The name Hecate comes out of Greek mythology. She was known as the "Dark Mother" and as a goddess of the crossroads. Our cat is black (dark) and was first seen with a kitten, so the name seemed appropriate.
Hecate was around two years old when Bob and Rox adopted her on November 28, 1998. She had been hanging around our rented house in Austin, but we had never been able to get close to her. Rox was in the front yard walking Ruth's new dog, who we were about to ship to her in Alaska. Hecate walked up to sniff the dog and Rox picked her up without protest.
We eventually found out that the previous tenants had abandoned Hecate when they left a year before. She had been living wild all that time, but she kept coming back to "her" house. We took to putting out food and water for her. Sometimes we would see her with a tiny black kitten. The kitten was grown by the time we took Hecate inside.
Hecate loved the dogs. When they would wander by to sniff her she would push her head up against their noses and purr. Hecate and the other cats would sometimes hiss at each other when they met, but they would also play chase games or lie down near each other. She seemed particularly fond of Chelsea.
Hecate passed away at home on June 8, 2005. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer several years earlier, but lead a fairly comfortable life despite that. We will always love and remember her.