Today we had to put Hannah down because she had liver cancer. I'm incredibly sad but Javier is devastated. When he was four he decided that Hannah was 'his' and today he lost his beloved pet.
Of course Hannah was mine long before that. I got her early in 1998 from a local cat rescue group in Toronto. I'd already adopted a cat from them so they had my number (literally and figuratively), so when one of the members was handed a skinny grey cat with five kittens and all of the other members' houses were full I got Shanghaied into looking after her and the babies.
Initially Hannah was scrawny and sickly looking, and so undernourished that one of her shoulders popped out of joint twice in the first year I had her. But she was devoted to her kittens. If either of the other two cats dared go near them, Hannah would chase them away with a wild-eyed ferocity that was more like her vicious great cat ancestors than a domestic long hair.
She was devoted to her kittens, but other than the protectiveness she was actually a terrible mother. I'd have to hold her down to get her to stay put long enough for her kittens to get a full meal, or occasionally stop her licking a kitten so enthusiastically that the poor thing couldn't get to her belly to eat.
When the kittens were weaned I found a home for them, but by then I already knew I'd be keeping their mama. Over the next year Hannah went from a scrawny former alley cat to a fat, sleekly fluffy matriarch who looked constantly pissed off but who was actually the sweetest, most even-tempered and laid back cat I've ever known.
That's why she became Javier's cat. Initially she just was too old and arthritic to run away from him when he began crawling after the cats. But when he got older she began sleeping on his bed with him and coming to him for cuddles. Of course she would still curl up next to Dom on the couch and sleep between us on the bed. Hannah was one of those awesome cats who loved (and put up with) everyone, and was always happy to be hoisted into a lap.
Jav and I loved her so much. Tonight he was crying because he wouldn't have a kitty to sit in his lap anymore. I promised him that we'd get him his very own kitty in a month or so. I'm sure he or she will be lovely, but Hannah was one of a kind.