I’ve lived in or within a hundred miles of the City of Tampa for decades, but there’s a ceramic cat on the roof of a funeral home that has been around a lot longer than I have. I remember noticing it as a child, and yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times finally unraveled the mystery of that cat in a delightful story.
A ceramic cat on a funeral home? Why? Turns out the cat was originally attached to an antique store and tea house that became a funeral home in 1962. And there were originally TWO cats, one black and one white. The black cat went with the antique store owners when they retired and sold the building, and that cat met a sad fate in a harsh Maryland winter.
The funeral home owners tried to get rid of the white ceramic cat in 2007 when the building was demolished and rebuilt, but no dice:
At that point, Stacy Adams, who had followed her father Mike Adams into the funeral business, planned to retire the cat, placing it in a nice shadow box to display indoors. The cat’s fans would not allow that.
“Too many people came by asking about it,” Adams said.
“People were stopping by in the middle of funerals while I’m parking cars going, ‘hey man, where’s the cat?’”
Just thought I’d share this local oddity. Go read the whole thing if you need a fun diversion.