GLASGOW — Cheddar, the resident cat of the Barren River Animal Welfare Association, will be celebrating his 19th birthday this month.
The orange and white short-hair came to the Glasgow-Barren County Animal Shelter, which is managed by BRAWA and located along Trojan Trail, when he was 2.
“As soon as he came to the shelter, he immediately was the cat they chose for working, so he was used to interact with dogs to see if they could cohabitate together,” said Connie Greer, general manager of the shelter.
Cheddar has technically retired from his job due to health reasons. He has untreatable cancer.
“He has his good days and his bad days,” Greer said. “We've pretty much decided to keep Cheddar as comfortable as possible and has happy as he can possibly be. That cat gets anything and everything he wants, whether it's pizza or cake.”
Cheddar has always had full roam of the shelter and still does. He has various perches in which he uses for naps. One is a basket filled with cat toys that sits high atop a shelf at the shelter. He typically goes unnoticed when he is in the basket, but when he decides to get out of the basket, he jumps out of it, causing it to fall off the shelf and scaring shelter personnel.
He has also been known to sleep in a basket on the counter in the shelter's lobby and in a cabinet beneath the copy machine.
“He answers the phone from time to time. He will lay on the phone and he will get it on speaker,” Greer said. “He's disconnected people when they are talking. He's a crazy cat.”
Gayle Wilkinson, a shelter employee, has known Cheddar for 15 years.
She described him as being laid back, but yet the kind of cat that still craves attention.
“He is the king. He's king boy. He loves turkey. He loves yogurt,” she said.
Margie Patton, a BRAWA board member, recalled Cheddar escaping the shelter's lobby on occasion, but said he never went too far, usually just lying under the bushes in front of the shelter.
Cheddar was also taken to various schools by the shelter's staff. Patton explained animals from the shelter were sometimes taken to schools for lessons about responsible pet ownership.
“He was good about being handled and letting the kids pet him,” she said.
Cheddar is not the first shelter cat. There was one before him, but when that cat died Cheddar fell into the role perfectly, she said.
“The thing I remember the most of him is he would like to curl up on the keyboard of the computer at the front desk, so that would make it very difficult to get any work done,” Patton said.
On Saturday, a birthday party will be given in his honor.
The shelter is accepting donations in honor of Cheddar for other animals at the shelter. Such donations needed are: Paper towels, Lysol wipes, canned Friskies pate cat food, Fancy Feast canned kitten food, soft dog training treats, mini and small Milk Bones, copy paper and gas cards (rescue transport).
Donated items can be dropped off at the shelter through Aug. 10.
Those who bring in items in honor of Cheddar will be able to have their photo taken with him.
Monetary donations are also being accepted, Greer said.
There will also be a bake sale on that day and discounts on the adoption of cats and dogs will also be available.
Cats can be adopted on Saturday for $10 each. The cats will be fully vetted and ready to go to their forever home, Greer said.
There will also be a 25 percent discount off the adoption fee for adopting dogs or puppies, she said.
In addition, those visiting the shelter may make a donation toward the healthcare of animals at the shelter by contributing to a collection box in the shelter's lobby, Greer said.