Smokey was born the same year as my daughter, but I didn't get him til he was nearly 2. He was my 2nd child who survived the loss of an eye, liver failure, cancer, and 2 kids. We see a lot of him in our Russian Blue girls, whom we'd waited five yrs after his death to adopt. He was strong, regal, beautiful, patient, and kind. He was empathic, just knowing how a person was feeling and what they needed. He was a ferocious, intimidating giant who stood guard with strangers and animals in his younger years but, in his old age, he'd find our laps and curl there possessively, getting out the door just to trot a few feet, stop, then look back, waiting for us to pick him up and take him back in, as if it was an accomplishment. Writing this makes me a little sad, but I'm glad to share him. We miss him every day and, if things get tough, we visit the fireplace upon which sits his ashes and collar, and talk like we did when he was alive. On the left in this picture, with Junior, on the right.
April 30, 1995 — January 2, 2010