(photograph copyright 2009 by Dan Routh)
It's been about a year since we lost our 15 year old cat Smokey. We've been lucky throughout the years to have a long line of very special long-lived pets. Smokey was no exception. She was prim and proper and totally regal in her pose. She was also one of the mouthiest cats I have ever known. In cold weather she would sit in front of the doors to the fireplace, stare at me and meow incessantly until I built a fire. Of course, then she would crawl into my lap and warm me for hours. I miss her. We are not alone, however. Currently on our farm we have 2 dogs and 6 cats to go along with a horse, 19 cows, 5 guinea fowl and 10 chickens. Each has their own special personality, but there will only be one Smokey.