Right now I want to rush back to the vet and say “No! Not yet…” but of course I cannot, nor would it be right. My dear, old Hannah Cat was not well and obviously not going to get better. She was 17, mind – that’s a good age for a cat, and she’d been healthy throughout her life, even having more of a spring to her step in the past couple of years living here, for some reason. But this past week I’ve been able to pick her up without anything more than a cross word from her – before she’d have lacerated my hand! We’ll call that “feisty” – it was the way she was – not one for cuddles or petting, much. But she was usually within sight of me, closer as the years went by.
I’ve no idea why she was so crotchety, perhaps some over-cuddling at her first home – we got her from RAIN when she was about 6 months old – I visited them to “choose” a cat but was instead chosen. There was a most well-behaved white cat there, sitting very prettily and prim, and then Hannah – a black kitten who clung to me like she would never let go as soon as she was with me.
Soon after she came to live with us I had to stop working at a “proper” job due to my spine/hip stuff, so was home mostly and would have gone mad if not for her – knowing few people in this neck of the woods, and himself working the long hours he is wont to do. So through setting up the business from home, 2 born children, more moves than is sensible for a family, and even a separation (she was rather glad when we got together again, though – it was Simon who rescued her from a huge fir tree when she was a youngster he climbed well over 20m to get to her!).
In these later years she has sat on my lap now and again, not so often as to get used to the idea, of course. And she would sleep right beside me, up by my pillow. Last night was the last time (in between the pooping, bless her heart) and I know she was doing that for me, not for her (hush, you cynics – I know my cat). You see, she loved me, thoroughly. It was obvious, and of course mutual. Mine were the ankles she would always try to bite, mine was the lap she eventually deigned to sit upon, I know when a cat loves me, and she did more than any before. What a privilege.
When the interloper kitten (who is 5 now, mind) stops aggravating her, when she struggles to get up and down the stairs, well – it was time to let her go, before it hurt. The very idea of someone else cleaning her was not one she would gladly entertain, that’s for sure, not that I’d mind, but she certainly did. Yesterday she did pop into the garden with me for a wander and even a few feeble tail-twitches – something she delighted in giving to people when she was pleased.
Farewell, dear Hannah. I’ll remember you always, little love. Thank you for being with me. Thank you for loving me.