I posted a photo the other day of my cat, Pico, and figured I’d follow that up with a word or two about her.
Why? Well, I see all these posts out there on the blogosphere about wonderful cats doing things like hiding in boxes, sleeping next to children, mowing lawns, setting up Excel spreadsheets and other “cute” things. Pico isn’t a bit like that. She’s ill tempered, has a bit of ear missing from one of her many fights with our other animals, limps a bit (she broke a paw before we got her and it never healed quite right) and is rarely seen as she prefers to be alone.
Let me explain. We got Pico (a name which I believe is some kind of foreign for “I hate you,” “fussy,” “nasty” or something else equally awful) back in 2002 when she was approximately two-years-old. A friend of my mother-in-law claimed that she could no longer keep the dear, sweet cat because of an allergy. My wife talked me into taking her in as a merciful gesture and that’s what we did.
Pico settled in and started fighting with our other animals and hiding from the children. Her claws were removed as I got sick of being clawed by the thing and she attacked my daughter one time too many. We learned in a hurry that there was something fundamentally wrong with the cat. She hated other animals and, in fact, hated every soul on the planet except for my wife and me (and she barely tolerated us).
After we’d had Pico for about a year, we visited the woman who talked us into taking and noticed the lady had three cats living in her house. Oddly, she didn’t want us to return Pico to her. Obviously, we had been duped.
So, we’ve kept Pico all these years and she’s not going anywhere. I only see her for about five minutes a week as that’s when she’ll come out of hiding and demand that I pet her. After a few minutes of petting, she’ll try to bite me (she succeeds when I’m not quick enough) and then runs off to hide again. She lives under our bed and has a bit of a nest built in our closet where she’ll hide and screech like crazy if we find her and dare look at her.
Since the cat isn’t starving, I’m fairly certain she’ll sneak out from time to time and grab some food when she believes she won’t run across one of us or our dogs.
Oddly, I like the fussy old grump as she’s really not any trouble. She mostly wants to be fed, left alone and petted on those rare occasions when she feels like it. I’ll catch her sleeping next to me on my pillow about a half dozen times a year and it’s creepy to wake up with that thing glaring at me (she’ll run off as soon as I wake up and look at her, of course). There are even times when I’ve managed to pet her without her trying to bite me (she’ll still get up and run off as fast as she can after a time, however). Taking her to the vet once a year is a miserable experience, but she doesn’t require much of anything the rest of the time. As long as she’s got food, water and a clear path to our closet, she’s content.
So, there you go. Pico isn’t cute and cuddly at all. She’s mentally ill and rarely any fun. It’s a good thing she’s with us – other people would have gotten sick of her years ago.