Spike came to me soon after I moved back to Missoula, in 1993, despite my determination to not get another cat until I was well settled in. But -- a newspaper ad: free four-month old Manx. My favorite cat ever was half Manx; how could I resist? A quick phone call, and a plea to wait for me -- he was out in the countryside -- and off I went to check him out.
Poor baby -- he had come home with a young woman who had to move back in with her apparently cat-hating parents. He lived in a cage. To the horror of Mom, I put him down on the floor, and off he went. Reassured, I brought him home to the nearly empty, waiting house.
Whereupon, he jumped on Bounce's head, Bounce being the resident dog at the time. They were best buddies until Bounce's death in 1998. Bounce was just a little poodle, but Spike greeted our neighbor Jake, a massive Griffon, in exactly the same way. Luckily, Jake was a gentle giant.
Some folks think that Spike is a bully; really he's just aggressively affectionate. But -- he can be unpredictable, and has been known to bite, which got him star billing in one of my poems. He and Maxine went on to be best friends, when she lived with us while teaching at the University for a semester. When she left, he developed severe separation anxiety, manifested in a most unusual manner.
Spike is especially fond of men; when remodeling was in progress, the workers referred to Spike as The Inspector, since he had to be on-site, but unhelpful, at all times. Just the sound of a male voice, and here comes Spike, at a run.
Spike is a big cat, with a big purr, and a big personality. He's one of those cats that puts all his weight into every step, which makes lap-crossing a painful experience for those being crossed. He just wants to snuggle, wants to play, wants to be loved.
Just like the rest of us.
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