Our Furry Friends
Throughout most of our existence we have been known as the place with the cats. It all started one day in the fall of 1989 when a 4 month old stray kitten came scampering into the shop while Bob was opening up for business. He was scared and the tip of his tail was exposed due to some unknown altercation. “Tippy”, as he was known, had somewhat of an attitude. “Do not mess with me, I only like a few people and you aren’t one of them”, was his usual demeanor. He spent 11 years of his life with us in the office until being diagnosed with severe diabetes which required extensive treatment and constant care. On August 8, 2000 we came to an emotional decision to have him put to sleep so he didn’t have to suffer in silence as most animals do when they are ill.
“Ode” appeared one day in 1990, keeping his distance from human contact but talking up a storm. After several weeks of feeding him outside to gain his trust, Faith was able to touch and then pet him. That was the beginning of a friendship that lasted 17 years. From that day forward, Ode could never get enough attention. He was dubbed our “Official Greeter” because once he met you and you acknowledged him, he would remember you each time you returned. Unlike Tippy, Ode was an explorer. He would go out daily to protect his turf. If you drove into the parking lot and he knew you, he would go running to greet you and announce “pet me please”. Anytime a customer entered the office, he would immediately jump onto the service counter to greet them. That was his reward for everyone’s admiration. Ode gained countless friends over those years. Finally, old age caught up with him and he parted this world on February 16, 2006.
Our next addition to the shop family was Shadow. In the summer of 1994, he was one of 3 kittens unknowingly residing in a van that had been parked in our storage compound awaiting a part which was on backorder from the factory. Although the vehicle was locked and secured, the engine cover had been removed to gain access to the needed repair. When the replacement part finally arrived, we opened the vehicle to move it inside and were shocked when 3 kittens jumped out from under the front seat. Shadow was the first kitten we captured and after 24 hours of unsuccessful attempts at finding him a home, we increased the count to 3 cats in the office. We were able to find homes for both his twin sister and the brother. Once all the kittens were placed in loving homes, Faith captured the "Mama" and took her home to live out the rest of her life in comfort. Shadow was somewhat elusive most of the time; "If you don't scare me, you can pet me" would best describe him. After the loss of Shadow in October of 2008, we opted to take a break from housing cats in the office.
Being surrounded by apartment complexes, we kept seeing stray cats hanging around in the wooded area behind our shop. So in the fall of 2008 we decided to do something to keep their population from exploding. We partnered with a customer and good friend of ours, Jill Palmer, and set up a spay-neuter-release program in the back parking lot. Jill runs a pet sitting business and is very active in animal rescue. Over a period of about 9 months and with Jill’s experience in trapping, we trapped 6 adult cats and 3 young kittens. The adults were either spayed or neutered and after a proper recovery period, returned to the wild. The kittens were placed in a foster home and later adopted out to loving families.
The last adult male that we had neutered was young and very spirited. He would return to the rear parking lot to play with leaves or anything that caught his interest. I worked with him for approximately 5 weeks, serving him canned food twice a day leading to eventually acclimating him to human touch. I named him “Spot” in recognition of the distinctive black oval spot on his right front shoulder. We trapped him in February of 2009 to bring him into the office over concerns for his safety. Over the next 6 months, we attempted to maintain him as an indoor cat, but his feral nature and high spirit forced us to allow him to go back outside. It appeared all was going well. He would go out during the day, supervise us working in the shop and always return before we closed. Unfortunately, those wild traits would ultimately be his demise. On December 3, 2009 he was hit by a passing car while attempting to return home for the night.
"Teddy" the guard dog. 1984 ~ 1995
Teddy was originally trained to work with a security company but that was not his destiny. We hired him in 1984 to protect the customer's vehicles in our storage compound. He was a mixed breed of mostly husky and bit shepherd. Ted had quite a bit of spirit and would occasionally escape just to catch a ride in our yellow VW Beetle after chasing him around the neighboring apartment complex. Besides being a good friend of ours, he served his position well for 11 years. As a token of our appreciation for his service, his house still stands in its original location and is used as a recovery station for the spay-neuter patients.