Over the Christmas period we discovered something about Jelli which has me rather worried (and more than a little upset that we only noticed it now).
Jelli is nearly blind.
We realised this because we had to spend a fair bit of time without power over the Christmas period (once because of a power cut and once because the damn electric meter goes through credit faster than I go through After Eights - three empty boxes in my room lay claim to that). Both times we were without power overnight, which meant that the house was pretty much pitch black. We had to go round with torches and candles to get any light.
Now, Mac was fine with this, bounded around the place like nothing was wrong. But Jelli got scared. Ran around in her room in the dark trying to find things. And ran away from us when we came in because she couldn't see, only hear the door opening. In the end we had to put two candles in her room so she wasn't in complete darkness (and then I lay awake for the rest of the night worrying even though the candles were 'safe' ones and in a place where they couldn't be knocked over or set anything on fire).
So after that we got to thinking about things. I remembered that Jelli has always had problems with being in the dark, and then we realised that every time she's taken swipes at us and/or hissed it's because we've moved or touched her too quickly. Her pupils rarely if ever go small - they're always quile large, and I don't think I remember then changing size any time recently. She's also scared of sudden noises.
Finally, after talking about it we realised that she always travels the same routes when going round her room. In fact, she's never deviated from a route to get from A to B once she's discovered it.
So like I said, Jelli is nearly blind (not completely, as she can follow movement of a sort, once she knows someone is there or they're wearing bright-coloured clothing) and may well have been since we met her. Her right eye (the one that was originally injured when we met her) is considerably worse than her left, so it looks like the injury did do more damage than we realised, but we probably wouldn't have been able to do anything about it anyway as it took her so long to trust us that it had healed by the time she moved in.
I've been looking up resources on blind cats and found this
page, which pretty much describes Jelli's behaviour exactly. It also suggests possible causes for the blindness, so we may be taking the poor thing to the vet's in a couple of weeks (once Nick gets paid, as even though they're insured we still have to pay the first £60 of any treatment) to see if this is in any way treatable.
I just feel so bad that we never noticed until now. I man, sure, she's never bumped ito things or anything like that that would have alerted us to the fact that she couldn't see, but I still feel like we should have noticed before now...
*is bad cat owner*