TROY — The 3 Weird Sisters Studio has taken on a new staff member — he’s 3 months old, wears a belled collar, and greets every customer with equal enthusiasm.
His name is Brooks, a young feline adopted from a litter of barnyard strays found on the property of shop owner Beth Kerber.
“His mother was feral, and she had the litter he was in,” said shop vendor Judy Mannix. “When they were trying to catch the mother to bring her in and be spayed, they were able to catch him, too. Beth has four daughters, and they were begging to keep him, so she decided to bring him into the shop and see how it went. He was about 8 weeks old when they brought him in, and that was about a month ago.”
“My entire family love cats, but I couldn’t keep him at home due to allergies,” Kerber said. “We thought we’d give it a shot having him in the store, and now he’s a star.”
Originally named Peaches when thought to be female, the cat was renamed Brooks after his gender was confirmed at the vet’s office.
“My daughter named him Brooks, based on the character from ‘The Shawshank Redemption’,” Kerber said. “She was initially thinking Andy Dufresne, but we decided that was a little too long.”
According to Kerber and Mannix, Brooks’ introduction to 3 Weird Sisters has been met with glowing feedback from the store’s clientele.
“Reactions have been overwhelmingly positive,” Kerber said. “People literally come in just to see the cat. They’ll walk through the door and ask if he’s here, and end up carrying him around the store with him. Kids will come in and play with him the whole time their parents shop, which was something we didn’t even anticipate.”
“Many studies have shown that the presence of an animal immediately puts most people at ease,” Mannix said. “It’s made for a more friendly place. Anybody with any kind of stress or anxiety just melts when they come in and see him. I’m here two days a week, and I’ve heard nothing that’s not been positive.”
Brooks sleeps in the basement of the establishment during weeknights, but goes home with the owner when the shop closes on Saturday evenings, returning each Monday morning for a new week of shopkeeping.
“He’s set up quite nicely in the basement,” Mannix said. “We have a Kitten Cam down there to keep an eye on him.”
On social media, the business has received more traffic on its post introducing Brooks, as well as a post clarifying his gender, than any others since the business opened.
“He’s gained such a following, there’s talk of starting a Brooks Instagram page,” Kerber said.
“Because the place is so big and because we’re constantly cleaning, we’re confident Brooks won’t cause any kind of issue,” Mannix said. “We’re also planning to have him neutered when he reaches 6 months.”
“Brooks has proved to be a great addition,” Kerber said. “He’s taken on a life of his own here.”
Customers can visit Brooks at the shop during regular business hours.
For more information, find 3 Weird Sisters on Facebook and Instagram.