Goodbye, Smokey, our beautiful big boy...we love you and we already miss you. We are so sorry you were in such discomfort...all that chemo and prednisone and you still contracted cancer a second time around, and this time it was in your esophagus and there was really nothing we could do. Thanks for fighting so hard! Even though you were so heavy I will miss you lying on my chest at night keeping me company. Thanks for making us laugh so many times with your goofiness and being such a good brother to Sneakers. We hope there are many beautiful grassy fields for you to run and play in now, no coyote or eagles to terrify you. We hope you are eating a hearty meal and reuniting with Toto, Mandy, Miko, and Lucky. Maybe Pa and Grandma, and I'm sure Em, are stroking your very soft, long, and luminous fur--you had the most soft, luxurious coat of any cat! Now you can play with your tennis balls and roll around in all the leaves you like. Thank you for being our special angel. God bless you, Smokey, we love and miss you very much!|
1/11/13 Smokey, we missed you so much this morning, you didn't greet us with your usual enthusiasm, jumping on our pillows and licking our faces just like the puppy dogs who helped to raise you when you were just weeks old. We remembered how you used to climb our backyard trees and then the roof! It was strange this morning without your big calm and stable presence, monitoring everyone and helping create harmony. You always jumped to the rescue when you heard other kitties start to fight or hiss. You were the peacemaker, stopping fights and turning them to play. You radiated calm and playfulness to everybody. Even when we took you to the vet, which you hated, you were always such a well-behaved boy. We are sorry your life has been so short and so full of challenges. Thank you for being our wonderful big boy! We love and miss you very much. Spirit to the heavens now...fly on angels' wings.
1/14/13 Dear Smokey, please tell your brother Sneaky to get off his high horse and stop chasing the little kitten Annie around. I know she's a rascalette, but he's probably twice her weight and twice her size easily, and she's learning from his bad example. You always stepped in to these spats before; now we really need you! You were so peaceful and brave, setting the tone for the other kitties. And, since you're up beyond the Rainbow Bridge and closer to the Ones Who Went Before Us, would you please find Toto, Lucky, Mandy, and Miko and give them our love? The house is not the same without them. :( Could you also send St. Roch a message? Tell him thank you so much for giving Roxie a second chance, and please help all the people here who are coming down with an awful flu that is killing people this year. He's the patron saint of dogs and plagues, so I know he can help. You might want to ask Toto, Lucky, or Mandy to accompany you, but I know he'll listen to you, too, Smokey: you loved our dogs who helped raise you, and you played with their toys just like them. We miss your wonderful self, Smokey. So sorry you had to leave so soon!! Thank you for understanding and for being our wonderful good big boy. We love you! Miss your beautiful fur, your quiet meow, expressive eyes, and big, big paws and stretches. How big is Smokey? So big he went to the skies above that are big enough to hold him!
1/16/13 Dear Smokey, today we learned that a good friend and colleague of ours lost her husband. You might remember him, he came over a few times to fix stuff around the house. He was as gentle and kind as you, with soft-spoken manners just like you. Please welcome him home. He might need some of your warmth and love as his transition was so fast and furious. He died of cancer too. Smokey, we miss you wonderful big and quiet presence in our house today. Your brother is still searching the house for you. He was meowing up a storm downstairs yesterday evening when you both tuck in for the night. You remember we used to bring you in from outside every night; Erik was always very good at getting you home even when you had traveled a distance. So you got used to cuddling and being warm and quiet at night. I think your brother really misses you most then, and during the midday when it's quiet here. Please send him your love and peace. We hope we don't lose him, too. He's such a good boy like you...Smokey, rest in peace!
1/22/13 Smokey, you came home today finally, but only in a box. We wish you could have been buried outside but there are two inches (at least) of solid frozen snow on the ground--it was already frozen when you passed beyond the Rainbow's Bridge. It took us more than a day to find just the right picture to put on your memorial. We have so many wonderful pictures of you--I'd forgotten how cute you looked as a teenager, and what a rascal you were climbing trees (or getting treed) and Mandy, too. My favorite picture is of you snuggling up to Erik's bare feet as he was passed out on the carpet, exhausted from feeding you and your brothers round-the-clock. Good thing it was summer and we could share the work on our teachers' schedules! You were soooo tiny, and that picture shows it. Yet you were bigger than your brother even then, but you still both took nearly an hour each to feed. Our Native American vet loved you guys, especially your ramrod straight little tails, stuck way high in the air (like antennas, he said). He said you were only 2 weeks old. You only had one little blue eye open. We don't even think you were meowing when Erik and I heard little meows coming from under a prickly pine bush on the way home from church that summer evening we brought you home. Your mama was nearby and looking miserable; she came home too, but, sorry, we couldn't save her although we tried. We think she knew her kits were safe with us, and maybe she had hung on for your sakes until she knew you'd all be alright. I hope you can reunite with her, since we were so worried about her, too. She would barely drink any water, just dropped her head in the water dish as if she was even too tired to sip. Poor girl; her face was all covered in what looked like broken-open callouses. She will be all healed up in heaven: if you remember her and see her, please send her our love, too. She left us three beautiful kitties and now we have lost you. She was a little gray and white kitty. Your daddy must have been a huge tom, since you grew so big. Our vet said you could get up to 22 lbs. with your big frame. The techs always complimented your manners, saying what a good boy you always were and how polite...even your unhappy, discontent meow was quiet, melodious, and respectful. We hope you don't mind that Sneakers has your collar; he managed to dis his and he needs one in case anything happens. Rest in Peace, now, Smokey, we'll light some more sage for you like we did yesterday to welcome you home. Enjoy the beautiful green grasses, warm sunshine, and silly mice to chase. Be nice to Miko who preceded you (you know you're nearly twice his weight and have all your claws, so be the gentleman you always are!) and say hello to Toto and Mandy and Lucky. We miss you all! Goodbye, Smokey, our big boy. Thank you for gracing our lives for a short, sweet time. :)
2/14/13 Smokey Smokes, your brother is missing you so much here on planet Earth. Please comfort him somehow with your presence or your understanding. We never had such a peacemaker in our household like you, who got along with absolutely everyone, who was our "welcoming committee" to strangers and family and friends alike. You two have never been apart except when you both chose. He looks for you all day and most particularly at mealtimes, and he cries inconsolably. It's been just over a month since we lost you, big boy. Roxie isn't doing well now, please send her your comfort, too. It's hard for her, just like you, we give her all sorts of food but she wants almost none of it. I wish I could find the magic something to make it all right. You are both such angels, we have never had to chastise either of you for anything...except when you and Sneakers played with birds in our backyard, now that wasn't kind, but we couldn't blame you either. Please comfort your brother, Sneakers, and bring peace to Roxie-roo. It's so hard seeing your brother all alone now. I don't know how to make him feel any better...he goes to all your hiding spots looking for you! I try to tell him you're gone...you're at peace, and we hope you are no longer in any pain, reunited with your Creator who loves all of us so much he let us borrow you for a short time. We are so sorry you had to go with so much discomfort. We love you Smokey!! Rest in peace, now, beautiful Big Boy.
2/28/13 Smokey, please watch over your brother here Sneaky. He really misses you. He cries a LOT, always around the time you two would be together, after meals. I notice he misses you cleaning his head and face--he's not doing such a good job on his own. Today he's at the vet getting his teeth cleaned. Please watch over him. We told him that we weren't sending him to you just yet. We were keeping him and just getting his teeth cleaned (he was gnawing and trying to clean them on his own, so we hope he'll feel better afterwards. February is National Pet Dental Health Month! So a good time to get his teeth done, but I know he was worried. Maybe you were helping to calm him down in the car. He barely cried, just looked at me with his big eyes. Miss you, big boy. There's really no peacemaker here anymore when the kittens fight. Please send your calming soothing presence to them and especially to your brother. Goodbye, Big Boy...hope you are making friends up there with all the other kitties and puppies you love so much!
12/29/16 Smokey-poo, your brother cried so hard this morning, panting and breathing hard, please watch over him. We are really worried. He seemed to be doing alright, although his appetite is down. He has bad kidneys, as you know. This morning he kept spitting up saliva and meowing so loud, but he wasn't consoled by our attempts to comfort him. Maybe you can tell him it's okay...he hid under my bed, away from any of us, so we are worried. Cheyenne is hanging in there, eating once a day or so, something new each day (she has liver issues), and we weren't too worried about your brother. You're the only ones left from our times in Lancaster! Please comfort him, tell him it's alright, and that we love him. We still miss your big, comforting, stabilizing presence. Your brother Sneaky now wakes me up with a smile in the morning, kissing us, and flippity-flopping at night when we tuck in to read some. :) He's a darling just like you. Please tell St. Gertrud thank you for both of you, and help Sneakers. Amen.