Purrson­al­ity plus

Meet some of the shop cats of Bal­ti­more

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - LIFE & TRAVEL - By Sameer Rao

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

Stan­ley

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

1,000 fol­low­ers.

Fatty Kakes

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

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Fatty Kakes is the restau­rant cat at Gypsy’s Truck­stau­rant.

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