CANMORE – Jasmine, otherwise known as Jazzy, and Molly can often be found lounging in chairs, jumping from shelves or wandering down the aisles of Canmore’s Home Hardware.
The two are longtime residents of the hardware store and they are also cats, beloved by many in the community. However, recently the two furry felines have been handed an eviction notice.
“Too many people complained,” said Laura Finlay, manager of Canmore’s Home Hardware.
“From allergies, to the smell in here… When I saw Health Canada in here last week, I understood stuff was going to happen.”
The two cats have lived out almost the entirety of their lives within the hardware store walls. Jasmine was abandoned on the streets of Canmore before finding her new home among the aisles around 2012, while Molly became a new resident in 2016.
The fuzzy pair aren’t the first shop cats to lord over the shelving units, either. When Finlay started, the then-owner had another shop cat named Martha.
“I have worked here for 14 years, when I started Martha was the resident cat,” Finlay said. “She was pretty old when I started here so she passed away in 2010, I think, or 2011, and that’s when I brought Jazzy to work.”
The Canmore Home Hardware has seldom been a location void of a feline companion, at least since 2002. Aside from the rare complaint of an allergy, in which case the cats would be placed in another room until the customer left, the facility has had very few issues with the resident fur balls.
“The occasional person that was allergic so you just picked up the cat and put it somewhere else,” said Finlay.
The Home Hardware crew posted on their local Facebook page the kitties would need to find new homes to which many in the community expressed their disappointment in the void the two cats will leave within the store walls.
“Sad so very sad,” one user wrote. “Molly and Jazzy are well cared for pets. I really can’t understand some people and how far they will go!”
“I’m really sorry to hear this,” another user wrote. “I’m not a cat lover, but I enjoy the homey feeling they give the store, and the living example of small-town, independent business.”
Finlay said Jazzy and Molly have to be removed from their home by Monday (July 8).
As of Friday (July 5), Finlay said on social media that both cats had found new homes.