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Cat Defender

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Former Stray Named Wesley Lands Job as a Greeter and Security Guard at Iowa Hardware Store

"He has a lot of fans and they like to come in and pet his head."
-- Geoff Warmouth

Rescued from a trailer park in 1998, an orange tabby named Wesley has landed a permanent job at a hardware store the Des Moines' suburb of Waukee. From his familiar perch in the front window of Geoff Warmouth's store, Wesley not only serves as the store's mascot and greeter, but he keeps an eye on things as well. (See photo above.)

"If the sun is shining, we couldn't drag him out of the window," Warmouth told The Des Moines Register on December 8th. (See "'Watch Cat' Wesley a Fixture at Shop.") "He's here twenty-four-seven; he's our watch cat."

The gentle and friendly cat, who is thought to be between twelve and thirteen years of age, has become so well-known around the tiny town of approximately three-thousand residents that many of Warmouth's customers are unable to do their shopping without first stopping and saying hello to him. "He has a lot of fans and they like to come in and pet his head," Warmouth conceded.

"He's the icon of the store. There's no more better focal point than to come and see Wesley," customer Dan Willson (See photo below) told The Des Moines Register. "You have to say 'hi' every time you're in the store."

The cat is also especially popular with the kids from the neighborhood. "For business, he's a good draw for the kids," co-owner Ann Warmouth said. "A lot of kids want to come in just to see Wesley."

By adopting Wesley the Warmouths not only probably saved his life, but his presence at the store has enriched both their lives and those of their customers. He also has no doubt put a few extra dollars into his owners' coffers.

Photos: John Gaps III of The Des Moines Register.