CHANDLER, Ariz. — If they are lucky, retail stores have that one special employee that customers come to see. For one Home Depot, that employee is a cat.
The cat has been a fixture at the Home Depot at 650 N. 54th St. for the past six or seven years.
“This is her store; we just work here,” store manager Carol Warren said.
As the story goes, the cat showed up one day while the store was dealing with a mouse infestation.
“One day she showed up and within a matter of weeks, the problem was solved,” Michael Borgogena said. “The manager at the time wasn't a big fan of cats, but he liked her because she took care of the infestation in the store. She's just been around ever since.”
The cat doesn’t have one name; she goes by many. Some call her Miss Kitty, others call her Tom and some even just call her Cat.
“Me? I call her Mama," Warren said.
But the cat with many names has worked its way into the hearts of associates and customers alike.
“She's a part of a family. If she has not been seen for a few hours, I bet more than 10 associates will come and ask like, ‘Hey, did you see Cat, do you see the cat? Where is she?’” explained Vishal Patel. “So, everyone loves her.”
While being cute and cuddly is her main responsibility at Home Depot, she seems to know how to do many other jobs, as well.
“So, when the manager comes in, in the morning, we have a routine where we walk the store for security,” said Warren. “We have a path that we have to walk and she will usually get in front of them at the starting point at the main entrance. They will walk around the entire store and she's right in front of them the whole time.”
After her morning patrol, she’ll head to the Customer Service desk for a little breakfast before resuming her duties of providing cuteness.
Customers have started to seek the cat out for a quick pet or a photo opportunity. One customer even created an Instagram account for the cat.
“She brings a lot of joy to the customers and our employees,” Warren said. “They come in and they look for her. A lot of the children come in and you see them looking around and we're like, ‘you're looking for the cat?’ And they say yes. But a lot of pictures, a lot of excitement. Everyone just loves the cat.”
So, next time you are in the Chandler Home Depot, feel free to ask for Mama, or Miss Kitty - or whatever - you’ll find her hard at work.
“Just laying around and eating and letting everyone pet her,” Warren said. “Yeah, that's her job: being cute.”
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