I've personally never been a cat person, but like all Potter fans, I have made an exception for Crookshanks. This latest fan theory only cements my love for this sassy, take-no-prisoners feline: if you squint hard enough, it's possible that Crookshanks might have been Lily Potter's cat. The theory's origins are unknown (let's be real, it was probably Tumblr), but the evidence to back it up is more than a little substantial (at the very least, more substantial than the theory that Draco Malfoy was a werewolf). Remember in the seventh book, when Harry and the squad are lurking in Grimmauld Place and Harry stumbles on a letter that Lily sent Sirius, a few months before she was killed? (Of course you remember, there are still TEAR STAINS all over the pages.) Let's take a soul-crushing trip down memory lane:
Thank you, thank you, for Harry's birthday present! It was his favourite by far. One year old and already zooming along on a toy broomstick, he looked so pleased with himself, I'm enclosing a picture so you can see. You know it only rises about two feet off the ground, but he nearly killed the cat and he smashed a horrible vase Petunia sent me for Christmas (no complaints there). Of course, James thought it was funny, says he's going to be a great Quidditch player, but we've had to pack away all the ornaments and make sure we don't take our eyes off him when he gets going.
First off, J.K., GUT ME, why don't you? It would at least be more subtle than attacking us with THIS.
But more importantly, the letter specifically mentions a cat. And yeah, the statistical odds of it being Crookshanks are pretty slim. But it stands to reason that the cat in question could be Crookshanks — after all, it seemed like an odd thing to mention that the Potters had a cat so late in the game, and then never mention what happened to it. Here are a few things that support the theory:
Crookshanks Isn't A Muggle Cat — He's Actually Half-Kneazle
Your first doubt is a reasonable one — how the hell would Crookshanks still be alive and sprightly well into their seventh year, if he'd been alive in 1981? Well, Crookshanks is actually half-Kneazle, a magical, cat-like creature that interbreeds with cats. It's actually the half-Kneazle in Crookshanks that makes him so ridiculously clever, protective of Hermione, and smart enough to communicate with Sirius. Odds are that his Kneazle blood would also expand his kitty lifespan.
Crookshanks Really, Really, REALLY Hated Peter Pettigrew
Maybe it wasn't just that Crookshanks was smart and naturally distrustful — maybe Crookshanks knew exactly who Peter was and what he did without communicating with Sirius. Maybe Crookshanks' instinct to try to kill Peter Pettigrew wasn't borne of protectiveness of Hermione and the squad, but a genuine thirst for revenge for killing his former owners Lily and James.
Crookshanks Was Super Willing To Help Sirius
The one thing that might debunk this theory is that if Crookshanks really had been the Potters' cat, Sirius would have recognized him. But maybe Sirius did, and never said anything. When you think about all the insane revelations we made about Lupin, Sirius, and Peter all in one go at the end of the third book, it would make sense that Sirius might keep that to himself, particularly if he didn't want to burden Harry with the knowledge. That coupled with the fact that Crookshanks was way too willing to help out some random dog seems to indicate that they had a prior relationship with each other.
Crookshanks Had Been At The Pet Shop For "Quite Some Time" Because "Nobody Wanted Him"
Read: Crookshanks had been there for TWELVE YEARS, because he was WAITING FOR REVENGE.
J.K. Rowling has not confirmed or denied this, but I've pretty much convinced myself over the course of writing this article that it's canon, so there you have it, folks.
Images: Warner Bros; Giphy