Pretty lonely on the back porch

About 12 years ago, my wife Kathy started hearing a noise in our basement that sounded like a baby crying.

When I went down there to check, I found a small gray cat with a heart-shaped white spot over her heart who had somehow snuck into the basement and gotten trapped. It was the same cat I had seen a few days earlier running across the driveway as I was pulling in, and I said, “Look out, you smokey little critter!” She was the color of smoke, you see.

So I rescued Smokey from the basement and gave her a bowl of milk, and we became friends.

She was a stray apparently, but she must have had a previous owner, because she was gentle and sweet — not like the feral cats who showed up on the doorstep a few months later.

Since I doubt that you remember the column I wrote about our cats a couple

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