Saturday, 15 March 2014

Joey The News-catster

A LITTLE stray cat turned up at a TV station in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2007. He soon made himself at home in a heated cat house in the "weather garden" where Larry the resident cat lived.

Larry was not particularly friendly so everyone was surprised when the two cats became friends.
Cat lover Theba Lolley, the station's community relations director, took a shine to the little cat, now named Joey.

The original plan was to have Joey neutered and vaccinated and to get him adopted. But he and Larry go on so well that it seemed to shame to separate them - so Joey stayed.

When Larry died, Joey became much more friendly with the humans at the TV station, especially Theba who was the one who looked after him. He occasionally appeared on TV and became a big hit with viewers.

Joey soon latched on to weather man Tom Brannon and was waiting in the garden every day for the weather  forecast.

“He loved it when Tom would come out and do the weather,” Theba says. “He'd jump up on the railing, and Tom would give him a treat, and Joey would sit there during the weathercast. A star was born after that.”

Sadly, Joey was diagnosed with bone cancer. Theba took him to the vet after he started holding up his front paw as if it were injured. Strangely, the cancer was not in that paw but in a back leg but because it was caught quickly and the tumour removed, Joey recovered.

Now he is back at the TV station where he helps Theba raise money for animal rescue centres and pets in need.

“He represents a really sweet, positive, kind heartbeat for people,” said Theba. “Especially when the recession hit, he was something sweet, safe and kind. The most rewarding part for me is sharing him with everybody else.”

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