Avalon was snuggled up in a cuddler bed in the back room at South Coast Dispensaries, located at 1025 Chetco Ave. in Brookings, last March when she was placed there in a novel “Shop to Adopt” program.
“She’s so sweet. She’s so quiet,” business owner Mica Watson said when she first arrived. “She’s so shy. She’s been in the Humane Society for about five years, and this is her first long trip. I think in a couple of days she’ll be out here.”
The store bought a brand-new cat tree for her so she could come out and lay in the sun in the front of the shop, but she was so shy when she first arrived that she preferred the back room.
“I guess this is the first dispensary kitty in the state of Oregon,” Watson said. “It’s so exciting. I don’t mind being the first if it means more homes for kitties. If we can help cats find a home, that is so special.”
Avalon was being fostered at the business and was available for adoption. Don’t worry, the cat was not able to access any of the products. They are locked away at night according to required procedures, and during the day, the products are out of reach.
“Everything is put in the safe at night, and she guards it,” Watson said. “Nobody works here for free. She has a job.”
A few weeks later when The Pilot checked in, Avalon was purrfectly at home in the shop.
“Last night at 2 a.m., I got a call from Brookings Police Department that my burglar alarm was set off,” Watson said. “I jump out of bed, heart attack style, throw on my clothes backwards. Grab my phone to look at the cameras. There jumping on my desk and sitting in my chair, eyes aglow like Satan under the night vision, is Sweet Avalon. Having a kitty disco on my desk with no music! I literally died laughing. Told the cops it was our new kitty. Whoopsi, soooorry! The alarm guy had a good laugh too…”
Alarms were adjusted so she could disco all night.
Avalon came to Wild Rivers Rescue as a kitten, but didn’t find a new home — until Watson took her in. She became a hit with customers who gave her treats and came to visit her at the shop. In fact, Avalon put on a little weight.
The original idea was for Watson to feature a new foster cat each month. Bets were on with regulars that Avalon would become a “foster fail,” and end up staying on as Watson’s permanent shop kitty. They were close to being right. Last month, Avalon was adopted by one of the store’s employees.
“It’s like shared custody, so I still get to see her,” Watson said.
“Yeah, we’d love to have another,” she said when asked if she’d do it again. “I hope that we are able to keep adopting out cats. This is a really positive thing, but I definitely wouldn’t have minded getting ‘stuck’ with her as our resident kitty. I have such a soft spot for cats, and have a couple of my own.
“If someone could give a cat a home for the holidays, that would be great,” Watson recommended.
If you have a business and need a cat to “guard” it, or just purr on your customers, or would like to foster a business friendly dog, contact Wild Rivers Rescue in Gold Beach at 541-247-2514 or South Coast Humane Society in Brookings at 541-412-0325.