He was ornery, cantankerous, whiney and a bit grouchy.
He was confident, independent, determined and self-reliant.
He had no use for chasing butterflies, no interest in birds or squirrels and he would rather lay on his back in the shade than stalk a mouse or a lizard.
Joey, the big, fat, black kitty cat that ran things around Rancho de los Gatos for more than a decade and who was his guardian mother Linda’s best friend for the past 13 years, slipped the surly bonds of Earth on Thursday morning after a long illness.
He was 91 kitty years old.
Throughout his life Joey was affectionately called Joseph, Joskef, Poopuss, Orca, Free Willy, Negro and Bones, among others, but he answered to none of those unless the sound of his name was accompanied by the sound of a can opener.
He did not like men, particularly if they had beards.
He tolerated women and he liked some, but not many.
He lived for three things only.
His common-law wife Iggy, salmon and his guardian mother, Linda.
Joey and Iggy’s love affair was ardent and passionate and would inspire the 2006 Jackie Collins novel “Hollywood Felines.”
Joey’s love of salmon is well documented and somewhat controversial as he was widely known as an environmentalist and an advocate of sustainable fisheries.
During his Orca period Joey grew to nearly 25 pounds, even though he was dieting.
Joey. Loved. Salmon.
He served as the spokeskitty for all tres gatos and usually around 4 p.m., would wander the house meowing loudly, repeatedly, annoyingly until someone got up and served up the 1/2 can of Frisky’s Salmon pâté that they shared once per day between the three of them.
Joey loved to eat and he loved his wife Iggy but the unconditional bond that existed between he and Linda was astonishing and beautiful.
From the moment he landed, literally, in Linda’s lap as a young kitty, Joey could not take his eyes off of her.
If she was watching TV, Joey would always cuddle up and put his arm around her, occasionally reaching out to gently touch her face with his black paw.
He was purring on her chest when she awoke, in her lap while she worked and by her side at night.
He adored her every move. And she adored him.
Joey was so black that even light was afraid of him and wouldn’t go near him.
He had colossal green and gold eyes that seemed anatomically incorrect for his body size, except for a few years when his body size seemed anatomically incorrect.
Although he was not active politically Joseph was a life-long liberal and voted democratic in every election since 2001.
Joey was laid to rest in one of his favorite places beneath a large oak tree in the yard of his Santa Clarita home.
A wake will be celebrated there in his honor on Sunday, September 18.
Joey is survived by his brother Spooky, his wife Iggy, me and Linda.
All of our hearts are destroyed but we believe he lives on in some other, better place or form and we’ll all join him someday.
Until then Joe.