Pet Spotlight: Hannah Lynch

I was never a cat person. I did not hate them, but I did not know anyone that had a cat and never really spent too much time around them. My introduction came while I was buying seed for my bird feeder. A pet store was partnering with local no-kill shelter and holding an adoption event. I wandered over to take a look and got to talking with one of the volunteers.

As one can imagine, the some of the stories were heartbreaking. Lovely animals found in dumpsters, left in empty houses…you get the idea. Between the lovely fuzzy faces and the stories, I started feeling like I should share my house with one of these felines.

Bringing a cat home is not something to be done on a whim. I visited the shelter four or five times, spending time with a number of different cats. I wanted to make sure I did not get a surly hairball that viewed my home as one big scratching post.

I was chatting with a volunteer when a tortie hopped up on the counter, put her front paws on my shoulder and said “eh.” It was all over.

Hannah (aka Hannah-cat, Fuzzball, Hanner, Hannah Bannana) had been a single mother on the streets that was scrounging food from behind a restaurant. When the shelter came to get Hannah and her kids, she allowed them to pick her up with no complaints or resistance. The kitten were quite feral and had to be live trapped. Hannah was more than ready to have others take care of her and get off the streets.

Since the summer of either 2000 or 2001, Hannah has been my feline companion. She has, in most ways, been a perfect housemate. Despite having all of her claws, she never shreds anything other than her scratching post. That is a good thing since Hannah has 22 toes.

She enjoys a good book (to sleep on), likes lounging in the grass and has been known to partake of catnip (aka kitty ganja). She likes sleeping above Jill’s head and on my back or chest (whichever is able). She is as sweet and mellow a cat as one could ever hope to meet.

Well, there is one area in which her behavior leaves something to be desired: She is food obsessed. Her current weight is just over 15 pounds, which makes her a pudge-bucket. She is on a low-grain wet food diet and is incapable of losing a single once. She also is constantly on the prowl for other sources of food. Plates can not be left alone and you may ever have to protect your plate while you are eating. Brother-in-Law Andy once had a sausage taken from his plate because he was looking at Jill and not the plate. Hannah calmly lurked in the shadows (ok, she sat in plain sight) and unleashed her mighty hunting skills on the poor, unsuspecting sausage link.

Recently, she developed a fondness for baked goods. One morning, Jill woke to hear crinkling and a sort of damp chomping sound. Hannah had gotten on the kitchen table, dragged a package of hot dog buns into the bedroom and chewed through the packaging. She has also climbed into grocery bags and destroyed a loaf of bread.

But the strangest food behavior came Saturday night: I had finished eating, leaving a plate containing only a smattering of home made salsa. Hannah leaned towards a bit of tomato and gingerly gave it a taste. A fire then appeared in her eyes and she went after the rest of the salsa, including jalapeno peppers, with gusto.

My cat likes salsa. Hannah, are you aware you are a carnivore?

09-28-12 Update: A trip to the vet revealed that Hannah has lost TWO POUNDS. She wants to celebrate with nachos and salsa.