Our cat Joey is sort of a jerk.

Not all of the time, of course, just some of the time. Actually, most cats are jerks some of the time. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just the way cats are.

It’s as if God, when she created cats, said, “OK, I want you guys to be nice enough so someone will feed you but not so nice they’ll try to teach to roll over.”

Seriously, why do people teach dogs to roll over? What possible benefit does a dog get from knowing how to roll over?

It’s like when they tried to teach me algebra in high school.

It’s pointless, is what I’m saying.

Wait, where was I?

Oh, right, our cat Joey.

Joey is cat #3 in our house. We got him about a year ago. He was a stray who had been hanging around the neighborhood for a couple of weeks and one day, right before a winter storm was due to blow in, my wife and our then 24-year-old daughter Emma decided we should take him in.

I was sort of on the fence about bringing Joey in because, as the official pet care-giver in our house, I wasn’t sure I needed another one to worry about.

Me: Since I’m the one who will have to take care of him. I think I should get to have a say on this.

Wife to Emma: Let’s call him Joey.

I didn’t have much input on the decision to bring Joey into the house, is what I’m saying. But that’s OK. I seldom have much input around our house.

The thing is, I like Joey. He is quite possibly the weirdest cat we’ve ever had and we’ve had a lot of cats.

Joey likes to sit on my lap when I’m on my computer. If he sees something that interests him, he’ll reach with his paw to touch the computer screen.

If something on the screen really interests Joey, he’ll jump off my lap to get a better look and try to figure out how to get at whatever it is that interests him.

Joey, our tiger-striped cat standing next to my computer screen trying to get a better look at a couple of birds on the screen.
Here’s Joey trying to get a better look at a couple of birds on my computer screen. And, no, he’s not supposed to be on the counter.


Joey also talks.

A lot.

His talking isn’t so much a meow as it is a kind of nonstop mumble and when he mumbles he always sounds as if he’s upset at something.

He sounds-to paraphrase a line from a great Seinfeld episode- “like an old man sending soup back at a deli.”

Joey also likes to randomly swat at people when they walk by. Not every time but enough times to keep you on your toes.

Well he does tend to swat at Emma almost every time. But that’s because, when Emma is at our house, she always picks Joey up and holds him something that Joey isn’t fond of which of course makes Emma pick him up even more.

Emma will pick Joey up and hold him until he starts mumbling and squirming and when she finally puts him down and starts to walk away Joey will swat her.

Joey seldom swats me but I think that’s because I feed him. Oh ,and because I’m not stupid enough to pick him up.

Joey’s favorite thing to do-and the thing that makes him sort of a jerk- is to ambush people. Well, not just people. Joey also likes to ambush our other two cats Mo and Van Gogh and our dog Caicos

Sometime ago, Emma bought a toy for her cat Pinot. The toy is a square box attached to a mesh-lined tunnel. The toy was meant to be a place where Pinot could hang out and feel safe and cozy.

Emma thought Pinot would love the toy and he did.

For a while.

Then he ignored it and for several months the toy sat unused in an upstairs bedroom. Until Joey found it.

Joey loved the toy so much we decided to bring it downstairs to our family room. We figured it would give Joey a place to hang and-as the kids say-“chill.”

We figured wrong.

What Joey likes to do is sit in the little box and wait for unsuspecting prey to walk by and when they do “BAM!” he shoots through the tunnel to scare his prey.

I should point out that Joey doesn’t actually say “BAM!” when he bursts through the tunnel.

He thinks it but he doesn’t say it.

But he’s the jerk part.

He doesn’t do it all the time. What he’ll do is wait and let his prey walk past the tunnel several times until the prey forgets he’s in the tunnel.

Then he bursts through the tunnel causing his prey to say, “@$%#$% JOEY QUIT THAT!!!YOU SCARED THE @#$% OUT OF ME.”

Oh, in this case, when I used the word “prey” mainly what I meant is “my wife.”

Oh, by the way, I have a question for anybody out there who took algebra in high school: “What was the point of making us figure out what X or Y meant when we obviously didn’t care.?”

Here’s a bonus I’m experimenting with video. He’s a clip of Joey doing his “Bam” to our cat Mo. 


And here is the “Bam” up close.