With dapper style and a do-good mission, Bow-Tie is truly the Cat Depot's meow.
Winston Churchill. Abraham Lincoln. Dr. Who. James Bond. Bill Nye the Science Guy. These are just a few famous men who adopted the bow tie as their signature item.
Now, there’s a locally famous feline who thinks bow ties are the cat’s meow.
Bow-Tie is Cat Depot’s new official spokescat for Cat Depot. His namesake and signature neck attire have become his calling card, and he appears at all events donning a different bow tie each time.
The idea for the bow tie came from his handler Nancy Colby, who adopted him from Cat Depot after he was rescued from a hoarding situation in Charlotte County. Colby met Bow-Tie in March. He was missing hair, couldn’t walk and needed to be rehabilitated.
“He has no teeth, no hair and no tail but he’s a good spokescat,” Colby said. “He’s missing an ear. He’s missing his tail. I had to have 26 of his teeth pulled because they were all decayed underneath the jaw line. He had a lot of infectious diseases, but he’s fine now.”
When Colby first adopted Bow-Tie his name was Glaze. According to Cat Depot Executive Director Shelley Thayer, the shelter processed a total of 58 cats from the same hoarding situation before relocating them to various rescue organizations.
Cat Depot took in the cats with the biggest injuries and health issues, including Bow-Tie and 12 others that were dubbed the baker’s dozen and all given doughnut-inspired names like Sprinkles and Glaze. Bow-Tie and the others suffered from diseases as a result of the environment in which they were kept. Since then, all 13 have been adopted out of Cat Depot.
“Overall medical condition was worse for Bow-Tie,” Thayer said. “He was next in line to be euthanized —that’s how bad (of) shape he was in.”
Around the same time the cats were rescued, Colby was mourning the loss of the previous Cat Depot spokescat, Mighty Lou, a champion for special-needs cats, particularly cats with diabetes, like him.
He was known throughout the community as a caped crusader because of his trademark cape and glasses.
Two days after Mighty Lou died, Colby called Thayer asking if there was another special-needs cat she could take in.
“I didn’t know if the cat was going to make it,” Thayer said of Bow-Tie. “He couldn’t walk. That was the biggest problem. She saw him and said she’s going to take him.”
Once Colby adopted Bow-Tie, he began to recover from the trauma and physical damage. He regained the ability to walk and began to grow his hair back. As he began to show signs of recovery Colby had to decide what to name him.
“I knew that I wanted him to be the new spokescat,” Colby said. “I knew that I wanted to take him with me and let him work just like Mighty Lou did, but he couldn’t wear a cape.”
She decided on a bow tie because of the simplicity and decided the name Bow-Tie was fitting too.
In his responsibilities as spokescat Bow-Tie maintains a blog on the Cat Depot website, catdepot.org, he makes appearance during events, such as National Bow Tie Day and the Giving Challenge. And he has a bow tie for every one of those occasions.
Currently, his collection is up to 30 bow ties, ranging from one with flamingos to another with music notes. Volunteers make some ties and purchase others. For the Giving Challenge, Bow-Tie will wear a $100 bill print with a half-dollar medallion attached.
“His deal is telling people to adopt, foster and fund special needs cats,” Colby said. “They’re special, but they require a little bit of different care.”