Esmeralda: The Cat That Hates The World

Today, because the wifi went out in Zouheir’s apartment (which apparently it is really common in Lebanon for the power or the internet to just disappear – though not for 4+ hours like it did today), I spent the day catching up on work that I have been neglecting for the past five weeks. This also meant that it was only me and the cat, alone, together, in the apartment.

For a bit of backstory, Zouheir’s cat was the sweetest little kitten, lovely and social to everyone. Until he went to France for university. Since then, Esmeralda has hated him and all strangers (I think she feels abandoned maybe?) and it only got worse when Zouheir’s sister left for France too. I am also allergic to cats, so while I like them, they make me sick… (literally) A single cat scratch on a normal human takes about a week to heal. On me, it takes 3 months (I know because this was tested last year after I visited a friend with a very adorable, claw-loving kitten).

Esmeralda and I had come to an understanding. She would creepily hide, often in places where I would find her and jump because she scared the living hell out of me (one time so badly I ran out of the room; I think she enjoyed it), and I would generally leave her alone. This has worked for the past four days. But not today.

First instance: I went into Zouheir’s room, looking to see if he left me the apartment keys. There was a bump under the sheets in his bed. I thought this was weird. So I touched said bump. And it moved. Esmeralda had somehow gotten underneath TWO LAYERS of sheets and was ‘hiding’ in his bed.

Second instance: Esmeralda wasn’t happy that I disturbed her bed-resting/hiding-place, so she ran away and perched herself on top of the refrigerator. Waiting. For me to walk into the kitchen. And be in the perfect spot for her to swat at my head. It is a very lucky thing that she is declawed (which generally I disagree with, but she would have probably killed me by now if she wasn’t). To her luck, I did just that, because I was too stupid to look up and realize she was waiting for me. (Side note, this swatting of people in the head from her safe position on top of the fridge is a favorite past time of Esmeralda. It occurs anytime a human does not please her. Or when she just feels like it.)

Third instance: Esmeralda wanted to drink water. I wanted to be helpful. So I turn on the tap for her, so she can drink easier. This pleased her. Which was my cute to try to pet her. One centimeter away from finally being friends, she changed her mind, viciously swatted at my hand, then ran away and perched on the fridge to observe me from a safe distant (and swat at my head should she be so lucky as to get close enough).

Fourth instance: Esmeralda, in her desire to scare the living hell out of me, literally JUMPED OFF THE FRONT DOOR AND MADE THE LOUDEST SOUND POSSIBLE. To scare me. Which she did. I think it was her way of saying ‘leave human, you are in my space and it no longer pleases me.’

Fifth instance: Again, I tried to make peace by helping Esmeralda with drinking water. I thought she was okay with this – I was wrong. Almost immediately after helping her she jumped off the counter, came to my feet and started coughing. I thought she just had a hairball – she didn’t. She instead threw up at my feet then ran away, leaving me to clean up her mess. This cat REALLY hates me.

In my defense, this cat literally hates anyone she meets – I’m not the only one. She does this to Zouheir too, and his mom, and his friend, and for his dad, she didn’t even get off her hiding place on top of the cupboards. This cat just generally HATES people. But at least it is fun to narrate her thoughts?

P.S. Dad – I’m alive, and thankfully have no cat scratches. And I don’t think I want you to die so I can have a cat anymore.

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