The public is invited to a retirement party for Memaw, Instagram star and Williamson County Animal Center’s Chief Feline Officer, Wednesday from noon-1 p.m. at the shelter in Franklin.
According to a press release from the WCAC, Memaw broke barriers with her leash walking (a real conversation starter), and served as an icebreaker for discussing cats — particularly senior cats — with many people. In 14 months, she changed many people’s perceptions of what cats can do.
Found abandoned in the WCAC parking lot in March of 2020 (the day before the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown), Memaw was estimated to be at least12 years old (that’s 65 in human years). Despite her age, she was active and vocal from the start, with a certain spunk and unmistakable meow that left no one in doubt that she was in charge.
She is crabby and opinionated, to be sure, but in the sweetest possible way. The shelter staff dubbed her “Memaw” and she became WCAC’s mascot and senior cat advocate, drawing attention by giving signature head butts to her favorite humans, walking on a leash and calmly riding on the shoulders of shelter employee Penny Adams.
For several months, Memaw lived in Adams’ office at WCAC, assisting with photography sessions, greeting visitors, sitting on keyboards (her favorite) and knocking papers off the desk (her second favorite). Together, Memaw and Adams (a photographer) visited local schools and businesses, plus a bucket list of famous Middle Tennessee locations, including John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, the Parthenon, downtown Franklin and a local lake.
Always ready for a good time, Memaw loved her costumes, dressing up like a princess, a pirate, a lumberjack, and even E.T. as she had her bucket list of adventures. As her photos went up on Instagram (@Adventuresofmemawkitty), her fame grew to include 556 followers in 12 months.
In November 2020, Memaw and Adams submitted their crabbiest photo to the Cat’s Pride Cat Litter Twin to Win contest. They came out on top, winning $5,000 for the shelter.
A bit of age-related arthritis is forcing Memaw into retirement from public appearances. Other than some achy joints, she is happy, still cantankerous and most definitely opinionated. She will spend her twilight years in the home of a shelter volunteer and voiceover artist, where she makes surprise studio appearances and gets plenty of loving care, gourmet food (she has a preference for fresh salmon), cuddles and head bumps.
Memaw doesn’t want a big to-do for her retirement party, so she is requesting that the public pay it forward in her honor by making a donation to the shelter to help other cats and kittens. Donations of kitten food, cat toys and laundry soap are needed and can be dropped off anytime at the shelter or during the May 5 party.
For more information about Williamson County Animal Center, visit www.adoptwcac.org or call the shelter at 615-790-5590.