This is the story of Stormy the cat, a former shelter kitty who for the last six years has enjoyed a lazy, lounging life as the indifferent mascot of the Fritz Creek General Store in Homer, Alaska. I picture days filled with sunlit naps next to the magazine rack, ear scratches from friendly regulars, and the occasional indulgent can of tuna. (I just think it’s important to paint the full picture here; Stormy doubtless contains multitudes)
Homer News only describes Stormy as a “black, slightly overweight female cat,” who was “beloved” by the store’s shoppers. But here Stormy’s story takes a dark turn: The Alaska Department Of Environmental Conservation’s Food Safety And Sanitation Program told the store’s owners that Stormy’s presence is a food-safety violation, and the cat has to go. You may commence painting your “Justice For Stormy” and “#StormyStays” placards now.
This story is receiving the national attention it deserves thanks to the Associated Press, who picked up the plight of this food-unsafe feline. Apparently, someone complained about Stormy to the food-safety officials, whose section manager Jeremy Ayers tells the AP that because the office received a complaint and subsequently observed the cat on premise during a follow-up visit, authorities were forced to take action. They notified the store’s owners that Stormy’s presence was a violation and that she’d have to be relocated. A member of the owners’ family says she will take in Stormy.
Store regular Al Breitzman brings up a solid point to the Associated Press, saying that Stormy might make Fritz Creek General Store an even more sanitary place by catching rodents. With Stormy gone, who will guide shoppers to the (quite sanitary, I’m sure) bathroom?