By Diane Matsuura, CANIDAE Customer Service
There is a tiny town located on the California Coast off Highway 1 just south of Cambria, steeped in history and now little more than a bump in the road, but packed with charm and artistic flair. What once was a thriving dairy community in the early 1900s is now a bohemian artist community boasting a population of 18, which probably includes the local wildlife and a town cat. This is where the story gets interesting, as how many towns can boast they elected a cat for Mayor?
A large orange tabby striped Maine Coon cat named Freddy Cheenie Alfredo, Freddy for short, was a much loved and cherished town mascot. He lived his entire “nine lives” in Harmony, passing at a ripe old age of 22 years. Freddy loved to greet visitors to Harmony and could always be found lounging in a patch of sun in the gardens or in a shop window. Shoppers could buy a T-shirt or other Harmony souvenirs with his likeness.
The story goes that because of his celebrity status, Freddy decided to run for Mayor of Harmony (though this is a bit unclear). He ran unopposed in the election and won in a landslide victory. Freddy served as Mayor until his passing in 1995. His final napping site can be found behind the old creamery building where the local residents lovingly maintain a touching memorial in his honor.
However, in typical Harmony artistic fashion, a new, absolutely gorgeous black and white female kitty named Gatacita has taken over the role of “mascot cat” for Harmony. She has oodles of charm and purrsonality, and takes her role seriously as the official greeter to the fair town of Harmony. While this kitty likes to nap in the gardens Freddy was so fond of, she will also follow you from shop to shop and sit with you at your table while you rest or picnic.
With not a shy bone in her svelte feline body, Gatacita is extremely photogenic and loves having her photo taken. Gatacita wasn’t born in Harmony like Freddy was, but she was adopted by the entire town when her first owner passed away and she had nowhere else to go. She is much loved by the residents and visitors alike, and rumor has it she is planning to run for Mayor of Harmony in the next election, following in the pawsteps of the famous Freddy!
On your next road trip up or down the coast of California, stop by the unique town of Harmony and visit with Gatacita. Dogs are welcome in Harmony too, but a hand-lettered sign reminds guests that dogs must be leashed. Cats on the other hand, may run free!
Read more articles by Diane Matsuura
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