In Bakersfield, California, a local stray named Momma Cat lived at Home Depot, where the pretty cat made a home for herself in the paint aisle for 10 years.
According to KGET, Momma Cat was so widely beloved among staff that she was even named Employee of the Month by her human colleagues, who also pooled their own money to buy their sweet store mascot cat food.
Momma Cat spent most of the day napping in the paint aisle, but she would come out on occasion to play with employees.
“During the day you’d usually find her asleep in the shelves somewhere,” a long-time store customer, Lisa Witthans, told the station. “But she would come out if you were wearing an orange apron. She would come out and let you pet her.”
Momma Cat remained more reserved around non-employees, whom she wisely identified as anyone who wasn’t wearing orange.
“If you weren’t wearing an orange apron, forget it because she couldn’t trust you,” Witthans said. “But if you were wearing an orange apron, she’d let you because she knew you were her friend.” (At one point, employees reportedly chipped to buy Mamma Cat her own miniature orange apron).
Employee Joana Rodriguez also remembered Momma Cat as a loving, playful cat.
“She loved to play,” Rodriguez told the station. “You could roll up a little paper ball and you would throw it at her and she would throw it back at you. She loved to play. Like I said, she was a Home Depot cat. That’s what we named her, the Home Depot cat. Everybody loved her.”
But Mamma Cat’s popularity wasn’t enough to save the long-time mascot from eviction. Even though her food and care was fully handled by employees, management has decided cats–even sweet and well-behaved strays with nowhere else to go–will no longer be allowed in the store.
Thankfully, an employee re-homed Momma Cat, saving this sweet gal from one-way trip to the shelter. “I think she went to a great home,” said Rodriguez, who will be adopting a second store cat, Bink, who lived in the garden section. “So I’m glad.”
Congratulations to Momma Cat and Bink! We’re also glad these sweet strays found forever homes.
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