Kitty hops on trailer -- whereabouts unknown
SCOTT DEPOT, W.Va. -- Employees at the Teays Valley Hardware Store think they've put 1,000 miles on their trucks this month searching for their mascot.
Stanley, a 22-pound gray and white cat who made the store his home about 7 years ago when he showed up as a stray, has been missing since March 1.
"It was great coming to work with him here," said Melanie Lanham, who has a framed picture of the cat on her desk. "If you were stressed out, you could just go pet Stanley."
On the night of Feb. 28, when employees were closing the store, Stanley wasn't around, but it didn't worry anyone immediately.
"Sometimes he would hide because he didn't want to get locked in an office for the night," Lanham said. "But when he wasn't here the next day we knew he was gone."
Lanham and other employees reviewed security footage and saw Stanley jump on the back of a utility trailer.
"He was about to jump off but another truck pulled in the parking lot and scared him," she said.
After tracking down the man driving the truck, employees found out that Stanley could have jumped off in the White Pines subdivision in Hurricane, or somewhere in Fraziers Bottom.
Stamper said the cat would sometimes hunt around the store's property, and thought Stanley might be surviving on his own.
"I just hope someone is taking care of him," said Betty Stamper.
"I hope someone brings him back," Lanham added.
Flyers have been placed in stores and gas stations around the county. People call the store daily to see if Stanley has returned, especially those who used to stop by just to bring him treats, Lanham said.
"About half of Putnam County is searching for him," Lanham said. She's gotten several calls reporting sightings of a gray and white cat, but none turned out to be him. "I'll get my hopes up and then it's not him."
"His blanket is clean and we have a big bag of treats waiting on him," Stamper said.
If you see Stanley, call the hardware store at 304-757-7255 or 304-757-2469.
Reach Kate White at email@example.com or 304-348-1723.