Latest News: ‘The Story of Leo’
Leo the cat is semi-retired and living the good life. But his fans will be pleased to hear he will make a special appearance for his birthday celebration during the 2nd Saturday Gallery Stroll on Saturday, August 11, 2012.
All proceeds and donations benefit the Good Shepherd Humane Society. We’ll be accepting pet food and supplies, plus monetary donations are always welcome.
It’s hot out, Leo some good ideas on keeping cool. So you’ll want to share his preferred birthday refreshments!
Zarks is home to A marmalade colored, gregarious, and rather large feline known as Leo. The name was given to him by his previous owner, and we feel that it suits him quite well.
Leo has been in our employment since August 1, of 2003. He succeeds Cajun, a beautiful Maine Coon Cat, who worked for us and the New Orleans Hotel next door for over 16 years. When Cajun passed away on June 11, 2003, the town held a well-attended wake for him at the hotel. He had obituaries in both of our newspapers, and a reporter from the state newspaper attended and wrote an article on the event. Cajun is a whole other remarkable story but, to get back to Leo.
After Leo’s owner had passed away, his foster parents read about Cajun’s demise and they felt that Leo might just have the right credentials to fill the job. They contacted us and, after interviewing him, we felt the same.
He was about 2 years old when he arrived at the gallery on August 1, 2003. He weighed 15 pounds but now tips the scale at around 17 plus pounds despite our efforts to keep him more svelte. We were told that he is part Maine Coon Cat and, we suspect, may also have some Persian and/or Ragdoll blood in his veins.
Leo is easygoing, lovable, and, if you are around at the right time, very gabby and sometimes playful. He loves to lie stretched out on his back in the middle of the gallery floor in the hopes that someone will stop to give his belly a rub. He is usually never disappointed and sometimes he will acknowledge the gesture and sometimes he can sleep right through the whole thing.
Leo takes his job very seriously. He knows that when visitors are away from their pets a “fur fix” is sometimes needed and he is always glad to oblige. He is more than happy to pose for photos but we can’t always guarantee that his eyes will be open.
His favorite spot is the windowsill in our pottery room. There that he lounges away most of the day much to the delight and amusement of passers-by. At night he entertains window shoppers and has several regulars (both two and four-legged types) who come by in the evening to visit him.
His picture has appeared on the pages of our state newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and other regional publications. He also has his image on prints, tote bags, and even jewelry, all available at Zarks. To make sure that he is always “camera ready” he makes frequent trips to his personal groomer, Diana.
He loves paper sacks, empty boxes, playing tag, doing yoga, sleeping in our recycling bin, and bird watching out the back window as the following photos will show.
Like his predecessor, Cajun, Leo has developed a loyal following and does all he can to encourage support of our local animal shelter, The Good Shepherd Humane Society. Donations to the shelter may be dropped in a jar on the counter at Zarks, and at many other businesses around town, or can be mailed directly to: Good Shepherd Humane Society, P.O. Box 285, Eureka Springs, AR 72632. For more info go to www.goodshepherd-hs.org.
Leo was diagnosed with feline diabetes in August, 2009 and is unable to work full-time. Feline diabetes can sometimes go into remission and his did for a while so we are hoping that it will do so again.
Health update, 8/15/10. Leo is responding well to the insulin shots and is acting and looking very healthy. He is still only working part-time. If you plan to see him when you visit, call ahead and we will try to be sure that he is on the job. We are still hoping for remission.
Leo knows that other kitties and their owners may need help with their care. If you would like to help, a fund had been set up at the Berryville Vet Clinic, 1104 S. Main, Berryville, AR 72616.