Walking with Smokey

Prompt: Write about a grandparent

It is hardly a secret that I have a lifelong love affair with everything feline. I love all animals but my relationship with the cat, I can pinpoint when that started with childhood memories to one cat, Smokey. He was a rather large grey and white short-haired cat who would accompany my great-grandfather, Pops, on wanders around the garden. As an adult I am not sure whether Pops had Smokey on a leash or the other way around and knowing cats as I do it was probably the latter.

Pops lived with my Nana and as a child I would join him and Smokey on their wanders. Then sit on the bench while Pops smoked his pipe. We would talk as only the very old and the very young can. There is an understanding that skips a generation gap or two and we had that. I don’t remember what we talked about, of course I don’t, but I remember doing it.

Pops passed away when I was in my early teens, so my memories are pretty vague of detail, but I remember the feeling of affection from both him and Smokey. In later years when my grandfather, Pops’ son, died I found a little leather-bound notebook. It contained loose-leaf pages of poetry and water-colour sketches that Pops had written and painted during WW1 to his love, I assume my great grandmother as the first name matches. Perhaps then a genetic bond of poetry and art also existed, and I so wish I could have shared that with him.

©JG Farmer 2019

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