I am a firm believer that what you name an animal helps shape the personality of said animal.
For instance, we once had this adorable baby Manchester Terrier we named Cujo. And while he didn’t trap a mom and son in their Ford Pinto until the boy died (read the book), he did nearly tear my dad’s thumb off…at the tender age of six weeks.
I adopted Nevaeh when she was a year old, so I didn’t feel right changing her name. But with her name being heaven spelled backward, I knew that being her owner wouldn’t be easy.
God, was I right.
I always joke that Nevaeh is Satan, because you can’t pet her without her trying to rip your hand off. She has an intense loathing of my niece Alexis, due to some trauma she suffered back when Alexis was a toddler. Every time Alexis visits, Nevaeh will scratch her. My sister Brandy refuses to come near her, for fear that Nevaeh will attack her…again.
While I love my cat, I do give her a wide berth at times, because back in 2005, I found out just how evil that cat can be!
My sister Jamie came into town along with her husband Ken and their four (yes, four) dogs. For the most part, having the dogs here was nice, except for a certain scare involving our nosy neighbor, a pit pull that managed to jump a six-foot privacy fence and animal control (but that’s another story for another day) and the incident that I am about to relate.
Less than an hour after the aformentioned pit bull scare involving my sister’s female dog Brendel (she may be a pit, but you couldn’t meet a bigger teddy bear of a dog!), Ken and I were getting ready to close up shop at my house and head to Brandy’s for an afternoon of cake, ice cream and water fights at my nieces’ birthday party. Before we left, I needed to grab all of the presents, including Mom’s, from her bedroom.
While Jamie and Ken’s three male dogs were outside, Brendel had the run of the house along with my wubbable, cuddly Zeus. To prevent any freakouts, we locked Nevaeh in Mom’s bedroom. But with me being the rocket scientist that I am (I really am starting to believe Mom when she says that, while I’m intelligent, I lack common sense), I totally forgot that’s why our little kitty was locked away for the day.
I entered Mom’s room, my arms laden with the books I was bestowing upon Brittany. I just wanted to put my items into the big bag of gifts from Mom and I so I could take them over to Brandy’s house. But I didn’t think through just exactly what I was doing, or else I probably could have prevented a lot of drama…and a lot of pain.
Mom’s door failed to latch properly, so whenever we needed to keep it shut, we propped something in the jamb to keep the dog or cat from pushing it open. Mom had done just that to keep Nevaeh away from the dogs.
But as I had gone inside, I had forgotten to latch the door behind me. But, in my defense, I never even thought about the dog going after the cat. Zeus and Nevaeh got on so well that I didn’t think about Brendel. And why should I have?
Gee, I don’t know…maybe it’s because cats and dogs are mortal enemies and Zeus and Nevaeh getting along was actually going against Mother Nature.
As I dropped the books on the bed, Brendel rushed into the room, scaring Nevaeh into the rear corner of Mom’s bed. I pushed the dog outside and shut the door. And yet again, I didn’t think about the door being pushed open. Way to go common sense!
Not even 30 seconds later the door burst open again. This time Brendel didn’t hold back. She leapt onto the bed and chased Nevaeh out of the room. Ken caught the dog and put her away. I took off after the cat so that I could lock her back into the safety of Mom’s room.
I chased Nevaeh out into the dining room then to the top step of the basement stairs when she finally came to a stop. I bent down to pick her up and forgot about the one thing that was about to change my morning from bad to worse: Zeus.
As I’ve said before, my cat and dog get on very well. But Nevaeh wasn’t thinking about their past friendliness. She was only thinking dogs = bad. So when she spied Zeus behind me as I squatted down to pick her up, she went into full-tilt freak-out mode. She tore her way up my legs to my torso, but she didn’t stop there. No, she climbed all the way up my body, stopping at my head.
Looking as through we were performing a poor man’s reenactment of the face-sucker scene in Alien, Nevaeh clung to my face, her claws dug into my poor temples. My hands grasped her forelegs, trying to pull her off my face. I tried screaming for help, but screaming through my kitty’s furry belly just wasn’t cutting it. I grabbed the paw dug into my right temple and ripped it out. I could finally call for Ken to come and rip the evil kitty off my face.
Ken walked into the kitchen and saw the quivering, snarling, white-hot ball of feline terror attached to my head. I’m sure I looked quite hilarious, and in retrospect, I laugh just thinking about what Ken probably saw: a woman with a calico face.
Without a word, Ken ripped the other claw out of my head. Nevaeh, still freaking out, scratched at him then took off to parts unknown (we later found her hiding inside the back of the couch – don’t ask, I don’t know). I ran to a mirror to see what damage had been done. Blood poured off my nose, lip and temples. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when she climbed up my face, she used her teeth, biting my nose and upper lip. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. I tried laughing, but found I couldn’t. So I cried. Boy, did I cry.
Jamie called; I cried.
I called Mom; I cried.
Of course, Mom forced me to put Ken on the phone, because in my gibbering, Mom thought that the dogs had gone on a rampage and that I had been mauled and the cat mortally wounded. She didn’t have to rush out to the emergency room, just to the pharmacy to get me some extra-strength allergy medicine.
Oh, did I mention that I’m massively allergic to cats?
So we got the situation taken care of and were able to get to the party, but I learned one major lesson. When kitty’s upset, RUN AWAY!!!!! I know that her reaction was natural, but that ain’t going to stop me from running away anytime she starts puffing up at a dog. It’s just not worth it.
And that is just another reason why kitty = Satan.