hannachristmas I bring this photo out every Christmas.  It’s from 1991. It’s old, care-worn, dog-ear’ed, and in fact, I think I’ve lost the original in a box somewhere, but everytime I see it I have to laugh.

The kitten in the photo is Hanna, now deceased.  Hanna was six weeks old when my roommate and I answered an ad for “free fluffy white kittens.”  

My roomie wanted a white, longhair kitten, but when we got to the man’s house, Hanna was the only one left. 

She was very thin and sickly; infested with fleas so badly she had flea anemia and a very bad upper respiratory infection, in addition to every kind of worm a kitten can have. 

My roomie didn’t want her, but we took her home anyway.

My vet, Dr. Karen looked at her and said, “I’m fostering kittens at my house with URI that are not as sick this one and I’ve lost one of those already.  She’s probably not going to live more than a few days.”

She packed me off with a host of stuff to try to keep her alive.  Anti-biotics, anti-diahrea meds, eye cream for the eye “goop.”  Then I ran to the store and picked up some Pedialyte, Gerber strained baby meats, KMR powder, and Nutra-cal.

Thus began weeks of nursing her back to health. It took a month before she began to turn a corner. For the first few weeks, she did nothing but sleep, take her meds, and eat…her eyes would barely open. Every morning, I’d have to clean the crusty, dried “goop” out of them so they could open a little and clean the dried snot out of her nostrils so she could breath.   Throughout that time, she stayed quarantined in a room by herself in a little bed covered in blankets and whatever I could put over her to keep her warm.

Then one morning I went in to give her her meds and her eyes were wide open, clear and bright and she was walking around trying to play a little.  She gradually got better after that.

This photo was taken just after her first Christmas.  All throughout the holiday she had been very good not to mess with the tree and its decorations.  The day I got the boxes out to begin taking the tree down, she was playing in the living room. I had gone back into the bedroom to get the rest of the boxes and had only left the room for a few minutes.  Well it must have been enough time for Hannah to start “helping” me by taking the ornaments down herself because this is what I found when I came back.

Hannah lived a long and happy life and grew to be a beautiful longhair cat, afraid of no one and nothing. A favorite pass time for her was chasing large dogs down the street. Most dogs in the neighborhood were afraid of her.   I miss Hannah. She was one of a kind.

In memory of Hannah, may your Christmas be joyous, peaceful,

healthy, and filled with love and wonder.