Sparkplug hated people, including you reading this. Sparkplug hated dogs. Sparkplug hated other cats. Sparkplug hated being picked up, touched anywhere but the head and neck, going in the car, looking at bathtubs, and birds.

She was the quintessential bad cat.

But Sparkplug loved me.

She came into my life when she and her sibling decided to wander to my dad’s repair shop and the sibling got bumped by a car, broke a leg, and got rescued by a wonderful rescue group. Sparkplug didn’t go with the wonderful rescue group – oh no. She waited for me. I was her human, and she was having no shenanigans with anyone else. I showed up with some Kit N Kaboodle dry nasty cat food, a makeshift litter pan, and a heart full of love to give, and Sparkplug was like, “Ah – there is my sucker human. This one will adore me.”

And I did.

She came home with me that day, and I remember looking up how long domestic cats live and realizing that I would likely have this cat until I was 40, and that seemed so old at the time.

I’m 40 now. She was 18. 40 doesn’t seem all that old anymore.

Sparkplug made a sport of slapping dogs. She would lure them in with her beauty, leveling her green eyes at them and sitting perfectly still. The dog would be fascinated, and slowly approach, like in a trance. Despite all human warnings, the dog would get closer and closer, and Sparkplug would take that paw and slap the crap out of the dog. She bloodied many a nose.

We had to warn pet sitters that when she displayed her beautiful white, fluffy belly and chirped like a sweet songbird IT WAS A TRAP. If they fell victim to her wiles, they would have at least 4 teeth and 18 claws embedded in their hand. Sparkplug took maiming to a professional level. The veterinarian had to use a Kevlar cat bag just to give her regular check ups. My children and husband feared her (she gave them all good reason), and my dog never did learn that the stare was not an invitation to get closer. What a cat!

Everyone loved Sparkplug, and she only loved me.

Sparkplug casually dated death for a few weeks, finally making things official on Labor Day, Sept 6, 2021. She was at home, sprinkled with cat nip and near me, her human. She was a total jerk.

I’m going to miss her so much.

Sparks, thanks for showing me that being yourself is always ok. You were quite the cat, from your pink toes to your black heart.

All my love,

Sara Holton Gard