Meet some of the shop cats of Baltimore
If “the dog is man’s best friend,” as poet and longtime Baltimore resident Ogden Nash once wrote, then the cat is most certainly humankind’s best frenemy. You know, the kind that smacks your face every morning when they’re hungry, passes up the new $50 cat tree for the cardboard box it came in, proudly brings you all-but-dead rodents and sharpens their claws all over your new furniture—and has the nerve, after all of that, to contemptuously stare at you, like something wrong.
Despite these quirks (or maybe because of them), cat lovers can’t get enough of their feline friends. For those that host cats in their stores or businesses, their furry colleagues offer not only the expected adorableness, but also pest deterrents, branding inspiration and extra incentive for customers who like cats more than…well, anything else.
Numerous whiskered workers call the city of Baltimore’s commercial sector home. Learn about five such retail cats before visiting them the next time you need some craft beer, a bite to eat or some gardening shears. did
Home: Canton Ace Hardware, 1022 Binney Street
Backstory: Stanley isn’t the only cat you’ll find in a Baltimore hardware store. In fact, the Ace Hardware locations in Waverly and Federal Hill have their own cats with dedicated followings. Store manager Mark Dutton said that Stanley, like his peers and predecessor, came from a shelter — specifically, in Stanley’s case, the Animal Allies Rescue Foundation (AARF).
Besides being incredibly popular with customers (to the point that Dutton said he helps draw them in bigger numbers than the store would otherwise boast), Stanley, like all the cats on this list, keeps pests away. He’s called Canton Ace Hardware home for six years, and Dutton noted that he hasn’t seen a rodent in the store for the last five.
“Hardware stores sell birdseed and other things that’re very attractive for rodents and other pests,” he said. “Just having a cat in the location keeps the rodents away.
Purrsonality: With the exception of some jaunts around the property and a three-day excursion to the north side of Patterson Park, Stanley primarily stays asleep on or near the cash register.
“He’s not allowed on the cash register surface, called the ‘cash wrap,’ but he defies that rule on an almost-daily basis,” Dutton said. “We’re constantly moving him off of the cash wrap, into his box on top of the shopping cart right next to it.”
Stanley’s popularity extends to Facebook, where his page has over
Home: Gypsy’s Truckstaurant, 3515 Clipper Mill Road
Backstory: Annmarie Langton, coowner of the hybrid restaurant-food truck, said she first encountered a gray kitten in the restaurant’s current Hampden lot about three years ago. Fatty
Fatty Kakes is the restaurant cat at Gypsy’s Truckstaurant.