Trick-or-treat! It’s always Spooky season at WM Moore Jewelers in downtown Greeley, thanks to a feline friend who greets customers and passersby.
Spooky the cat has become a mainstay in the shop’s front window display over the last several months, said owner Carl Moore, but he showed up more than a year ago.
Moore said Spooky ran in when a customer entered, climbed into the ceiling and lived there for six months. He entered the main area at night to eat, drink and use the litter box, before climbing back into his hiding spot.
The cat, which is still considered feral and does not like human touch, has slowly begun to feel comfortable in the store. Despite not being a fan of contact, he enjoys when people “rub” him through the window. Moore laughed and called Spooky a “poser” for the behavior.
This hasn’t been the easiest transition for either of them – Spooky is Moore’s first cat – but they’ve settled into a good relationship.
“First time ever,” Moore said of being a cat owner. “Why he chose me, I don’t know. They say cats choose where they want to go. I have moved in here, because apparently this is where I wanted to be.”
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An unexpected visitor
Spooky has become somewhat of a local celebrity – obviously, he’s getting a profile – but it hasn’t always been that way.
Moore thinks the cat came to his store in May of last year. He’d actually seen Spooky across the street before their encounter through efforts to care for community cats. He believes Spooky was started by one of the hawks at Lincoln Park.
At the time, Spooky looked pretty spooky and was afraid of most everything, hence the name. He wasn’t quite a year old, but his fur was falling out and what he did have was gray and dirty.
Moore was told he could have an organization take Spooky but was afraid for his new friend. Since Spooky is feral and may never fit the requirements for shelter adoption, there was a possibility of euthanasia.
“I didn’t want to kill him,” Moore said. “That’s why he stays here, so he’s safe.”
A veterinarian provided special food and vitamins to help Spooky get healthy. The cat didn’t come down during the day for months, but he was often seen on the security cameras – and heard when he set off the jewelry case alarms.
After months of hiding, Spooky came out and began spending time with Moore, showing off his clean golden orange coat. That was last fall. There was no touching, of course, but they shared quality time.
Near the beginning of the year, Spooky sat on the window ledge for the first time and alternated between there and the ceiling. Sometimes he would stay hidden for weeks at a time.
The store mascot – or mas-cat, if you will – have lived in the window almost exclusively for about four months. He enjoys watching people, rubbing on the window and building a bond with his selected human from him.
“We just live together,” Moore said with a hearty laugh about his new furr-iend. “He knows my voice. In the mornings, when I’m putting the jewelry up, I’ll talk to him. He’ll come up, and he’ll sit and just look at me and I’ll talk to him. Then, sometimes he’ll jump on the floor and play with one of his toys from him.
Since Spooky’s official move in, Moore has adjusted the security sensors, so the purr-fect pal can trapse around at night. He’s a little bit like a toddler, leaving his mouse toys on the showroom floor.
That’s OK. The arrangement seems to work well, and the honorary security guard has made sure to rub his scent on him on the basis of all the cases – letting other cats know he’s in charge.
Other times, Spooky can be found lounging around on the floor or “chilling” on other random surfaces.
“He’s a fun guy,” Moore said. “He doesn’t destroy the windows – unless someone goes in there and then sometimes he goes crazy – but he doesn’t knock stuff over. He’s so careful when he walks. He doesn’t get into anything.”
Saturdays are for Spooky
How much is that little cat in the window? Well, he’s actually not for sale, but people can come befriend him – at a distance.
Since he began living in the window display area, Spooky has garnered quite the following.
Moore said he has regulars. Parents will visit the store every weekend with their children to check in with Spooky. Sometimes, there is a line down the sidewalk with families wanting to say hello and take photos.
In fact, Saturday is Spooky’s favorite day of the week. That’s when the families are out and children are going to events at Magical Moments, another nearby shop. It specializes in princess and superhero parties and costumes.
Sometimes the store has gotten a little too busy for his comfort, but Spooky generally soaks up the attention.
“He especially loves kids. They’ll run back and forth in front of the window. He just runs with them; he just runs and runs and runs and jumps, ”Moore said. “He just plays all day long until he wears out and just sleeps.”
Other patrons will come in and see what Moore has to offer – all because of a little cat. One family stopped by during Moore’s interview, because they saw Spooky sitting on his perch from him.
Mark Hedin was one of those people. I have recently moved to Fort Collins but previously lived in Greeley for many years. He first saw Spooky when walking around downtown for the July 4 parade.
“They were closed, but I reached down and tapped the glass and he jumped up,” Hedin said. “He was all lovey, lovey, and he just went on my way. I took a couple pictures of him.”
The next time he saw the feline, he decided to drop in and talk with Moore about the experience. It had such a positive impact that Hedin now tries to visit when he’s back in Greeley.
Moore’s daughter also stumbled upon a list of fun things to do around the state. Visiting some of the major monuments was on it, but so she was driving to Greeley to see Spooky in the window.
He is often featured on the shop’s Facebook posts, promoting sales and current inventory. Moore says these pieces are “Spooky’s Choice.”
“A cat runs in out of nowhere and just barricades itself,” Hedin said. “Now, it’s the mascot of that store.”
‘He’s made a lot of people happy’
With Spooky’s newfound fame, Moore wants to figure out a way to expand his reach.
Moore mentioned setting up an online cat camera, like zoos have for their popular animals, so people from around the world could tune into Spooky’s daily life. The Tribune suggested calling the project “Spooky Surveillance,” if it ever comes to pass.
Additionally, Moore would like to give back. He wants to create a metal pendant that looks like Spooky in real life. All of the proceeds would go to the Weld County Humane Society or another animal rescue organization. He would like that completed for the holiday season.
“I haven’t got it all done yet, but I think that’d be cool, because then people would say Spooky is supporting other cats and dogs,” Moore said.
Also on the docket for this fall is a trip to get neutered – sorry, Greeley, you’ll have to adopt your own Spooky elsewhere – and, hopefully, opening himself to touch.
Moore rubs treats on his fingers and Spooky will come sniff his hands. The somewhat recent addition to the store has made significant strides in the last several months and Moore hopes it will continue.
About 50 people have discussed the possibility of adoption, Moore said. Although, the family might not want to give him up. It seems like he’s found a place where he feels secure, even if he stays wild.
“I think he’s comfortable here, and he’s curious,” Moore said. “It’s really cool. I think he’s made a lot of people happy.”
WM Moore Jewelers is located at 914 9th Ave. Its hours are 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Friday and 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday. Spooky, however, is often seen in the window regardless of store hours.