A stray cat in Delaware was a tough nut to crack. One woman, however, knew he’d be worth the time to get to know.
Theresa Owens spent months getting a stray tabby with a limp, whom she called Larry the Limper, to warm up to her. Eventually, the two would become teammates in running a clothing store, Bluvintage, in Dover, and that tough-guy stance would serve him well as Larry The Security Cat.
“Larry was a long project,” Owens told Petcha.com. His many injuries caused him to limp as he circled the area where he could see the food Owens fed other strays in Dover. She slowly put antibiotics in his food to help treat wounds from a distance.
“After many, many months he would slowly come closer, then let me pet him, and one day I was able to pick him up and he went limp as if he totally trusted me,” Owens told us.
She says he fought other strays to be the only one to get her attention, which worked.
“After it became an issue, I decided to bring him to my store,” she said. “We had a mom and son talk about him staying as long as he did not ruin the clothing or scare customers. Best decision I ever made.”
Owens took him to a vet to get shots and to treat his wounds. The next stop was her store, Bluvintage, where he blossomed into a healthy, loving, playful and friendly cat, she says.
“He goes into our courtyard to sun during the day, and when he hears the bell ring, he comes back inside and greets his customers!” Owens told Petcha. “He has been a big hit with customers and children, and now he is nice to other animal visitors. Our customers love him, especially the children, and he gets treats and toys in the mail as well.”
Larry has a strong Instagram presence where he can be seen serving as the store’s security cat. He patrols the racks of clothes as well as takes the occasional break in a signature slouch.
“He randomly does interesting poses that we find funny and thought why not share it on Instagram through his eyes and thoughts,” Owens said. “He has his own following and fits the rustic boutique.”
The store, which has been open almost a full year, collects money to help other animals in need. Owens says she plans to introduce her own Blu paw organization through which proceeds from her store could help local animals.
“Currently we have helped 50 baby animals and strays and guinea pigs get homes,” she said. “We also found another stray and donated it to another local retail store near us. That makes three cats in our downtown stores!”
If Larry could give advice to other stray cats, Owens says, it would be to limit the amount of the many treats you get to a little serving, because now his security guard shirt is too tight on him and he can’t run fast enough to catch any squirrels. She adds, though, that he “earns a great paycheck in treats and love.”
Owens says she’s happy to change the views of people who walk through her doors, and bring awareness to animals in need. She’s also very glad to have changed a cat’s life forever. She’d love to see more cats in stores, and to keep growing.
We’re sure that Larry would love that, too. He’s a sensitive guy under that tough exterior, as his mom was lucky enough to find out.