Edit Memorial
A Best Friends Angels Rest Pet Memorial


2005 – 2024

I lost my best cat on June 1, my Smoky. Nineteen years ago I rescued three newborn kittens. They are truly the loves of my life. I just lost T.B.O. on April 26 and now Smoky. It didn't seem possible Smoky could ever die. He really had nine lives!

Smoky had the most personality and was the most affectionate. Everyone knew and loved Smoky. We had our own language. He really seemed like a person. I knew just what he was telling me. He would call me from the back yard that he wanted to go in the basement or garage. He would let me know I didn't give him enough food and he needed an extra helping. He would put his paw on my face or arm to show he loved me. He loved to cuddle up to me on the sofa and especially sleep wirh me in bed. He copied everything T.B.O. did. That cat loved being in the yard. Sometimes he would hide in the bushes so he wouldn't have to go in. He had all his favorite spots in my apartment and yard. His favorite place of all was when we lived with my Mom in Lake Forest where he could run free in the night in the huge yard with no fences and no other cats in the area.

Smoky loved to make the bed with me. From the early days in Los Angeles he would run under the sheets when I shook the sheet up. I'd shake the sheet up and down as he ran through over and over. And finally i would make the bed over him and pull the blankets back revealing his face. We called it the Smoky Game! And continued this tradition his whole life.

From early on all my cats had a heart condition called Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy. Smoky had it worse and was on heart meds his whole life. He also got Feline Injection Site Sarcoma in 2018. I made the very difficult decision to do surgery to remove the tumor and a few ribs. He did so well. The surgeon thought he might have 3 or 4 more years. He got six and would have lived longer if it weren't for his heart.

Vet techs fawned over Smoky, he was so beautiful and had such big yellow eyes.

My cats were rascals. One morning several years ago, I woke up to all three cats in my bedroom surrounding a dead bird. They had pulled the bird in through a screen. I shooed them out to put the bird in a box. But as soon as I closed the door, that bird hopped up. He had been playing dead.

To have these two losses so close together, and now my third cat, Sally, in congestive heart failure, I often feel I will have a nervous breakdown. It has been my friends, family and God who have gotten me through this. Especially my sister Laura who is a vet. I am so grateful to all of you who have been there for me. I have also turned to pet loss support groups, grief counselors and having Smoky and Sally in hospice has brought me peace of mind.

When I rescued my cats, I soon after got involved in feeding and trapping and neutering all the feral cats in their colony outside my building. I could never catch mama. And she continued to have kittens, who I found homes for. It was Best Friends of LA who lent me their traps and taught me how to do it and neutered the cats in their free clinics. Their great work helping animals is why I wanted to donate to them here and create this memorial.

Katherine Czerwinski
Pet Parent
We believe in honoring the lives of pets
We believe in honoring the lives of pets
Here at Best Friends, animals have such a special place in our lives. We honor those pets we’ve loved and those who need our help today. At Best Friends, we keep pets in our hearts


Leaving a personal story, memory, or words of support for a pet’s family is a heartfelt way to pay tribute and provide comfort. As part of your remembrance, we also invite you to leave a virtual token along with your words — similar to our tradition here at the Sanctuary of leaving stones, beloved items, or small toys on the graves of cherished animals.
Thanks for sharing your stories about Smoky. I loved reading them especially the "making the bed" and the "dead bird comes to life" ; ) May those memories give you some comfort in this difficult time.
Joseph Loizzi
paw pebble
Smokey, you were such a wonderful cat. May your soul rest in peace forever. ❤️
Linda Orlandi
bird pebble
We are so sorry for your loss😔. We can relate.... It litterly crushes your heart.... Sending lots of loving thoughts and prayers😔
Kay & John Burns
Our pets are our family and Smoky was so loved by you, Katherine, since he was a tiny kitten. You gave each other unconditional love and he will always be a thought away. May your memories of sweet Smoky bring you comfort. ❤️
Patricia Tyson
paw pebble
I’m so sorry Katie. Those kitties sure were lucky to have a mama like you
Their spirits will always be with you
Libby Smith
bird pebble
I know that smoky was an amazing cat and even though I didn’t get the chance to meet him, he was on my mind frequently whenever thinking about you! Sending you love and good vibes. ❤️
Jeremiah Hunt
Friend rock