My dad calls all cats "Smokey Joe". I'm not sure why. A few years ago a cat showed up at his house who he called, yep, "Smokey Joe".
Daddy would feed Smokey and then tell him to "go home". I told him, "Daddy, I think he IS home." Smokey would come and go for a while. Over the last couple of years, though, Smokey pretty much stuck around.
Smokey had been around the block a time or two - nicked ears, scars on his neck - but like most cats Smokey appreciated a good head rub.
He was always at the carport door in the morning to greet Daddy and ask for breakfast.
This morning when Daddy went to feed him, he found that Smokey had passed away.
Tears filled my eyes tonight driving to my knitting group when Daddy told me on the phone. This beautifully marked cat who never was really family had still become part of our lives.
We'll miss you, Smokey Joe. I hope you find peace in kitty heaven that eluded you in your early life.