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My two-year-old cat (I adopted her five months ago) showed aggression towards me for the very first time this past weekend. Ordinarily, she's an extremely gentle and loving cat who has never bitten or scratched me. However, while sitting next to her on the floor, I picked her up to cuddle her and she badly scratched my leg, neck and chest. Can anyone help me understand this?
 

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Has anything at all changed in your house? New cat, different people around, renovations, rearrangement of furniture? Sometimes the littlest things can set sensitive kitties off. There may have been a scent on you that freaked her out. I know of a very mellow cat that bit my mom really hard after she had been cleaning the tub with chemicals at her friend's house.
 

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did this just happen when you tried to pick her up? maybe she was startled....or worse hurt? maybe you should keep an eye on her and see if she shows any other discomfort...unfortunatly cats can't tell you they are hurt! may be have a check up if you haven't already
 
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