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 store’s windows over the past few months, owner Carl Moore said, but he appeared more than a year ago.
Moore said Spooky ran out when a customer came in, climbed into the attic and lived there for six months. He came into the main area at night to eat, drink and use the litter box before climbing back into his hiding place.
The cat, still considered wild and not fond of human touch, slowly began to feel comfortable in the store. Although he is not fond of contact, he is happy when people “rub” him through the window. Moore laughed and called Spooky “a poser” for the behavior.
It hasn’t been the easiest transition for the two — Spooky is Moore’s first cat — but they’ve struck up a good relationship.
“For the first time,” Moore said, she was a cat owner. “Why you chose me, I don’t know. They say cats choose where they want to go. He moved here because apparently this is where he wanted to be.
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An unexpected visitor
Spooky has become somewhat of a local celebrity – apparently he gets a profile – but it wasn’t always that way.
Moore believes the cat came into his shop in May of last year. He had actually seen Spooky across the street before their meeting through his efforts to care for community cats. He believes that Spooky was startled by one of the hawks in Lincoln Park.
At the time, Spooky looked quite spooky and was afraid of almost everything, hence the name. He wasn’t even a year old, but his fur was falling out and what he had was gray and dirty.
Moore had said he could get an organization to take Spooky, but he feared for his new friend. Since Spooky is wild and may never qualify for shelter adoption, euthanasia was an option.
“I didn’t want to kill him,” Moore said. “That’s why he stays here to be safe.”
A veterinarian provided special food and vitamins to help Spooky recover. The cat didn’t come out during the day for months, but was often seen on security cameras – and heard when it set off the jewelry box’s alarms.
After months of hiding, Spooky came out and started spending time with Moore, showing off his pure golden orange coat. That was last fall. There was no touching, of course, but they did share some quality time.
Near the beginning of the year, Spooky sat on the windowsill for the first time and alternated between it and the ceiling. Sometimes he would stay hidden for weeks at a time.
The store’s mascot – or mask cat, if you will – has lived almost exclusively in the window for about four months. He likes to watch people, rub against the window and build a relationship with the person of his choice.
“We just live together,” Moore said with a hearty laugh of her new fur. “He knows my voice. I’ll talk to him in the morning when I put the jewelry on. He will come and sit and just look at me and I will talk to him. Then sometimes he jumps on the floor and plays with one of his toys.
Since Spooky’s official move, Moore has set up the security sensors so the perfect friend can walk around at night. He’s a bit like a toddler who leaves his toy mice on the showroom floor.
This is good. The arrangement seems to be working well, and the guard of honor has made sure to rub his scent on the base of all cases – letting the other cats know he’s in charge.
Other times, Spooky can be found lounging on the floor or “chilling” on other random surfaces.
“He’s a funny guy,” Moore said. “He doesn’t break windows – unless someone gets in there and then sometimes he goes crazy – but he doesn’t knock things over. He is so careful when he walks. He doesn’t get involved in anything.”
Saturdays are for Spooky
How much is this little cat in the window? Well, he’s not actually for sale, but people can befriend him – remotely.
Since taking up residence in the storefront area, Spooky has amassed quite the following.
Moore said he has regular customers. Parents will visit the store every weekend with their kids to check out Spooky. Sometimes there is a line on the sidewalk with families wanting to say hello and take pictures.
In fact, Saturday is Spooky’s favorite day of the week. This is when families are out and kids are going to events at Magical Moments, another nearby store. Specializing in princess and superhero parties and costumes.
Sometimes the store is too busy for his comfort, but Spooky usually absorbs the attention.
“He especially loves children. They will run back and forth in front of the window. He just runs with them; just run and run and run and jump,” Moore said. “He just plays all day until he gets tired and just sleeps.”
Other customers will come and see what Moore has to offer – all because of one little cat. A family stopped by during Moore’s interview because they saw Spooky sitting on his perch.
Mark Hedin was one of those people. He recently moved to Fort Collins, but previously lived in Greeley for many years. He first saw Spooky when he was walking downtown for the 4th of July parade.
“They were closed, but I reached over and tapped on the glass and he jumped up,” Hedin said. “He was very kind, nice and just kept on my way. I took some pictures of him.”
The next time he saw the cat, he decided to stop by and talk to Moore about the experience. It had such a positive impact that Hedin now tries to visit when he returns to Greeley.
Moore’s daughter also landed on a list of fun things to do in the state. Visiting some of the major monuments was included, but also driving to Greeley to see Spooky in the window.
He is often featured on the store’s Facebook posts, promoting sales and current inventory. Moore says these pieces are “The Spook’s Choice.”
“A cat comes running out of nowhere and just barricades itself,” Hedin said. “Now that’s the mascot for this store.”
“He made a lot of people happy”
With Spooky’s newfound fame, Moore wants to figure out a way to expand his reach.
Moore mentioned creating an online cat cam, like zoos have for their popular animals, so people from all over the world can join in on Spooky’s daily life. The Tribune suggested calling the project “Ghost Watch” if it ever comes to fruition.
Also, Moore would like to give back. He wants to create a metal pendant that looks like Spooky in real life. All proceeds will go to the Weld County Humane Society or other animal rescue organization. He would like it completed for the holiday season.
“I haven’t finished everything yet, but I think it would be great because then people would say that Spooky supports other cats and dogs,” Moore said.
Also on the list for this fall is a trip to get neutered—sorry Greeley, you’ll have to adopt your own Spooky elsewhere—and hopefully open up 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 over the past few months, and Moore hopes that continues.
About 50 people have discussed the possibility of adoption, Moore said. Although the family may not want to give it up. He seems to have found a place where he feels safe, even if he remains wild.
“I think he’s comfortable here and he’s curious,” Moore said. “It’s really great. I think he made a lot of people happy.”
WM Moore Jewelers is located at 914 9th Ave. Its opening hours are 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am to 3pm on Saturday. However, Spooky is often seen in the window regardless of store hours.