Funeral for a friend

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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. 

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About tgapen

I'm a photographer, editor, designer, art director, writer, webmaster and Photoshopper and I'm a student of HTML5, CSS3 and Rock n Roll guitar. I live in the burbs of Los Angeles and used to commute 10 hours a week to and from various jobs at L.A. newspapers. Now I ride all the way to the beach and play in InDesign and Photoshop all day. Three cats has now become two, no kids. The moon is my planet, I love rain, good, strong coffee and the sound of a Gibson ES-335.

7 thoughts on “Funeral for a friend

  1. Well, yet again my gifted friend, your words level me. Any condolence I could offer after that wrenching sentiment would pale. Frankly, I loved Joey because Joey let me pet him. I don’t ask for much. But I do ask that you keep writing (the shooting part is involuntary). Linda, I look forward to your first Joey book. I love you both IMMENSELY.

  2. I love this. I remember Joey and I remember when you found Iggy and how much of a scardy cat she was… but Joey still took her in his world. I’m so sorry for your loss. But I’m certain Joey is stalking some imaginary prey in a better place.

  3. i got all teared up looking at all the beautiful pictures because i could feel what a lovely life this beautiful cat lived! Also seeing Linda with him and how happy really choked me up, so sweet and where does the time go? Then i read your words and laughed and laughed! So, so beatiful! Biggest hugs to you all :)

  4. They will not go quietly,
    the cats who’ve shared our lives.
    In suptle ways they let us know
    their spirit still survives.
    Old habits still make us think
    we hear a meow at the door.
    Or step back when we drop
    a tasty morsel on the floor.
    Our feet still go around the place
    the food dish used to be,
    And, sometimes, coming home at night,
    we miss them terribly.
    And although time may bring new friends
    and a new food dish to fill,
    That one place in our hearts
    belongs to them. . . and always will.

    I am deeply sorry for your loss

    by Linda Barnes

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