She was a princess among cats. In fact, when he got her, my besotted husband (actually he was my boyfriend at that stage) named her Princess Mao. Her middle name 'Bitey' came a bit later and for obvious reasons.
When she arrived home from the pet shop, she was grey with flea dirt. She'd just been brought into the shop from a neglectful home. She looked about 8+ weeks old but was actually about 12+ weeks. My mother-in-law donned rubber gloves and washed the poor little scamp in the sink. The gloves were no match for Princess's needle-sharp claws.
Husband bought Princess at cat bed but from the beginning she slept on our bed. I used to wake up terrified that we'd smothered her by accident. I'd put my hand on her belly to feel if she was breathing and try to wake her up. It's quite hard to wake a cat from a deep sleep.
When she got a bit older, she'd take a few weeks sleeping on one of us then swap to sleep on the other one. When I lay on my side, she sleep on the curve between my hips and my ribs. Rolling over was a major operation, but I didn't mind because I loved her company. She was also constantly on my lap as I sat on the couch at night. I generally had a lap rug on me to protect me from kneading paws. If I needed to get up, I could just lift up the rug,
She was a clever cat - she taught herself to play fetch with shoelaces or toy mice. We'd spend ages throwing these things and her pouncing on them then trotting back with them in her little cat yap.
Princess wasn't much of a hunter, though. In our first flat together, we would occasionally get rats. One time she brought in a lightly wounded rat and let it go to run around the lounge. She totally ignored it while husband and I attempted to catch or kill that darn rat. We had a similar situation with a mouse in another flat - it was obviously not a well mouse because it was really slow but she didn't bother to catch it, she just watched as husband and I flailed around with the broom. Maybe this was her idea of fun!
Leaving her with my mother-in-law after twelve years together was the hardest thing about emigrating. She was our cat baby. Skyping a blur of beige fur just wasn't the same, though it was good to know that she was well looked after. Recently her health issues became too much and she had to be put down. Rest in Peace, Princess 'Bitey' Mao.