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Please forgive the non-automotive bandwidth, but I have come to view you all as 
friends, and I need the catharsis of unburdening my self to my friends.  Some of
you  may have noticed my signature line "Feline Varmints Spike & Felix" from
previous posts.  No longer.

On Wednesday, August 24, 1994, I had to put my best friend to sleep. 

Spike was 22 1/2 years old.  He was a cat's cat, yet completely devoid of 
those negative qualities we humans normally refer to a cattiness.   A small 
red forest god, master hunter, irrepressible free spirit, fierce warrior, 
impeccable gentleman:  he was all these.  He was our treasure, the greatest 
joy of life for both my wife and me, second only to that we share in each 
other's love.

The last two weeks have been pretty well filled with Spike, as we dealt with
the ravages of his diabetes, which caused him progressive nerve degeneration 
in his hind-quarters, leading finally to the loss of his ability (or 
willingness) to evacuate his bowels.  This left no option than to give him the 
last loving act of kindness, the freedom for unremitting suffering obtainable 
only with death.  

He had a lovely and loving end.  He was relaxed, and happy, stuffed and satiated
with his favorite goodies long denied because of his diabetes.  His end came 
swiftly, just after 1:00 PM in our yard, a clearing in his beloved forest, in my
arms, on a day of otherwise breathtaking beauty. 
Although he will always live in our hearts, Dora and I miss him beyond telling. 

Rest in Peace, Spike old friend.  And to the group, Thank you for your 

Bart Chambers