Welcome to Smokey Joe ( my big guy's)'s Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Smokey Joe  ( my big guy's)'s Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Smokey Joe ( my big guy's)
April 2008, My sweet precious, Smokey Joe, who I always called my "big guy's" because you were one BIG BEAUTIFUL SIXTEEN POUNDS OF MUSCULAR CAT. In fact you were so heavy and healthy that, Uncle Freddie, always said you "could take on a coyote"....and WIN. You were the all American picture of what a healthy cat should look like and, I made sure you stayed that way. You had all your yearly check up's at your Vets', ate the best of food (of course you were a picky eater considering at one time you were a garbage can cat....COMPLETELY FERAL). HOW OUR STORY BEGAN. It was the winter of 1994 and for quite a few months I would see this gray and white tom cat slink out of the bushes towards the dumpster to find food. After seeing you do this for some time, I decided to take a paper plate of cat food out to the dumpster for you. You always seemed to be hiding in the bushes and soon as I put the food down and walked away, you slunk out to eat but with a wary and watchful eye. If I walked toward you, you would run away into the bushes again. I fed you on a daily basis but always from a distance. It seemed after awhile you knew I would be bringing the food out to you and sometimes I would see you sitting on the sidewalk waiting. Soon as I approached off you went to the bushes again. In time I noticed you were limping but could not get near you. After five months of this I decided to move the paper plate of food closer to my apartment a little more each day or so until, I actually had the food right in front of my front door. You still were very cautious and scared of people. Deathly scared of people. One day I opened the door wide and put the food down inside of the apartment but, Steve was standing behind the door and soon as you came in he closed the door real fast and you went beserk. We had to immediately open the door and let you out. After that it seemed you felt you could trust us and next time I put the paper plate of food in front of the doorway (not in the house) you came out of the bushes and quietly walked over to the food, put your head down to eat and let me pet you. That was the beginning of a 13 year friendship filled with lots of love, devotion and loyalty and a zillion, trillion purr's. You adoped us and from then on you were Smokey Joe aka Big Guy's. The first time I actually noticed you it was towards the end of 1994 around October/November and after you decided we could be your parents, I took you to the vet for your very first checkup and the Dr., said he thought you to be about a year old then so I picked out your birtdate of January 1, 1994. Big guy's it's late now and I am going to write more in a day or so. There is lots to write about, what a special cat you were and I miss you with all my heart and soul. Good night my angel cat, love MOM.

April 17, Hello again my big guy's. It is so hard not to have you with us. God, how I miss you and I can barely talk about you or think about you without crying. I made a memorial in the corner of the little bedroom (where you used to love to sleep with your Uncle Jeff) and many picture's of you in there. Every single night before I go to bed I kiss the tip of my finger and put it up to one of the picture's of you and run my hand over the picture's and say, "good night big guy's, where ever you are". Sleep well baby. You are so imprinted in my heart and believe it or not even your canine sister's miss you. Muffin, Tissie and Misha no longer have their Smokey Joe, to play with. You used to hide behind the lounge chair and just wait for one of the Pom's to walk by so you could pounce on them but you guy's never hurt each other. You were so patient with the girls (dogs) and when I would give them their Heartgard medication, Muffin and Tissie would not eat it and I would have to disquise it in baby food. You always knew when I popped the top off the jar of baby food you would immediately come over to get some of the baby food yourself-the meat kind of course.
Well, Smoke I must go for now and we will talk some more later. XXXOOXXXOOOXXX
I remember when I brought one of the first Pomeranian's home, this was Muffin. Muffin, was so little and tiny (she was the runt of the litter) and was hardly bigger then a bar of soap. I, was kind of worried as I thought you would think she was a mouse and try and kill her. But you paid her no attention at all. You just looked at her for a minute or so then walked off and if to say "well, that's that". You could care less if she was around or not. The same way with the other two Pom's. As the Pom's grew and got older (they are now 4yrs, 3 1/2yrs. & 11 months, but they were just 8 weeks when we got them (at different times) you were so good with them. Not once did you try and bite or scratch them no matter how, Misha constantly jumped on you. You just took it like the gentleman cat you were.

April 21st...Smokey Joe, today is the day your picture was put on your headstone and I cried to see you there. You should be home with me not your picture on a headstone. Today is so sad for me because I loved you so much. Your Uncle Jeff, wanted your collar with your tag's and I gave those to him and I gave one of your cat tree's to your, Aunt Virginia for your two feline cousin's and the other one to, Aunt Mary for your one feline cousin. That way they stay in the family. God, you were loved, so loved that it breaks my heart a thousand times over not to have you here with us. You are my big guy's and alway's will be. I, have your three canine sister's and I will not be getting another cat. You are imprinted in my heart and mind and that is as close to you as I will ever get fron now on. The day Dad and I had you put down was awful for me. Dr. Debi, brought you into the room holding you on a BABY BLANKET. Your were such a good kitty. When Dr. Debi came into the room my heart cracked a thousand times over knowing what was coming for you. We put you snuggled on the blanket on the table so she could put the "stuff" into your catheter that would put you into a forever sleep. You were so calm and peaceful and within a blink of an eye you were gone. I, was petting you the whole time and Dad, was standing by your side also so you did not leave this world alone as you came into it. Dr. Debi, was so gentle with you and she felt awful herself. I, found out some weeks later that the, Animal Hospital in Antioch Ca, made a donation in your name to, Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation. I, was so pleased by this gesture, I sent them a thank you card. Well, my big guy's it's late so I am going to go for now. Send me some, Smokey Joe purr's on the wind. Love MOM XXX000XXXX00X0XX0X

April 22, Smoke, we have so many wonderful people that are signing your guest book and sending us their deepest sympathy. We are blessed, big guy's for all the nice things that people are saying. I know you can read all the nice things said about you too, as in heaven anything is possible. And so many of these wonderful Mom's and Dad's are sending their furbabies to look out for you since you are so new at the Bridge and they are showing you the way. God bless them all. So many people are taking time out of their lives to read what a wonderful, Smokey Joe you were and I will be getting in touch with all those I can and thank them and also talk with them about their loss. It seems all I do is cry as your loss is so unbearable but I am sure the day will come when I can look at this site and smile without all the tears. Soon I will write about what did take your life but I know you are pain free now and for that I am thankful. Love MOM XXXX000XXX000XXX0X0X


Once you decided we were suitable parent's for you and you adopted us it was all good. There was never a day Dad or I regret taking you into our home and heart's. When we first got you, you were an indoor/outdoor cat but you never stayed out all night. I, would let you out in the morning and you were in by 1 or 2 in the afternoon, usually. You loved to bask in the sun and stalk/chase anything that wasn't bigger than you. At one place we lived there was a big hill behind us and if you spotted another cat you would chase it until it was gone. You would tolerate NO other cat's period. If given the chance you would fight with them as no other cat intimidated you but I tried to see that never happened. When you were outside out of sight and if I called you and you were within hearing distance you always came to me. I, can still see you coming over the crest of the hill. You loved being outdoor's and unfortunately I had to take that away from you. In 2000 we moved to the country where the place is loaded with coyotes. Because of this I had to make you a totally indoor cat. The day that we left the old place (with the hill behind us) and I called for you to come in, I did this with great sadness because I knew that was your last day of freedom.
And it was.....So from August 2000 till Jan 8, 2008 your life consisted of being an indoor cat. But you never complained or seemed to mind it, I think I felt worse about it than you. But the one bright side to it was I did take you out often ON a leash and harness. You did not do well with this as you never really lost your feral ways as far as being afraid of everyone and everything. We moved to a mobile home park in the country so I took you out for walks and fresh air when the kids were in school and there was not a lot of noise. But at least this way you were able to get out some. I always felt bad about that but I could not let you out. So many people here lost their cats to the coyotes and I loved you to much to make you lunch or dinner for them. And besides if the coyotes did not get you then you would of got into a cat fight ( you were neutered) but that would not of stopped you from fighting then there would of been the Vet. bills so it was in your best interest (and my financial interest) to keep you healthy and safe. You never knew an unkind word, never wen't hungry, cold or unloved. I, just wish all the homeless and abused animals could of had the love and care you had. LOVE is one of the most powerful things. Our love tamed you as you were a homeless, feral, rescue cat. You disliked everyone and trusted no one. But you ended up being a beloved member of our family and except for your immediate family you were still scared of most people.

The spring and summer of 2007 I noticed little by little you were losing weight. Your collar was getting looser and when I would put your harness on (to take you outside) it was getting loose also. But your appetite was good...then I noticed you seemed to be drinking a lot of water. Every time I looked at you it seemed you were at the water bowl, and you were. Finally in the summer I took you to your Veterinarian and Dr. Debi did some blood work. The results came back that you were in the FIRST STAGES OF KIDNEY FAILURE. Your blood level count was "50". You were 13 years old and I found out this is very common in older cats. We tried some kidney dry cat food that would help you but you absolutely refused to eat the canned kidney cat food. You loved the dry kidney cat food though. So on a wing and a prayer I wen't with that and hoped that would be enough for now. As the month's went on from summer, fall, and into winter you were losing weight at rapid speed and drinking ton's of water BUT you were still eating your dry kidney cat food (you always did like the dry food no matter what kind it was though) Now its getting where your collar and harness is just hanging on you. You were nothing but skin and bones, just a walking bone with fur. There was no fat or body mass, in fact you looked like one of those abused cats on, Animal Planet. During these few months when you were getting so bad, Dr, Debi was giving you injections under your skin to help with the hydration. In December when you walked you could literally see all your rib and hip bones. I, could literally count every rib on your poor emaciated body. And you were getting weaker as it was getting harder for you to jump on the bed. But you did not act or appear to be in any pain but I knew the time would come soon when the DECISION would have to be made. Then you started doing the strangest thing of all. The last week or so you started jumping in the bathtub and that is where you spent most of your time, asleep or awake. You also started making a sound. It was not a sound like a cat fight or even a sound of pain. It was like you were trying to say WHY.....but it was a loud, soulful, mournful, haunting sound. And you basically started this almost all night and every night. The other strange thing you did was if you were not in the bathtub you were completely under the bed in the little bedroom. These two things you never did in the whole time we had you. So we went back to Dr. Debi and she did another blood test and the outcome of the test would be the deciding factor to which way this went. The test was done on a Sat. and Dr. Debi, called me from her home on Sunday, and said it was not good. Your blood level count (for kidney disease) was now 170.....I asked her what was normal and she said "30 OR UNDER". Oh, my God, in the summer your count was 50, now its 170 and normal is 30 or under.......Shortly before this last blood test you had quit eating your dry food and you were having trouble eating the canned food as you also had ulcers in your mouth because of this awful disease. The decision was made to let you go and I wanted an extra day with you so I could take you outside for your last time and cuddle with you one last night. You seemed to sense something going on because you spent a lot of time with me on the sofa but I could tell you were uncomfortable and I kept telling you that "tomorrow it would all be over and you will be at peace". I, hope you understood what I was trying to tell you. I did ask Dr, Debi if I did not have you put to sleep what would happen and she said you would eventually go into seizures or a coma. This I would never allow to happen. You were so wasted and painfully thin that I would never of tried to hang on to you when I asked her that but I was curious because in my heart I knew it was time. And I knew that YOU would let me know when it was time and you did by going in the bathtub to rest and under the bed.

This last day January 8th you weighed 6 pounds 1 ounce, from a 16 pound healthy cat. The morning I took you in for the last time, we did go for a walk with the leash and harness that just hung on you. I probably did not even need it as you were also moving slow so it was not like you were going to run off anywhere, but habit I guess. I, gave you for breakfast the meat baby food that you just adored and you were able to lap that up and also the real good tuna in the package (not can) you were trying to eat it but having trouble because of your ulcers. When we left for the Vets, you just layed on my lap (you were always good in a car) and I was petting you and talking to you the whole way. When we got to the vets, I was crying so hard that soon as we walked in and they saw my face they immediately put you, dad and I in a room. Shortly after that Dr. Debi came in with her BABY BLANKET and you know the rest............AT 6 POUNDS AND 1 OUNCE YOU WERE STILL MY BIG GUY'S.......

April 25, Hi, my big,big beautiful big guy's. Oh, my God, how missed you are. Smoke, after reading many tribute's that other mom's have written about their babies it does my heart good to know that you are in a place like the, Bridge and have so many wonderful playmates. We lost your feline sister, Missy in 2000 and I am sure by now she has found you. You and, Missy stay with each other and know we love you both so much. I, received a nice little post it note from, Ginny - she is the lady that is the founder of this site. She wrote such nice things about you and I have that in the little bedroom with all your special things. One corner of the little bedroom is especially for your things. That is your niche in this world now, since you can't be here. That is sacred to me and I have the nice card, Dr. Debi sent me after we had to send you to the Bridge. Also, Sandy that used to live next door to us, remember her Smoke? She sent me a lovely email and since her canine girls are at the Bridge, she said Tori and Susie would take you by the paws and show you the way. Susie, was blind when they lived next door to us so she never did see you, but she can see you now and that is what is so neat about the Bridge, all of you are restored to perfect health. When, Sandy would go to work she would lots of times see you sitting in your cat tree (I, had your cat tree sitting right in front of the window) and she always talked to you. Uncle Jeff, came by last week and he said the house is just not the same without you. How right he is. Every where I look, I see you especially in our bedroom and the kitchen as you would sit there for hours and look out the window. Now big guy's you have the great big window in the sky to look out of and all the clouds to snuggle up in and the stars to keep you warm. Send me some, Smokey Joe, purr's on a sunbeam. Speaking of sunbeams I noticed that the picture of you on the headstone, it looks like a sunbeam is shooting straight for your back. That picure was taken on 12-7-02. I, never noticed that before......could that mean something???......Love Mom......XXXOOOXXOOXOXX

May 1, Hi Smoke, I just had to tell you something. My printer was not working and, I was so afraid that if for some reason my computer crashed I, would lose all the printed words about you, your tribute. I, could never redo that by memory so I emailed, Ginny the founder of this site and asked her if she would mail me a printed copy of your tribute. Smoke, she did and I got it in today's mail and that made me so happy. Now it will never be lost and in fact, I am taking the printed copy to Kinko's and I am going to have them make it up for me in a real nice way so I can put it in a frame and in the corner of the little bedroom by your special spot. I, have some nice things in there for you. I, picked that spot as that is where one of your litter boxes used to be in fact I, had one cat and three litter boxes. Your Aunt Robin, had three cats and one litter box. Oh, well!
It is almost four months since you left us and my heartache is as great as ever. In fact what was hard for me is one day I had to take one of the Pom's to the vet., and they put us in the same room where you were at that last time. I, could just picture us in there and how awful that day was for us. I, could just see you laying on the BABY BLANKET right before and right after you went to the Bridge. The instant Dr. Debi told me you were gone, I held your left back paw and slowly kept petting it and telling you how very much you were loved. Your little pink tongue was sticking out of your mouth a little after you were gone but you used to do that sometime. There were times I, would look at you and there was that little pink tongue sticking out a bit. It looked so cute. Take care of Missy and look out for her. She was so little and dainty and you were her big brother.
Well, big guy's I have to go for now and I think about you ALL the time. My love for you is endless and like I said you are imprinted in my heart so where ever I go or whatever I am doing you are always with me. Love MOM XXXOOOXXXOOXOXOX

May 8, Hi, Smoke its been 4 months today that you left us. We had you just going into your 14th year and that wasn't long enough. You were just so,so special but you knew that. Every day that we had you was a gift from, God. I, love you so much and miss you. Love MOM XXX000XXX000XXX

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