March 19, 1997 - November 11, 2006

From a tiny border town near where we live.
Her name is pronounced SAS-uh-bee (unless you speak Spanish, in which case you can probably pronounce it better).
Other given names considered:   None.


Sasabe actually went by her given name.  Sometimes, just to be silly, we called her Sasquatch-abe or Saslob-abe, but they weren't true nicknames.
March 19, 1997
Tall and fairly large for a female.  She put on a little weight in middle age and until she got sick, weighed around 14 pounds (6.4 kg).  She could have lost a pound or so, but was by no means fat.
If Sasabe had been a person, she would have been a model.  She was very tall, long-legged, and elegant and had the most beautiful coat.  Until she was older, she could eat whatever she wanted without worrying much about gaining weight.  I'd bet she had some Siamese blood in her background, and she had the classic Siamese kink at the end of her tail.
Sasabe was one of the most athletic cats I have ever had and in her youth, was capable of some truly amazing leaps and jumps.

(Click here to see my sister's cat, Minx, who looks like she could be Sasabe's sister.)


High-pitched and squeaky.  She didn't talk much at all.

Purr:  Sasabe had a peculiar purr.  It didn't have any "rumble" to it, so it just sounded like she was breathing heavily.  She sounded a bit like an obscene phone caller when she was happy. 
Biscuits:  Like Irene, she enjoyed standing in my lap and making biscuits, though she didn't make them quite as vigorously as Irene did.
By 1997, it had been six years since we'd had a kitten, and Chris and I had never had a kitten together (I'd acquired the cats we had before we moved in together).  It was time to adopt!  We decided to get a kitten for Chris's birthday in May.
In late May, I got a call from the wildlife group I belonged to.  They wanted to know if I wanted two hens someone had acquired then apparently grown tired of.  (It's not at all unusual to get calls about domestic animals on wildlife rehab hotlines.)  I agreed to meet one of the animal transport ladies at the site and round up the hens.  It just so happened that the transport lady had with her a litter of stray kittens, so after a quick phone call to Chris, I went home with two hens and a nine-week-old Sasabe.  Sasabe had three brothers:  one a long-haired, solid grey cat, and two who looked like purebred Siamese.
Alert, active, athletic, curious, kittenlike, and somewhat squirrely.  Sasabe was into everything and loved playing with kittens.  She also enjoyed teaching kittens how to open the kitchen cabinets and knock things out - one of her favorite activities. 
She was especially good with her "hands" and could deftly open boxes and fish things out of them.  She also liked to run along beside me and playfully slap at my legs.  The animal transport lady kept two of Sasabe's brothers and reported they used their hands like this, too, so it must have run in her family.  Coincidentally, one of her brothers was named Bisbee, after another small, southern Arizona town.
Sasabe was known for doing the Sasabe Dance.  The dance consisted of her rearing up on her hind legs and making a little jump and/or series of pirouettes.  She did this whenever I walked past her and sometimes when I talked to her while I was seated. 
She was easily panicked, very wary of strangers, and for some reason did not allow Chris to touch her, despite being his birthday kitten.  
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; brain tumor.  See details.
Watching the gliders and the skink, playing in the kitchen cabinets, playing with the other cats, and sleeping in the linen closet.
She got along well with everyone except Orion, who sometimes picked on her.  She was closest to Irene Adler.  (Click here to see a picture of Sasabe and Irene together.)  Sasabe always preferred the company of older cats and seemed to feel it was her duty to take care of them when they got sick.  After Irene died and Sasabe became the eldest, she continued to get along with everyone, but wasn't as close to anyone as she had been to the older cats.

No.  Often had to be picked up and moved out of the way of the vacuum, which was odd, since she was nervous about other things that didn't seem nearly so alarming as the vacuum.