I often called Javan my “birthday present from God” after rescuing him from the road, three days before my birthday. It was pouring rain that night, and the little kitten was soaked and sick. I took him home, dried him with a towel, then hair dryer, and took him to the vet. He bonded with me immediately, trying to get back to me even as the vet treated him.
I named him Javan, a character from a novel I’d read. I later found the name in the Bible (a grandson of Noah) and discovered that it meant “effervescent and lively.” It fit perfectly. He was unique and funny, starting with his “thumbs” on his front feet. He did forward rolls on the floor, front hip circles on the ladder to my loft, and played fetch. He liked to play in water. It was often hard for me to vacuum, as he loved to BE vacuumed. He would repeatedly lie down in front of the vacuum so that I would stop and vacuum him. Going for a ride in the car was a treat for him.
He was smart, and a smarty pants. I taught him that he could only have his front feet on the table, so he would stretch as far across the table as possible, while keeping his back feet on the chair or a lap. Before he went deaf, he would come when his name was called. If I asked him, “do you want to go out?” he ran to the back door. I taught him to “sit up” for treats. He would then sit up if he thought we had food to share with him.
Javan’s favorite thing of all was cuddling, especially with me. He would have been happy to be carried around the house or draped across my back, all day long. If I was busy, or he was otherwise inclined, he was happy to hang out with his other humans or his dog friends. He took good care of anyone who was sick. At night, he often slept under the covers with me, “back sleeping” or curling up in front of me. He liked tucking his head under his humans’ chins.
Diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of 6, Javan lived well, with his changed diet, until early 2020, when he began to decline. He got slower and lighter, but still loved going outside and cuddling with his humans. He was always quick to purr when I walked into the room. He rallied in June and enjoyed his summer in Maine.
As anyone who has loved a pet knows, he will be greatly missed. If you ever met him, you understand how much I loved him and how special he was. I really hope we can get our beloved pets back, in Heaven.