The story of Klutter

It was a bright, sunny day in late September, about three years ago. A beautiful fall morning, crisp and cool, we had the front door propped open to breathe some fresh air into the store.

A friend of the shop, Jackie from Klassy Klutter, was visiting, and we kept hearing a faint cry coming from the parking lot. A few moments of investigation revealed the cause – a tiny kitten had crawled up under Jackie's car and had survived the scary trip to the junk shop, all the way from Spencer.

It took a while to extricate her from the undercarriage, but eventually we had her in hand and brought her into the shop. At that exact moment, she knew she was home. Over-sized head on a skinny little body, tail held straight up in the air, she buzzed with her kitten purr as she investigated the lobby. While the others kept her occupied, I ran to the dollar store and bought food and a litter box.

Making herself at home

She ate and ate and ate, she drank and drank and drank, she daintily used the litter box, then looked up at us as if asking for approval of her application as shop cat. Of course, her application was immediately accepted, and she started work that day.

Since our store closes at 4 and doesn't re-open until 9 the next morning, that first long, lonely night must have been rough for her, alone in strange new surroundings. Actually, I think three of us drove to the shop and checked on her throughout the night. Some of us may have visited more than once!

It wasn't long before she had taken over the public relations department at Useful Junk. Always friendly, always quick with a purr, she may even let you hold her for a moment, although she usually prefers to travel independently. She'll jump onto the table and insert herself between you and whatever it is you're looking at, she'll follow you to the basement or lead you from room to room. She'll also lay in your path in front of the door, waiting to accept a final rub on your way out. And no, don't be silly, she won't get out of your way!

She dabbles in quality control – every textile that lands on a flat surface must be tested for comfort and nap-ability, every box is thoroughly investigated, and every open door and space is entered and explored (this includes the ceiling in the basement). She excels in pest control, having successfully dispatched 13 mice, a mole, two chipmunks (actually, the chipmunks were more of a "catch and release" event) and uncounted flies, wasps, and other crawly critters.

The Klutter hall of fame. The chipmunks were a "catch and release" event

She has slowed down a little in her "old age." She doesn't play as hard as she used to, and she is more likely to watch the flies rather than to careen around the shop in pursuit of one. She has staked out a half dozen prime sleeping spots around the shop, although these change frequently as our merchandise turns.

All of the prime napping spots are already taken

The shop is hers, and she knows it. She brings us so much joy and love, and every day her antics make us laugh out loud, roll our eyes, smile, and shake our heads in wonder and in disbelief. She expects a certain amount of routine (throw the toy mouse in the morning, five treats at lunchtime, a drink from the faucet mid-afternoon, and a handful of grass to snack on once a day), but she seems to understand that frequent changes to her environment are part of the job.

This is how she earned the nickname "Goofball!"

As is the case with most rescue animals, she seems to appreciate her good fortune to have found a loving, forever home. We're glad she made the trip!

Life's good, y'all... ~Wes