When thinking of a firehouse pet, most people imagine a Dalmatian sitting atop a fire truck. But this firehouse has a purr-tiful mascot running around their station. (see video below)
Senior Feline Scrappy at Your Service
It All Started Over 15 Years Ago
About 15 years ago, a gray tabby came walking around the Greensboro Fire Station in Greensboro, North Carolina. Between the station and a nearby indoor gun range, there lived a feral cat colony. So it was a common site for the firehouse crew to see cats in the neighborhood. But one cat named Scrappy wanted something more: a real home.
“I had a cat, and so I just started bringing food and I’d sit it there beside my truck.”
Todd Shelton would watch Scrappy from the woods by the fire station. Since he had a cat himself, he felt honor-bound to help the little tabby out. Shelton put food out by his truck and Scrappy would come around after he left and gobbled it up. After about a month, the feline started to warm up to Shelton and let him reach for some well-deserved pets. At that point, he decided the new firehouse floof needed a warm, dry place to stay too. So he put up a shelter with blankets and food on the porch of the station.
Eventually, Scrappy decided that wasn’t good enough and found his way inside the engine bay. Ever since that day, he’s become a permanent member of the Greensboro fire station. Now, the fire station has a collection jar to pay for the cat’s health care needs.
“Nothing fazes him,” said Hannah Johnson, a senior firefighter. “When the truck rides by he knows exactly what to do. He stays put, or he’ll wait till the truck leaves and you’ll see him scoot out the door.”
So we know how he got there, but how did he earn his name? Well he got his name after he chased a tomcat away from the station and got into a bit of a tussle. Shelton remarked that he was a Scrappy one, and the name just stuck.
But for the first 10+ years, the firefighters thought Scrappy was a girl.
“While most fire departments have dogs, our Station 19 crew adopted Scrappy almost 15 years ago. Scrappy hangs around Station 19 and understands how to stay out of the way when the call tones drop. He is an honorary member to every crew at the station,” the City of Greensboro Fire Department shared on Facebook.“Scappy T. Cat is a welcomed and loved member of Station 19.”
“A fun fact about Scrappy: during the first 10+ years of his life, Station 19 thought he… was a she. Needless to say, when the vet informed the crew, they were all very surpurrrrrized.”
Scrappy Helps Out In The Station
Well, he helps out in an emotional sense. Scrappy is listed officially on the roster as the “senior feline” and helps keep mice and other critters away.
He loves going into the bay with the rest of the crew. And you can see how much they love him!
And if the doors are shut, he meows at the kitchen window until someone opens them. Clever kitty! He’s also clearly got the guys wrapped around his lil’ paw, which doesn’t surprise us.
People visiting the station are always surprised to see him running around, but to the firehouse, he’s family. Now, every time the firefighters come back from a difficult fire, Scrappy is always there to greet them.
“We don’t really have a cat. He kind of adopted us and likes to hang out here.”-Hannah Johnson.
As we’ve shared many times, cats in the workplace can work wonders for morale and reducing stress.
#REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!
Photos by Woody Marshall/News & Record and via Facebook/City of Greensboro Fire Department.
You can see Firefighter Johnson discuss Scrappy the cat in the video by Greensboro News & Record below: