By Julia Williams
The story of Joey the Garden Cat is a “feline rags to riches” tale that just warms my heart. No one knows how or why the young tabby cat found himself living on the street in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. But the plucky kitten refused to let his humble beginnings deter him from having a wonderful life …he took matters into his own paws and chose a TV station’s “Weather Garden” for his home. Soon, all of Little Rock knew his face and name, and Joey the Garden Cat went from feral to fame!
Watching clips of the purrsonable Joey “stealing the show,” it’s quite obvious this cute kitty was born for television and enjoys his job. And seeing Joey charmingly interact with his legions of Facebook fans, it’s clear he enjoys his high-profile life. Joey’s story serves to remind us that we should all dream big – because what we are born into doesn’t have to be what we become!
Joey the Garden Cat graciously agreed to an interview so our readers could get to know him. Enjoy!
Me: When you were an inky-dinky lad living on the streets, did you ever think you’d end up with such a great life?
Joey: It was Christmas 2006 and I was on my own hunting down food in the streets of Little Rock. I was tiny, fast and smart, cause across the street I discovered the weather garden where Larry the Garden Cat lived. He let me eat his food and sleep in his heated house. I never dreamed I would be a TV star, but it’s been a pretty cool gig with lots of perks.
What do you like most about being a famous Celebricat?
All the attention! So many new people to meet that come to the news studio or weather garden for interviews, and they want to meet and take photos with me – even other celebrities.
Who are three of your favorite people at the station, and what do you love about them?
Meteorologist Tom Brannon and morning show host, cause he’s my on-air buddy. Momma/agent Theba Lolley, cause she found me and takes care of all my needs. Feather/girl Kelly Tibbit, cause she plays with me every day with the feather toy.
Where is your favorite spot to hang out in the Weather Garden?
I have Joey’s Shack, a 2 story house that a fan built. It has a sundeck and I love to nap on it in the Fall and Spring.
How about inside?
In the back of the News Studio is my bedroom, eatery and bathroom set up, but I love to be on the couch during the morning show with my co-anchors.
In a recent clip on your Facebook page, you lounged nonchalantly next to a guest who ignored you. How would you use your “Man Cat Charm” to win over a guest?
Well, she actually loved on me before she went on air; of course, I didn’t want her to stop, so I put my paws on her.
It’s fun, safe and always busy.
You recently underwent surgery for bone cancer. Was that scary? What is your prognosis?
It was very scary, because before I knew it I was having surgery to save my leg, wearing a cast and living with momma/agent for 2 months of recovery. But I was calm also, because I knew I was loved. I am cancer free today, and will have a new bone scan in May of 2013 to make sure that nasty cancer has not returned.
A THV newscaster said you “go into Diva mode” when the cameras start rolling. What are your favorite Diva things to do?
When Tom Brannon starts talking to me I sometimes turn my head or stick my booty to the camera, or when he stops petting me I bite him, hehe.
You seem very comfortable “on camera.” Does being a newsCATster come naturally to you?
Well, ever since I was a kitten there has been a camera in my face, so I’m just used to it and everyone is always saying I’m adorable, so I don’t want to let them down.
You have 23,000 Facebook fans! What do you think people love most about you?
That I share my everyday life with them – the good and bad.
What is something you’d like all of your fans to know about you, that they might not know?
My fans don’t think I meow, but I do…although it is very small and unpredictable.
You’re probably the most famous cat on television. What does the future hold for Joey the Garden Cat?
I hope to live a very long life, and that I will continue to inspire people to be kind to animals and each other.
Read more articles by Julia Williams
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