I have postponed writing this because there is so much sadness for DH and me. We got news a few days ago that our beloved Spike was found dead in her kitty condo a few days after we left for California.
This is a pic of Spike taken in 2002, when we lived in the Sierra Foothills in California. She spent most of her time in DH's office, so we called her the Secretary Kitty.
A word or two about her name might be called for. Spike and her sister, Rosebud, were born under a house in Ione, CA in 1996. A predator took several siblings, so the people whose house it was rescued the remaining kittens and looked for homes for them. We adopted these two adorable furballs in a flash. A visit to the vet for first shots and a general physical inspection was called for, during which the veterinary assistant said, "Well, this one is a girl, and that one is a little boy," (indicating Spike). So we duly named them Rosebud and Spike, and a few months later were shocked when Spike came into heat! We tried to rename "him" -- Suki stuck for a week or two but just didn't come trippingly to the tongue. So we bowed to the inevitable and considered her to be our little biker chick kitty.
Spike had the most loving nature of any cat we've ever had. You could always count on a few gentle licks from her oh-so-soft tongue any time you petted or combed her. Over the years, she gained a few pounds (haven't we all?!) and came to be known as "one of the fat ladies," along with our two other female cats, Cassie and Chloe. (Rosebud had disappeared several years ago...she refused to sleep in the house, preferring a large knothole in a gigantic oak tree on our country property there. We believe a bobcat or mountain lion took Rosebud while she slept.)
Rebecca, our petsitter, told us that when she came in to feed the cats and clean their boxes, she found Spike stretched out on the grass, looking as if she had stretched out for a nap in the sun and just never woke up. Spike was Rebecca's favorite of our seven cats, and she is feeling grief-stricken, too.
We will miss our little Spikey more than words can tell...so sad, so sad.