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MY CAT JOEY-JOE aka: MR. ME-YODDELER

JOEY ON THE PORCH
JOEY ON THE PORCH

I have a 15-year-old cat named Joey Joe.  My former boyfriend and I adopted him from a rescue organization at the Westchester, NY County Cat Show when Joey was 6 months old.  I remember walking him in a cardboard box carrier across the Bronx River Parkway and thinking that I was some what grown up.  I was 22 years old and still in college.  Joey is a charcoal gray tabby cat with a white chest and white paws.    Joey has been with me two years longer than any other animal in my home.  That is 14 years.  I believe these to be the highlights of his life:  Before he came to me someone cut his whiskers and kicked him.  He even now can get a little skittish at the sight of legs.  When we lived on the shores of Peach Lake, Joey would go canoeing with me everyday.  He once fell into the lake and actually swam to me to pull him out.  He went on a four-mile walk with my former boyfriend.  When a set of golfers showed up my boyfriend left him on the 8 hole.  Joey waited three hours until I came home from work to search and rescue.  He jumped out the car at gas station somewhere in Kansas where I almost lost him.  He has bum knee from falling out of tree house on the property of a Montecito Horse Ranch.  One day in Upper Ojai, my wolf dog was barking frantically because a coyote had Joey pinned between a rock and a chain link fence.  Joey survived with only a few punctures.  My ex-husband wrote a song about him.  When I ask Joey what he remembers he says, “I remember the Bad Lands and all the hotels we slept in and how the country looked and smelled different as we traveled and I remember when we didn’t have a home and Boomer the Bunny couldn’t live with us and we slept in a tent and in friends’ houses.  I remember how we lived with a Seymour the Blue and Gold Parrot and how he knew when there were coyotes outside before I did. I remember the pigs, Jezebel and Simon, and how they were so grateful to live with us and eat juice pulp.  I remember all the pet sitters we had and how one of them would go into your closet and wear your dresses.  I remember being scared that a fire was going to burn our house and I remember not being as smart as I am now.   I remember Juliet, cat, and how her spirit taught me how to hunt the day she died and I remember all the types of music you would listen to and I remember how we had a huge organic garden with three different types of catnip and how you put a big net up so that the deer wouldn’t bring their babies into he garden and eat all the food.  I remember eating puzzle pieces and you wondering where the pieces went.  I remember not understanding why I couldn’t go to the bathroom in the potted plants. I remember the smell of wine and all the different kinds of food and treats you would feed me. I remember walking on top of snow and how beautiful it was when it would fall from the sky. I remember how we lived where there were hundreds of stray cats and some of them would want to fight for nothing.  I would hang out in the upstairs of the house in the room that had doorways that opened to the sky and I could see and smell the ocean and the watch the white waves crashing.”

I ask Joey, “What have you learned over the years?”  Joey answers, “I have learned that no fear is worth having, because if you are patient it goes away.  I have learned that the ocean, the forest, and the lands from here to NY sometimes suffer and it is up to humans to make it better.  I have learned that good friends of ours walk slower in the house.  If someone is a guest and they walk quickly they usually are selfish.  I have learned that you can live in the country or he city and either place resides coyotes, but there are no deer in the city.  I have learned it is cooler under the house on hot days and that eating mice makes my body feel healthier.  If you kill a bird mom will be really sad.  I have learned that if someone is mean in might just be because someone hurt them when they were little.  Most of all, saying I love you with a touch of my paw is the most healing for mom when she is sad.”

JOEY, BEAN & STORMY
JOEY, BEAN & STORMY

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