It didn't take long for a young cat to go from being a stray to feeling an overwhelming amount of love at a flower shop.
A stray cat was crying at the doorstep of Lowe's Flowers in Marshalltown the morning of Oct. 1. The staff, being self-proclaimed cat lovers, couldn't resist taking her in once her owner was not found. She was given the name Maggie. Within a matter of an hour, the staff brought in toys, a cat bed and other items to help her feel at home.
"She just melted our hearts and now she's totally spoiled," said Julie Kruse Brewer, a staff member at Lowe's.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Rick Gooding, owner of Lowe’s Flowers, holds Maggie, a former stray cat that has found a home at the flower shop.
Lowe's Owner Rick Gooding said Maggie helps break the ice with customers who might be in the shop for the first time. As far as the repeat customers, Maggie is the first thing they want to see when they arrive at the Third Street shop.
"A lot of people come just to see the cat," Gooding said. "She got Christmas presents and we didn't."
Gooding said he has heard of cats who live at other flower shops and was thinking of eventually getting one. It seemed meant to be when the 9-week-old, 2.5-pound stray ended up at their doorstep that fall morning.
Gooding feels the cat has a way of putting everyone at ease.
"It just adds a homey touch to a business," Gooding said.
Kruse Brewer said she can't wait to get to work each day to see Maggie and fellow staff member Lynn Maas agreed.
"It makes it special," Maas said.
Staff members compare Maggie's personality to that of a dog rather than a cat.
"She's much like a dog in that she's friendly and affectionate," Kruse Brewer said.
Maggie is fascinated with how the office works each day. She loves to watch the fax machine work and can't wait to watch balloons get filled for an order.
"When she hears the helium she runs to watch," Gooding said. "She has to be where the action is."
When the business day is done, and the work of greeting people wraps up, Maggie settles in for the night.
"She usually gets in the window at night and watches the traffic go by," Gooding said.
From a stray cat whining at a doorstep, Maggie sure has adjusted well into her life in the flower shop.
"I think she feels safe now," Gooding said.