Pet of the Week: Wild story continues for Smokey Joe

Smokey Joe takes control of a cat toy on a recent day at the Winchester SPCA. Kevin Green/Daily

Smokey Joe takes control of a cat toy on a recent day at the Winchester SPCA. Kevin Green/Daily

WINCHESTER – The story of the cat Smokey Joe has been filled with wild twists, turns and one miraculous recovery.

“[Smokey] loves to play with toys and he loves his wet food in the morning,” said Steven Rogers, the cat kennel manager at the Winchester SPCA.

From meeting Smokey for the first time, one might assume that his back-story would be typical for an energetic, gray domestic shorthair.

However, that is not the case with Smokey Joe.

Rogers said that Smokey Joe was returned to the shelter last Saturday after being adopted by a family on Halloween of this year.

According to Rogers, the family that adopted Smokey Joe said that the reason for the return was due to a neighbor’s dog that did not like Smokey Joe.

Although adoption returns are not unheard of, Rogers noted that they do happen from time to time.

Of all of the adoptions the SPCA sees every year, Rogers said that probably 10 percent of them actually get returned.

“Maybe people get laid off or experience life changes such as divorce,” Rogers added.

This latest twist comes on the heels of a miraculous recovery Smokey made after having his right hind leg shattered after he was struck by a car in downtown Winchester in September.

“The surgery he had was pretty intense, especially for a cat,” Rogers said.

Rogers added, “It was probably easier for him because he’s at an age where he can recover from injury at a faster rate.”

In the case of Smokey, Rogers said that he spent most of his first month at the shelter “in recovery, with pins in his leg.” He was only available for viewing for two weeks before the Halloween adoption.

As Smokey Joe was wandering around the room looking for various toys to play with, Rogers commented on the incredible nature of his demeanor, despite the accident.

“He loves to see everything, look out the window and see what’s going on out there,” said Rogers, while adding, “I’m surprised he even wants to see the cars.”

Rogers said Smokey did not appear to sustain any kind of neurological damage in the accident.

Even given the adoption return, Rogers said that Smokey would make a great cat for a family.

To Rogers, Smokey is the kind of cat that he can see “acclimating to about any environment.”

Rogers added, “There is not a whole lot that he doesn’t like, compared to most cats.”

Rogers said that, because of his injury, there is a possibility that he could get arthritis later down the line.

At the same time, Rogers said, “It is better for him to be in a home. With that leg, you want him to be able to move as much as he can.”

For the holiday season, Rogers noted that the Winchester SPCA is doing Adoption for the Nation. This is initiative in which people interested in adopting a pet can pay any kind of adoption fee they want.

“[Someone] can donate a physical item we can use like food, litter or toys or you can donate money,” Rogers explained.

Rogers said that this helps the shelter find homes for the animals during the holidays.

Anyone interested in adopting can visit the Winchester SPCA at 115 Featherbed Lane or call at 540-662-8644.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or

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