If you walk by the front window of Kaye’s Hardware most days, you’re likely to see an unusual sight – a large tomcat curled up in the display.
That’s Smudge, a local cat who started visiting the hardware store in Holmforth, UK about a year ago. Each morning he can be found waiting outside the back employee entrance to the building. There, he’ll follow the employees inside, stroll around the store, and curl up in the front window. He’s not fed, and doesn’t spend nights at the store, but still returns to man his place every morning.
Kaye’s worker Julia Grenier decided to make things more comfortable for Smudge when he became a daily presence in the store. She got him his very own cat bed with his name on it, which is positioned in the window display. It’s from there that Smudge naps or watches the passers-by.
The passers-by watch him, too. Many people come into the store specifically to ask if the sleeping Smudge is, in fact, a real cat. The volume of curious people grew so great that the store placed a sign in the window explaining that yes, Smudge is a real, live cat.
When he’s not spending his time in the hardware store, Smudge, who belongs to the owners of the Daisy Lane Bookshop, tends to wander around the area. He’s even entered a church during a funeral service.
Smudge has become a favorite “staff member” at the hardware store, though he still shows up on Sundays when the store is closed.