In Memory of Smokey

1 March 1984 - 6 January 1999

This one is probably the hardest page to do....and yet, the easiest. Mainly cause I know what I want to say about my baby. And that is what she was. Smokey came into my life while I was in Europe as well. But I had moved with the entire company headquarters to Chievres, Belgium.

On one of my runs into SHAPE to one of the outlying buildings, I saw one of the other soldiers had a box full of kittens. She was trying to get *rid* of them. I squatted down and looked in the box and fell hard...there was this little scrawny gray striped *mouse* that was the runt of the litter. Since it was right after lunch, I still had the rest of the day to go before I could get her home.

Once back in the office, I opened my top drawer, turned my cap upside down and she fell asleep in it. I didn't want to just drop her off without introducing her to Angel. I didn't know how Angel would react to the little ball of fur I brought home.

I got her home and sure enough, I had a major problem that eventually, with lots of patience, solved itself. Angel had been used to being a single cat and here was this loud baby.

We were only in Belgium for about 5 more that time she learned to *attack* me as I came in the door in the evenings. She would come running and jump on my legs and crawl up to my shoulder...thank goodness for Battle Dress Uniforms or my legs would have been shreds. She also learned to sleep in my hair...actually on the pillow at the top of my head. And she would knead my hair and suck on it like she would have her momma. And her claws HURT. She slept there or right at my right shoulder the rest of her life. I KNEW Charles was the right person for me when Smokey did the same thing to his head/hair.

It doesn't show well in the photos but Smokey had a brown undercoat. She also had a temper to go with the green eyes! And she adored bacon....I had a picture that was adorable but can't find it...the same table that Angel is sitting at but she was in another chair so that all that showed over the table was her head.

One morning I had cooked breakfast and Charles was at the computer at the other end of the living area. I put our plates on the table and then he asked me to come see something. So I turned my back....and sure enough, the bacon thief struck HIS plate...all three pieces. Good thing I always made an odd number (I gave them the odd one) so I had four on my plate and was able to share with him.

Smokey also had a habit of hitting with her paw in a very rapid pace if she was upset with you...actually if you had gone passed the point of petting to being annoying. But she always forgave you eventually. Smokey was a dainty cat. She was a grey striped American Shorthair tabby. She had all the classic markings. And she was smart...and she is sorely missed.

Smokey had the ability to find the softest places to sleep...and to curl up on herself so that there was almost nothing showing but back! But this is my absolute favorite picture of her and is Smokey in all her glory.

I had to name this one on the right...Make the World Go Away! She was just saying what I wanted to say many times.

On January 6th, I was at my sister's on the way home from seeing Charles for a week when he calls me. The lady who was pet sitting had called him to tell him that Smokey had died. I was devastated. When I got home, it felt cold and lonely...and Snowy was very loving that night. It was like she knew I needed her. Just like Smokey had done for almost 16 years. Anytime I needed a *shoulder*, Smokey had been there but not this time. The only thing we can figure is that she died of grief and heart failure. The grief of losing her *mother* Angel just a few months before. She can never be replaced but I swear that Izzy is very similar in lots of ways. Maybe God knew I needed a little bit of Smokey here with me so He gave it to me in Izzy.

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