Home Slacker: Joey


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Joey’s adorable blanket-peekaboo look has caught the attention of a number of appreciative comments. (Joey purrs her thanks)

The picture was taken in 2002/2003. I caught her snuggled up under my dad’s blanket, lifted it enough to see her face and just shot the pic.

Joey was born during April-May 2001. She is a domestic shorthair, with ginger patches and a not-quite long tail.

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(Joey, soon after she was brought home) Look, Ma: I’m the girl with the batting paws!

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(Another view of the then new member of the family) Lovely HUGE ears: I’m Bat-girl!

Now Joey weighs about 8 kg/17 lbs and is a gentle giant.

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Nothing like lounging on your own cushion… (check out top of line self-reclining Joey)

Near 5 yrs of age now, Joey has always been a rather large cat. And with a large head, she has often been mistaken for a boy (even her vet has commented on it). But she is the gentlest feline ever.

The only thing about her that vexes me is that she does not like to be off her feet, so cuddling is a bit difficult, and it is rather a struggle to resist the temptation to hug and carry such an adorable and large walking fur-rug! But I’ve learnt to be happy with my lot, and settle for snuggling.

Joey’s story is a little convoluted.

During Apr-Aug 2001, while I was on work assignment in CA, btmao began feeding a mother cat in the neighbourhood with a brood of about 4 kittens. btmao had planned to spay the mother when the kits got old enough. However, before she had the chance to do so, the mother cat and her brood disappeared. A little after that, she found one of the missing kittens in the neighbourhood multi-story carpark, sick and thin. The kitten, suspected to be a boy, was brought to a vet, Dr T, who told her that he needed time to recover as he probably was injured in a hit and run (imagine that in a multi-story carpark!). btmao was determined to keep him and named him Joey.

Within a week, however, his condition deteriorated very rapidly and he couldn’t eat. Rather than wait like Dr T advised, btmao got so worried she brought him to another vet, Dr L. Dr L immediately took an x-ray and confirmed that poor Joey’s diaphragm was ruptured and that he was so skinny because his organs had pushed up into his ribcage. She immediately scheduled an op for him the next day…. unfortunately, Joey died on the operating table. He was probably too weak from the delay in treatment. btmao was devastated and blamed herself.

Some days later, btmao discovered a kitten lounging in the neighbourhood, looking much like Joey, and so btmao suspected and was very happy that this might be one of Joey’s missing sibs. As she still felt like she owed Joey and his mother and siblings, she kitnapped the newfound kitten, who contentedly purred in her arms while she carried her home.

I returned home in Sep, amazed to see the rotund little one walking around, without fear of the two old resident coots, Teddy and Bam Bam, litter-mates we picked up in Jan 98.

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Teddy, whom Joey adored and followed around as a kit. He doesn’t quite reciprocate, being a bit of a catist, preferring his grandma and granddad’s company. To be fair, he did sort of baby-sit Joey from time to time, though most reluctantly. Ultimately, Teddy is a pacifist-catist, happy to be left alone, and doesn’t go picking fights or bullying the others.

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Bam Bam, the boy with the gleam in his eye… basically, the gangsta of the herd. ‘Nuff said.

I often tease btmao about it – Joey, her rebound kitten. Later, at her checkup and vacc appt, btmao realised that this Joey was actually about a month older than the original Joey would have been, but we managed to convince our dad to let us keep her. We never managed to locate the original Joey’s family though.

Here’s some more of Joey’s pictures, together with the rest of the homeslacking crew.

Joey loved little Milly who joined the family in late 2002 as a 10 month old. Joey enjoyed fussing over and grooming her.

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Milly and Joey sharing time. Milly was almost full-grown in this pic.

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To Joey, contentment is Milly-grooming time. And it seems the same for Milly.

Little Milly passed away on Oct 25, 05 from intestinal lymphoma, aged 3.5. It was rather sudden and fast, and the vet has said that is how FIV brings down its victims. We had hoped she would have a bit more time…

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Milly in a pensive moment

We all miss little Milly a lot. Joey took it rather hard, but is finally learning to move on too.

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Joey doesn’t like it very much, but Milly’s littermate, Philly the big goofy ragdoll in disguise, is always ready for a play-fight.

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Love-fest! (Philly left, Milly right)

Philly misses Milly, his sister, terribly too.

Milly was the only one who would play-fight with him: the daily dainty-flyweight vs LARGE-overweight matches were a joy to watch. Now he’s just overwhelmed with having to adjust to picking on someone his own size, but no matter how he tries, neither Joey nor the old coots are willing to enter the ring with him.

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Philly, in a moment of slumbering peace

So it’s up to their mum, aka btmao, and his auntie, me, to make him happy.

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(Addendum: Milly and Philly’s sister, Rheilly and her son Kheilly joined the homeslacking crew this year on Mar 18.)

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