Meet Smokey. Which is Smokey, you ask? He’s the cat. They are both cats, you say? You are right. A big cat and a house cat.

The big cat is probably very brave. Smokey is afraid of everyone and everything. There is such a thing as a ‘fraidy cat’ I discovered after talking with a woman who had such a cat though I learned about Smokey’s fears soon after we got him as a kitten.

A few deer had wandered into our yard. Deer are pretty, right? And fairly harmless. After all, they are vegetarians. So I thought Smokey might like to see some of the animals he’d be living near. I scooped him up and held him in my arms and brought him to the window where he could look out and see the pretty deer. Was he fascinated? Nope, he was terrified. He took one look at those animals that are larger than he is and jumped out of my arms and I found him later hiding in a corner of the closet. So much for a brave cat.

But I love him and wouldn’t trade him for all the cats on earth, not even the undoubtedly brave spotted cat that’s distantly related to him and a lot larger and probably not afraid of anything at all. Because Smokey is my friend and that’s the most important thing of all. We are buddies and always will be. He doesn’t laugh at my fears so I don’t laugh at his.