Eunice was born on Valentine's Day, 1983 in North Carolina. She is the grande dame of the household, with seniority second only to mine. I got her when she was seven weeks old, a little ball of fluff that could sit in the palm of your hand. She quickly grew up and copped major attitude (as Siamese cats often do), gaining the name "Miss Hate" because of her legendary intolerance of strangers.
Siamese cats tend to bond very closely to their owners, as Eunice has done to me. The rest of the world can go jump off a cliff as far as she is concerned. Her devotion to me has not wavered all these years, and actually it's kind of comforting to know that some things never change. Eunice has had some kidney problems recently, and root canal surgery earlier this year, but she is still as feisty and cantankerous as ever.
The following text added March 29, 2002 . . . .
Right at the beginning of spring of 2002, Eunice became too tired to continue her journey here on earth. She stopped eating and drinking and both of us knew her life was coming to a close. I made the painful decision to assist her on her way to the Rainbow Bridge. The round photo above was taken about 10 days before she passed on, at the ripe old age of 19 years and 1 month. She was a part of my life for nearly 20 years, and I miss her very much.

If Eunice was the regal, aloof dowager, Spooky was the court jester. I got him from the Washington DC animal shelter when Eunice was about six months old. It was love at first sight when I saw Spooky, I knew he was the cat for me. A big boy, he weighed fifteen pounds at his prime. I don't think there was a sweeter, more pleasant-natured cat around. Always ready to play and constantly purring, Spooky took so much enjoyment out of the simple fact of living. Smart as a whip, he learned things amazingly fast and could turn anything into a toy. He had to be put to sleep in September of 1998 at age 15 because of intestinal cancer. He will always be my "Sphinx kitty" and I will remember him with great fondness forever.

I have had a number of foster kittens over the years, and while they have all been lovable, some have been particularly memorable. Amy came to me in October 1999 as a five-week old kitten, too young and tiny to be adopted. I kept her for four weeks, and during that time she gained weight and was a very healthy, happy lively kitten. She would play with my rabbit, Francisco, and it was so much fun to watch the two of them. Eunice, however, seriously resented Amy's presence in her domain, and was probably very glad when I returned Amy to the shelter. She wasn't up for adoption more than two hours when someone chose her. I think about her sometimes, and I hope she has a long and happy life with a family that loves her.
I had another foster kitten earlier this year (and unfortunately I do not have a photo of her) who came to me very, very ill. No one could figure out exactly what was wrong with her; she would eat very little and did not move around a lot, as you would expect a kitten to do. Her sister kitten came with her, and she was very healthy and lively. It was very touching to watch the two of them; at night, the healthy kitten would lay on top of the sick one, keeping her warm. A week or two went by and the little kitten only got worse. Her weight dropped to under a pound (when she should have been gaining weight steadily) and she always felt cool to the touch. There were more than a few nights when I went to bed not expecting her to be alive the next morning. One day in desperation I took her back to the animal clinic and her body temperature was 96 degrees (normal for a kitten is 102 degrees). We finally put her on a special food, and that made all the difference in the world. She got stronger and started to gain weight rapidly. Within a couple of weeks she was healthy and happy and running wildly around the house, chasing the rabbits. I eventually had to return her to the shelter, and I was glad that she was there for only a few short hours before someone adopted her. I named her "Millie", which is short for "milagro", Spanish for "miracle". She truly was a miracle kitty to me, and she demonstrated enormous strength, tenacity and courage.