In some ways, she's improving. She'll now usually reluctantly sit on my chest for a while (with me rocked back). Sometimes only for moments, sometimes for minutes. She follows me from room to room, waiting outside of the bathroom if I close the door.
Tonight she nearly bit me. I boggled at what set her off: One hand already patting her, I reached with the other to pat more. It was the old 'oh my god! two hands! you're going to GRAB me!' reaction. I haven't seen that in weeks. I kept my hand in place, the other one still patting her, and she wigged out. Her head lashed forward at my arm, stopping just short of making contact. Closer than she's ever before come to biting me. (I could have pulled my second hand all the way away when she got scared, but I worry about reinforcing bad behavior -- "if I act this way, I'll get the results I want". I don't know if that's a valid worry towards a fear response, maybe not.)
If she ever does bite me, I don't know what I'll do. Especially if it's a serious bite. She is still making progress, but I don't know if I could keep a cat that bites. I know she's doing it out of fear, and I suppose that does make a difference, but...
I learned the other night that she seems to be sleeping with me at night. I got up in the middle of the night and she was on my bed. I think she's coming up after I fall asleep and leaving before I wake up.
The other day I realized I had stopped working on getting her used to being picked up. (Not a big picking up, just lifting her paws off the floor and then putting her back down.) She just reacts so badly to it.
Bah. I know it's not fair to her, but sometimes I wish so much for a "normal" cat.
Rereading this post makes me feel so bad for her. It's clear that she wants love, but she's so afraid. I just have to keep being patient...