Twenty years ago, when I was in 3rd grade, my family adopted two cats. Jaws and Smokey. Jaws was named for obvious reasons. Smokey was named not for her coloration, but because she smelled of an ashtray when we adopted her.
Late last year we lost Jaws and then yesterday we lost Smokey. There was no big surprise at the loss, but still there is an ache in my heart. Smokey was possibly the most laid back being on the planet.
The legendary story is that one day we couldn't find Smokey anywhere. When she finally turned up she was in my brother's toy box. She had been there at least over night, laying atop a mountain of teenage mutant ninja turtle figurines. She didn't seem to care one iota that there were tiny plastic toys jamming into her body, she was perfectly contended and seemed to have no desire to be rescued.
In high school she would sleep under the covers with me on most nights. As she aged much of her time was spent perched on the back of the couches at my parent's house. She spent her last night there as well. It's something of a mercy for her to have passed on, but my family still feels the ache of losing one of its members. She's been with us for over twenty years. Goodbye Smokey, see you on the other side. I love you.