A native Californian, this 6 week old, longhaired grey Maine Coon hailed from the streets of Orange County and was delivered on my doorstep in 1987 by a dear friend who knew I wanted a cat. They called him Smokey.  As my first pet as an adult and having just returned from a six week singing engagement in Osaka Japan, I promptly renamed him “Ichi” meaning first or one in Japanese.

Always the calm, wise-one, Ichi’s strong, observant personality came with an air of controlled defiance from the very start. One of his distinctive qualities was his chronic ability to keep the upper hand on every situation, which stayed with him throughout his sixteen-year life.