A cat walks into a bar ... and be­comes an in­ter­net sen­sa­tion

Wisconsin Gazette - - Opinion - By Janet Pat­ton Lex­ing­ton Her­ald- Leader

It’s an old story: First they start sneak­ing out, then wan­der­ing the neigh­bor­hood and stay­ing out all night — and then one day, a cat walks into a bar.

Be­fore you know it, his new friends are lin­ing up to buy him drinks. That’s just a typ­i­cal Mon­day night for Cairo, the barhop­ping cat known as the Mayor of Ken­wick, a neigh­bor­hood of Lex­ing­ton, Ken­tucky.

“The world’s most in­ter­est­ing cat,” said Theo Scripps, Cairo’s os­ten­si­ble owner. “It’s kind of em­bar­rass­ing — my cat’s a lot more pop­u­lar than I am.”

Cairo, who is about 7, has his own Face­book page, Cairo the Mag­nif­i­cent, and neigh­bors in Ken­wick reg­u­larly post their en­coun­ters with the friendly gin­ger cat.

There’s Cairo mak­ing him­self at home on a stranger’s porch or couch or even a bed (he’s been known to spend the night). Or wan­der­ing into an of­fice. Or swing­ing by the Ash­land Ele­men­tary play­ground.

But then Cairo dis­cov­ered a new kind of nightlife.

Scripps, who lives with his wife, Dawna, his 15-year-old daugh­ter, and Cairo and their two dogs, said that on Sept. 25 he was walk­ing the dogs on his usual route. He likes to swing by the Mir­ror Twin Brew­ing Com­pany and get a beer, then con­tinue around the neigh­bor­hood.

“I usu­ally check to see if Cairo is fol­low­ing us, but I didn’t no­tice him un­til we got to the brew­ery,” Scripps said. When Scripps came out, Cairo was gone, so he thought the cat headed home.

In­stead, Cairo went next door to Cos­mic Char­lie’s and climbed up on a barstool.

Peo­ple in the bar rec­og­nized him: “Have a friendly cat that strolled into Cos­mic Char­lie’s,” posted Michael Easter on the Ken­wick Neigh­bor­hood As­so­ci­a­tion Face­book page. “Think it’s Cairo. He’s found a stool and con­tent.”

He also posted a photo of Cairo giv­ing him­self a bath.

The night of Sept. 26, Cairo was back at the bar, on his stool, af­ter a stop by Mir­ror Twin to say hello to the brew­ers.

“We had this cat come into the brew­ery and he/she is su­per friendly,” Mir­ror Twin’s Derek De Franco posted with a photo of as­sis­tant brewer Doug Price hold­ing Cairo.

“I think you have Cairo, the Mayor of Ken­wick,” some­one replied.

Scripps knew some­thing was up: He sud­denly had loads of new fol­low­ers on Cairo’s page. Then he saw the pic­tures.

“Ev­ery time I see that one of him at the bar, I can’t stop laugh­ing,” he said.

Scripps of­fered to set­tle up Cairo’s tab at Cos­mic Char­lie’s, if nec­es­sary. That seems un­likely, given all the peo­ple on Face­book of­fer­ing to buy him drinks.

Cairo’s had a taste of pub-crawl­ing — and ap­par­ently he likes it.

Dawna Scripps posted an “APB” for Cairo on Face­book the night of Sept. 27: “Any­one know where he is now? It’s bed­time.”

A neigh­bor re­sponded: “Check the bars.”

This is an AP mem­ber ex­change story.

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