Willie was born on a western South Dakota ranch near Sturgis in 2003. We answered an ad for free kittens in the newspaper, and drove up to Sturgis to meet the cat's owners in a business parking lot to look over their kittens and pick one out. They arrived with a plastic laundry basket seemingly chock-full-o-kittens, apparently from two litters. Every one of them was sleeping. I picked out this groggy little grey-striped bundle with white feet and undersides, a grey tabby 'tuxedo' cat. He didn't start to bite me until after we got him home, but soon after, I was a never-ending victim of scratches and bites on my hands and arms from this tiny terror. Time passed, Willie calmed down to a little fuzzy hurricane, then eventually became a wonderful cat, though he has taken his toll on the garter snakes that used to come into our backyard, but I managed to save a few of them here and there. He once brought a full-grown, and very much alive, Robin into the house through his cat door, that made for an exciting experience. The robin was shoo'd out an open door and flew away, so I assume it survived. Oh, sorry, this is not a pet obituary, he's almost eighteen now, a LOT slower, has his health issues but his sight, hearing, and teeth are still good, although his weight might only be two-thirds (if that) of what it used to be in his prime 'thug' days. He's 'crashed out' about ten feet from where I'm typing this right now.