Smokey Rob, my thirteen year old cat must be one of the best travelled cats in England. During my twenties I have had five different homes in various locations, from the moors of Yorkshire, to the rolling hills of Lancashire to where we finally settled in Somerset. Smokey was purchased from a pet shop in Ramsbottom for the pricely sum of £10. Curled up with his black brother I couldn't resist his grey silver coat, his paws dipped in white and the finishing touch a grey goatee beard. He looked a true gentleman. Just the size of my hand with beautiful blue eyes I took him home, even though because I was still living with my parents I had been banned from having a cat. But my natural love for cats took precedence and with one look he became an integral part of our family. Such a playful kitten, chasing balls, strands of wool, jumping high in the sky and generally loving life.
However we nearly lost Smokey when I moved to Yorkshire for my teaching career. One night he didn't return home. He always returned home. Where was Smokey Rob? After endless calling I finally retired to bed leaving my window wide open in case he should return. In the morning I felt a dull thud on my bed and a piteous miaow. Opening my eyes I could barely believe it was my Smokey Rob. Only aged six, he was like an old man. He couldn't move and blood was pouring from his right eye, his face swollen to twice its size. Anxiously and fearing the worst for my precious friend, I rushed him to the vet, where I was told some cruel person had probably hit him over the head with a cricket bat. I waited a night waiting for the diagnosis. Would Smokey survive the night? And if he did would he keep him eye? Those questions span around my bewildered mind, endless tears pouring down my face.
Happily Smokey kept his eye but his vision is limited and naturally sometimes he is bad-tempered probably due to headaches. We have just introduced another kitten into the family, a tabby named George which has given Smokey Rob a new lease of life and another good reason to get a headache no doubt!
By Karen Rodgers.