By David Dickson
By all accounts, Joe Joe the cat ought to be scowling at any human who walks within 10 feet of him. Considering what he's lived through, it wouldn't be any surprise if Joe Joe had decided to turn up his nose at people forever. But that's the thing about Joe Joe. Like so many other cats who've had a rough past, he has an incredible ability to forgive. A hard-knock background
Not much is known about Joe Joe's past. However, when he came to Best Friends several months ago (after a brief stay with a rescuer who could only help him a short while), it was easy to tell he had been through the ringer over the years.
He's FIV positive, blind in his right eye, and has no teeth. His right ear was broken some time ago, and there are scars on his head and neck that most likely came from serious abuse. In fact, it looks like he had even been slashed along his throat at some point. Joe Joe is lucky to be alive.
“Poor guy just can't cut a break,” says Best Friends cat manager Michelle Warfle. Even so, Joe Joe doesn't carry a grudge against humanity. He actually loves people and craves human attention. “He's very friendly,” says Michelle. Mr. Popular
In fact, Joe Joe has become such a hit among volunteers that he goes on sleepovers on a regular basis. “He's the sleepover king right now,” says caregiver Terri Christensen. Joe Joe returns from these sleepovers with glowing praise from volunteers. During his nights out, he soaks up the attention as much as possible. “He usually sleeps under the covers with them!” Terri adds.
By best estimate, Joe Joe is over 12 years old. In other words, he has a long stretch of bad road behind him. But things are finally looking up. For starters, he's now at Best Friends, where he'll be pampered and adored as long as he needs a place to stay. And besides, with all these sleepovers Joe Joe is bound to make a connection with the right person eventually. Better with age
With November being Adopt a Senior Pet month, it's as good a time as ever to remember all the wonderful reasons to consider adopting an older cat like Joe Joe. “They're past the kitten stage,” points out Michelle. “They're usually pretty confident, and not going to get into a lot of trouble.”
Adds Terri, “Older cats really appreciate a good home and love it more, I think, because they haven't always had one.” Without a doubt, senior cats like Joe Joe know how to make the most of a warm lap and a cozy bed!
In the end, what's perhaps most inspiring about Joe Joe is that when he does find that amazing home he so richly deserves, he's going to enjoy being with the people there. Everyone who hears his background is impressed by how much he still enjoys human affection. “After everything that he's been through, he still loves us human beings,” says Terri. “That's the thing that gets to me, and to everyone who meets him.”
If you're planning a visit to the Sanctuary and would like to take Joe Joe (or another Best Friends animal) on a sleepover, find details here
on how to do so.Photos by Molly Wald