Like any good cat fashion blogger, I prefer my Kate Spade with a side of kitty (or my Fendi with a side of feline - natch!), which is why I was so excited to read the tale of shop kitty Steve Madden in The Westerly Sun. Steve lives at Pennywise, an upscale consignment store in Mystic, Conn., and his story is what you might call one of from rags to... rich rags?
Steve's journey began in 2006, when he was rescued from an abandoned building after being trapped inside for an extended period of time. The experience left his immune system severely damaged, causing him to suffer from asthma and severe airborne and food-related allergies, and leaving him in desperate need of adopters who were willing to accommodate his medical needs.
Five months after being found, and during what the Pennywise site refers to "his last days there," Donna Madden, who owns Pennywise, along with her daughter Lorell, went to visit him at the animal shelter at the urging of the dog warden. The family, who were still heartbroken over the recent loss of their cat Alex to cancer at the age of 16, decided to take a chance on the lucky kitty, making him the third cat to call Pennywise home (in addition to Alex, a cat named Rusty also lived at the shop until the ripe old age of 22). Steve, who is now 8 or 9-years-old, was christened "Steve Madden" in honor of the family's last name, and in keeping with the tradition of his deep seeded fashion roots.
Steve's skin conditions are managed with daily medication and a prescription diet, leaving him healthy enough to fulfill his shopkeeper duties, which range from inspecting new consignments and giving fashion advice, to greeting his adoring fans. The Pennywise website even has an entire page devoted to the feline called "Steve's Corner," where he showcases his latest picks (as seen above), and posts pictures of his furry friends, who are encouraged to come by the shop for a visit.
If you're ever in Connecticut and would like to stop by, Pennywise is located at 22 Greenmanville Ave., near Mystic Seaport. You can also visit their website at pennywisemystic.com, or check out their latest updates (Steve related, and otherwise) on Facebook and Twitter.