Joe Perry: A Letter To My Cat, Icon

<p><em>(Photo: Melissa Mahoney)</em></p>

As part of the recently released definitive cat lover's book A Letter To My Cat, Aerosmith rocker Joe Perry had this to say about his pet Maine Coon, Icon.

Dear Icon, We have had many animals as part of our family over the years, everything from horses to dogs. We love and have loved them all. But there was one animal we never had a chance to make part of our clan that always intrigued us: the Maine Coon cat. In my search for a Maine Coon for my wife Billie's birthday, chance and fate brought me, and I was able to meet you in person for the first time.

As a kitten you were larger than some cats are when they are full grown! You sauntered over to me and there was an instant connection between us as you curled your body around my leg and rubbed your head on my hand.

Already at this young age you moved with a grace and majesty I had never seen before. Icon, you are in a class of your own.

I love when you express yourself by actually chirping, and I even love when you wake me up at 7 a.m. with your gentle taps on my nose because you like to have me keep you company while you eat your breakfast. (There is always food out for you, you know.) This is after I explain to you I had a gig the night before and have just gotten to sleep! I really don't mind, though; your touch is always gentle and loving.

I have always been a dog person, but you won me over! Your beautiful coat, your instincts that seem to let you read our minds, the way you MUST sleep so that you're in constant touch with Billie and me. There's no denying that you're there . . . you're so BIG! In fact, when I brought you home, Billie was disappointed because she wanted a tiny kitten and she thought you were full grown! But much to her astonishment, your actions proved you were a kitten.

You came with the name "Icon" and it's the name you still have now because you live up to every definition of the word! You are truly one of a kind and have a special place in the Perry clan's heart of hearts. I love you and always will.

All my best,
Joe P.S. I don't even mind the gigantic hairballs squishing between my toes at the most inconvenient times, and that's saying a lot!