I have a recent issue exacerbated by the fact that I'm allergic to cats. We adopted a cat ~4 years ago, and she took a liking to me. These past couple years I'm her "favorite", she ignores the other people in the house, and enjoys spending as much time as she can either curled on me or near me. She is needy, almost too needy for me. She will completely ignore someone else's offer for pets and attention and will spend almost all her 'social' time trying to get my attention or at least lay against me.
She had an old problem where she would randomly attack people. Over time we learned that this was generally overstimulation and we just weren't paying attention to her "Done" signals when she wanted out. Usually this would be her attacking the arm or hand of whoever was petting her. However with some (people) training, this isn't a problem we have really had this past year or two.
A few weeks ago, she attacked my face. As far as I can remember, I had just laid down in bed ~3am, and she was begging for attention (she loves pets on the bed). She laid down near me, I pet her for a bit, passed out, then woke up to her mauling my face.
Just today she did it for a second time. She was sleeping on my lap, went off to eat, then came back laying on my lap. I'm working, so I didn't really give her much attention beyond when I welcomed her on my lap. She's usually fine with this, and is perfectly normal. Randomly she leaps up and again mauls my face.
The common things I know that lead into this is eye contact (was staring at the screen), and overstimulation (I was not touching her). I'm concerned there's some signal I'm missing out on, and more concerned that it's somehow understimulation (she's mad that I'm not giving her attention) since I frankly cannot give her as much attention as she often wants.
The other coincidence is that both attacks happened the day after my girlfriend took off for a trip, though it's too few times to really know if that's at all a factor. She does give the cat some attention, but the cat usually ignores her.
Any ideas on why this might be happening? Any ideas on what I can do to prevent this issue?