where you came from - if you die through your own silly fault, you can be replaced!
Okay, I don't really mean that, but if anyone wants a cat with attitude, I might have a deal for you.