Navy veteran and dog lover becomes a “cat guy”

Joseph and Bo

Joe is a veteran and dog lover who long hoped to bring a shelter dog into his life, so he was surprised to discover his inner “cat guy” – much like another Pets for Patriots member who learned that an adult cat could be as healing as a canine. He is a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam on the ground with the Marines and in blue water aboard ship.

As it happens, it was an adult cat named Bo Baby who changed Joe’s world when the two adopted one another through our partnership with the Sacramento SPCA.

We share excerpts from Joe’s updates to Ted Whitcomb (Marine Corps veteran, member patriot and volunteer coordinator for veteran outreach) and Beth Zimmerman (executive director).


January 2013

Dear Beth,

Well, I finally found a new best friend! His name (for now) is Bo-Baby. He is an adult, seven year-old, neutered male cat. Bo is a big 30+ inches from nose to tail tip. He is a 12+ pounder who is black with white boots and a tuxedo chest. We arrived at my apartment about 2pm and he took the rest of the day to check out every nook and cranny in my one bedroom apartment. That is, between naps!

He slept all night at my feet. This morning he woke up with me and acted like he always lived here! Doing our morning stretch (really; he stretched his legs as I stretched mine!) and talking back and forth like a couple of old roomies! Joseph and Bo

The SPCA included his blanket in his travel box and he loves to nap on it in front of the sliding door to my balcony. They kindly waived all fees and gave me a bag of food…plus a few toys and literature.

I have to tell you how much your Pets for Patriots program and newsletter helped me and Bo get together. I was a “I hate cats” guy for a long time. Now, at least I love this cat! Reading about my brother vets finding BFF’s was encouraging. I don’t take pet ownership lightly, but this cat is awesome!

His purring motor is relaxing to me and I really enjoy the attention he gives me. Like me, Bo is fairly independent and doesn’t require a lot of attention. Not a lot – just enough.

Again, thanks!



February 2013

Dear Ted,

Bo (I dropped Baby) has been here for two weeks today. He and I are adapting to each other real well. The first four or five days, Bo took his time to find every hiding place he could until he heard the treats jostled in the bag. Then he changed his mind about me and my Man Cave!…

He has exceeded my expectations. As a former cat-hater, I am so glad I took the extra time to research cat behavior and ownership. I guess the old saying about cats not having owners is partially true. They have staff!

In the last few days he has taken to sitting on my desk right next to my PC monitor, watching the fish on my screensaver or taking a nap. He shares the couch, but is not much of a snuggler. Yet…

Thanks to Pets for Patriots for encouraging me to find a new friend!



March 2013


Bo and I are doing great. He trusts me more now and is starting to show more affection. At night he will jump onto my bed and find a comfy spot and fall asleep. He wakes when I do and we have a routine he is becoming more and more familiar with. After dinner he wants to play “chase the red dot” and fight with and kill the little stuffed mouse. He brought it to me like a gift last night! I rewarded him with some scratching and rubbing.

He is a very cool cat. He now struts with attitude across the top of my couch, purring and talking to me like he is daring me to chase him off!

So yeah; he is a new BFF! I look forward to him jumping up on my desk to sit next to my PC monitor, just watching the cursor and mouse arrow move around. So thanks for asking, and for providing this opportunity to have Bo in my life.

I enjoy having a pal to talk to while doing laundry or cooking. Even when I just sit and read my next favorite book, Bo will sit next to me and occasionally open his eyes to check on me.

Be well,



April 2013

Hi Beth!

Bo da Cat (as he is called now) turned eight years-old on April 6th! He is healthy and happy. Even though his previous family declawed him, his stalking instincts are still strong. When he spots a bird on our second floor balcony, he will slowly stalk it with all of the stealth of a black panther on the plains of the Serengeti! Slowly, ever so cautiously placing each paw in a specially chosen spot. Noiseless, blending into the tall grass and baobab trees. He actually gets to about four feet from the birds when I can see him prepare for the final deadly pounce. Like a spring getting compressed to unleash its power in a blinding moment…..Then like the clown in a Jack-in-the-box he leaps!!! – only to slam head first into the sliding glass door!

Dazed but not hurt, Bo da Cat will meow at the fleeing birds as if to say, “You’re lucky this time. One of these days the door will be open and I’ll have me a McBirdy Sandwich!!!”

He is not the smartest cat in the litter box; he has done this six or seven times!

Bo da Cat still thinks he can kill any little red dot he finds. I use a laser toy to give him some exercise and give me some fun. Bo will use all his cat behaviors and skills to capture the dotmouse. With lightening speed, exciting moves, near misses with anything in his path and the single mindedness of a hunter, I’ll let him chase it for a while then turn it off just as he gets his paws on it. He will slowly and deliberately lift a paw and, not finding it, lick it and turn to the other paw. He will painstakingly slowly peek under his other paw. Not finding it there either, Bo will lick his paws and act like he killed it and ate it – then walk away with all the swagger of a rock star, meowing like he is the Worlds Champion of the I.L.M.K.A., commonly called International Laser Mouse Killing Association!!!

Either he has a great imagination or he is our Man Cave Clown; I think a little of both! And I’m sure if he could write to you, he would have a few great stories about me! I have been known to spin a yarn or two…Thanks again, for the help in finding us both a Cave-mate! We are a couple of bachelors who give each other great companionship and friendship.

Although, I wish someday Bo da Cat would fix me dinner… Or get the coffee going in the morning!

With much appreciation for you and Pets for Patriots,

Your friend,


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