May 18 (?), 1998 - September 7, 1999

From a tiny town near where we live.
Other names considered:  Baboquivari (the name of a nearby mountain).
*The Tube*   She went through a stage in which she looked like a little cylinder with appendages, a tail, and a head stuck on.   Chris started referring to her as The Tube and it stuck.
Petite and dainty.  She weighed between 6 and 7 pounds (2.7 - 3.2 kg) and looked very kittenlike, even in adulthood.  She had perfectly round yellow eyes, little bitty paws, and amazingly glossy jet black fur.  When she curled up in a ball and closed her eyes, it was hard to tell which end was which.
Tube was almost comically un-athletic and never was much good at climbing and jumping, but she chased balls and played tag with the other cats just fine.
I'll always remember the way she ran.  When she ran toward one of us, her gait had an up-and-down motion, like a rocking horse, and her body was slightly sideways, her back legs not quite in line with her front legs.  A lot of kittens run this way, but Tube never outgrew it and it was quite charming.
Tube was not an overly vocal cat, but meowed occasionally.  She had a soft meow, somewhat on the high-pitched side.
Purr:  Moderately loud and very frequent.
Biscuits:  She made nice, gentle, demi-biscuits when very happy.
In late July, 1998, about two weeks after we got married, Chris went out to walk the dogs one evening.  I was in the middle of doing something, so remained at home.  Five minutes after he left, he returned, holding a tiny, bedraggled, black creature.  He looked at me and said, "Well, it was inevitable."
For a couple of seconds I couldn't tell what the creature was, and for one absurd instant the thought that our two black rabbits had had a baby crossed my mind.  (Both rabbits were female!)  In the next second, I realized she was a very small and very sick kitten.
There was - and still is - a group of feral cats living on the land south of us, and Arivaca was a member of that group.  For some reason, she ignored the dogs, put aside any nervousness about people, and ran right up to Chris.  She was not in good shape and obviously needed a lot of care.
The next morning, she went to the vet.   Initially, no one was sure if she'd make it, but her condition improved after being hospitalized for a while and she was able to come home with us.
Tube was the sweetest cat ever born.  The first night we had her, she crawled up into my lap and purred, despite being quite ill, and she remained loving, gentle, and sweet-natured the rest of her life.
All the black cats I've had have been scaredey-cats when it comes to meeting people, and Tube was no exception.  Very few people apart from us ever saw her, but she was very outgoing with us.
She loved her Mama and her Papa equally.  When we sat in the living room in the evenings, she curled up in one lap for a while, then switched to the other, making sure she paid attention to both of us.  When either of us came home from work, she never failed to race across the house and greet us enthusiastically, with love in her round little eyes.
I guess she was too good to last.
Mediastinal lymphoma secondary to Feline Leukemia.  See Details.
Sitting in laps and purring; taking naps with her Papa; playing on the balcony; and watching lizards on the porch.
Tube was closest to Sasabe, Tamerlane, and Roo.  Roo died two months after she did.