Beloved ‘store cat’ taken from hardware store’s parking lot

GRANBY, Colo. (KUSA) – An Ace Hardware store in Colorado may be fully stocked, but the team says the store feels empty after their beloved “store cat” was taken from the parking lot.

Even staff at Country Ace Hardware in Granby find something unexpected in the aisles. For the past couple of years, it’s been a cat named Morris. He took care of a mouse problem and made the store his home.

“Morris is a big part of us,” said Eric Villalon, floor supervisor at the store. “I don’t hear him in the morning, and it’s too quiet.”

The store owner, Amy Kaplanis, says people would come into the store looking specifically for Morris. The cat was a beloved member of the staff.

“He was known to be found right there, laying and just basking in the warm glow of the lights,” said Jason Weddingfeld, manager of operations.

Every morning at 9 o’clock, Morris would take a walk.

“He would go out the store, kind of look around in the parking lot, turn around and come back in,” Kaplanis said.

Last Tuesday, Morris took his usual morning walk. No one saw what security cameras captured until it was too late: Two people in a blue SUV grabbed the cat from the parking lot of a restaurant next door and drove off.

“Somebody kidnapped him because we have the picture. We have the car. We have the video of them actually putting him in the car, so we know he’s with them… It may have been a mistake. They may have thought that he was a stray. That’s fine. We just want Morris back,” Kaplanis said.

The store that normally has everything you need is now missing what can’t be replaced.

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“It really is like we’re missing a part of the team,” Kaplanis said.

Police are investigating the incident.

“We’ll get him back. That’s my biggest hope,” Villalon said.

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