What my Smokey-Boy used to do

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Smokey was my companion cat that retired to FL from Brooklyn after I had already moved down here. A friend who was coming down called to say his roommate could no longer keep Smokey and was going to bring him to a shelter. I told him to bring the cat down to me. I already had my little street urchin Sushi girl whom I had rescued from the streets in Brooklyn and was enjoying the new life she had in the sun. She was around 18-20 years old at the time. I didn't know how she'd react to Smokey, but what could I do? We'd work it out. Anyway, I digress . . . as I usually do. Fast forward, Sushi died a few years later and it was just me and Smokey-Boy. Although he and Sushi never hit it off, he wasn't alone during the day. He got very attached to me and would latch himself on to my ankle every morning and bite me, before I left for work - he had terrible separation anxiety. He had to get a time out in a big walk in closet. When I let him out (a mere 30 or 60 seconds later) he'd hang his head and "say" "it wasn't me . . . it was that terrible other cat that comes here sometimes" . . . I felt so badly leaving him alone - That's when I said I'd never just have 1 cat again!

I had a habit of leaving my sneakers and socks in the tv/computer room so I'd be ready to put them on and jump up and exercise (I couldn't give myself any excuses to forego exercise - Heaven forbid I have to walk into the other room to get my socks!) Anyway, I started to notice each morning, one sock in the middle of the dining room . . . then it progressed to 2 socks . . . always on the path to my bedroom. Then the socks would appear at the door to my bedroom, and ultimately in the bedroom. Obviously Smokey was bringing them in but when, why? One night, I heard my Boy "singing" from the tv room. It started to get louder and I "answered" him . . . "what are you doing Boy," I yelled to the other side of the house. He "yelled" back to me, then he'd wait and I'd "yell" back again. Then his responses sounded a bit muffled but closer. He'd be "talking" to me with a sock in his mouth as he carried it in to me. Then he'd go back to the tv room and get the other one. The whole time we'd be "conversing." Was he chastising me for leaving my socks there or just letting me know what he was doing? This went on every night for the last 2 years of his life. Once the socks were safely deposited in the proper room he'd jump up on the bed, nose his way under my arm and lay down. Of course, each day I would have to carry the socks back to my sneakers. If I got into bed and forgot the socks, I'd get out of bed and carry them in to the other room for Smokey.

I came to feel that this was Smokey's "job." He had made it his job. And he seemed to take it very seriously. When Smokey started getting sick at the end, he continued to try to bring the socks to me. Sometimes, he'd only make it part way . . . sometimes, with only 1 sock. One night, he didn't call out to me and he didn't bring my socks to me. I knew we were coming to the end and I cried. My poor Boy couldn't do his job anymore. He felt stronger for a bit, and the first thing he did was bring in the socks for a few days. But then, it just stopped.

It's been almost 3 years since my precious Boy left me and it's only recently I'm able to think about that wonderful experience I shared with my little companion. It makes me smile with such joy. It was such a wonderful gift he gave me. I still miss him.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    A wonder story that made me cry. Thank you for sharing this moving story with us. Hugs Pat
    1186 days ago
    A wonder story that made me cry.
    1186 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/17/2014 11:21:31 AM
  • JANET552
    What a beautiful memory!! It makes me tear up. Smokey was a very handsome kitty -- and obviously had lots of personality!
    1187 days ago
    Wow, he looks so much like my "Shadow" Similar personalities too..What a sweet boy Smokey was. Cute about the socks.
    1187 days ago
    Oh what a wonderful companion your Smokey was! I love it when our cats "converse" with us. sometimes you can tell exactly what they are saying and others you have to be a detective to figure out but most times can. I can see why you still miss Smokey. It has been almost 7 years since our Smokey died and I still miss him also. It helps that we have the 4 cats but Smokey still pops up in my memories. Our Smokey used to jump almost 3 feet to take a kitty treat from our fingers without biting us in the process. He would snuggle with us and always loved keeping us company. towards the end would couldn't even get him to take a treat from our hand even when we would put it right in front of him while he lay in the chair and wouldn't even take it if we tried to put it in his mouth. At this point we knew there was something wrong. We took him to the vet and they could feel a lump in his side that they said shouldn't be there. They kept him saying they wanted to do surgery to see what was going on. The next day they did the surgery and found cancer. They did everything they could for him but he didn't make it. They called us to the office and by the time we got there they had revived him. My youngest son was at work and when we called him to let him know what was going on his employer let him off to come to the clinic. He got a little better and they took the tubes out but then he started to go down again. They asked if we wanted extreme measures taken to save him. I looked at the kids and they shook their heads, no so we said no as he would have starved himself anyway as he wouldn't eat. they were wonderful at the clinic that day and when we went back in the next time with some of our other cats. He and our youngest daughter had grown up together as we had him for 11 years. It was really hard letting him go but we have a lot of fond memories of him. The clinic gave us a cutting of his fur before preparing him for us to take and bury I split this fur between all of us and made a picture collage with one of the openings being the piece of his fur. We also have the very first picture of him in this collage right next to the fur. The only difference in each collage is the one picture with one of us holding Smokey. This made each collage individual for each of us. I am preparing to do one like it for Pillsbury as we have a cutting of his fur from when we had to put him down a couple years ago.

    Take care and thank you for sharing your story. I loved reading it.
    1519 days ago
    This is a beautiful blog. Smokey was a gorgeous cat. When our "babies" leave us they take a piece of our heart with them. I'm so glad you still have Lily and Louie.
    Since I lost Abbie, I only have my kitty. She was a feral kitty that my kids found and captured in a live trap. It's been hard but she is finally learning to trust me ---no one else yet. Nice meeting you and hearing about your furry babies. emoticon emoticon Nancy
    1637 days ago
  • KAREN608
    Aw, so sweet a story!
    I have an outside cat, Smokey, that looks just like yours! He is quite vocal,
    and I think he may be somehow related to your kitty. Thanks for telling us about him.
    1640 days ago
  • EABL81
    What a beautiful story - teared up as I read it. He was a beautiful boy and the two of you obviously had a very special friendship. I think we can count ourselves lucky for the time that our pets spend with us. There's something very special about a bond formed between members of two different species. It make you wonder why we humans can't get along with one another better!

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    1640 days ago
  • PCOH051610
    When the grief is fresh it is hard to think of the wonderful memories because all we feel is loss. I'm so thankful you shared this with us. emoticon
    1641 days ago
  • NHES220
    What a cutey. Smokey looks a lot like my girls, Stella and Lily - I have their picture on my page. They really become such a part of your lives. Thanks for sharing your story!
    1642 days ago
    Smokey, what a loving companion! He was bringing you something he knew you needed, and he was talking to you about it! That's exactly what RT would do! She brought her favorite toy to me every day to play, and as she was coming I could hear her vocalizing, "meow, meow, meow, meowyow," it sounds like sing song! We interpreted it to say mommy, I'm bringing your toy, mommy, you need to play! Smokey was probably saying, "mommy, you will need your sockies, mommy, I'll bring them to you!"
    Sigh, what a handsome fellow he was.
    When I was a teen, my best friend was a woman who loved cats, she was older than my mom, a godly woman. She rescued many cats over the years(she was the proverbial cat lady!) one of the rescues did the same thing when we went out, cling to the legs, and hold on for dear life! The only thing that worked was that if I was there we would take turns going in and out of the door for less than a minute, so he could see we would be right back. It was my idea, and angel(he was old, white, and showed up in the middle of winter,) so I begged her not to let him out, for you never know when you are entertaining angels, unaware! I think Smokey was a kindred spirit, he so appreciated your love and bringing him to a warm wonderful place! Thanks Nancy for sharing Smokey with the rest of us, he was beautiful in form, and heart. Your friend, Dee
    1642 days ago
    What wonderful memories! These four legged friends are heart filled love ,touching lives in so many ways. Two years ago my Honey Moo Cow passed. Honey was 22 years old. Her litter sister Nut passed two years before her. I find them in a box when they were kittens, their eyes were not even open yet. Honey's passing was extremely hard on me, I had her for half my adult life. But love continues to finds us, Our Demi, Tootsie and now Snickers. Smokey sounds alot like my Honey Moo I really felt like she took care of me. I called her my nurse kitty. She knew sometimes before me when I had a migraine she would not leave my side. I miss her so much. Thank you
    1644 days ago
  • LEW0213
    What a wonderful tribute to your very special companion. Sometimes it can take years before you can talk about these special ones without tearing up. Although you can love them all, the very special ones do stand out. My Jonah has been gone for almost 5 years and I can finally talk about him without tears but my Gypsy Rose still hurts to talk about and it has been 2 years now. We even named a section of our farm where she is buried for her, Gypsy's Terrace. Special hugs to you, Nancy.
    1644 days ago
  • KAYDE53
    What a neat story!! Isn't it great how our furbabies leave such wonderful memories for us to cherish? What a beautiful kitty!! emoticon
    1644 days ago
    Nancy, thank you for sharing your life with Smokey. He was a beautiful kitty and I know your heart still aches for him. Hugs from me and Zoey emoticon
    1644 days ago
    Your story brought tears to my eyes. You were both so fortunate to have found each other.
    1644 days ago
    Oh, Nancy! They really do leave paw prints on our hearts. What a beautiful memory for such a handsome boy. I do believe in a multiple cat household. At one time we had four - I had two older kitties and the kids, 3rd and 5th graders, each wanted their own. So, we came home with two kittens. I'm still impressed that they all got along. When our oldest guy, Andy, had a stroke, I found the other 3 snuggled around him. Something I'll never forget.

    Smokey really was your companion and very special. He was so lucky to have chosen you. I have always believed that we will meet them again.

    Thanks for sharing the story and the photos.

    Hugs and purrs from me and the girls to you and Lily and Louie.

    1644 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. I love mine as much as you do, too!!
    1644 days ago
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