A Tribute to Mr. Jingles – The Crested Butte News

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King once and forever

[  By Dawne Belloise  ]

Fame seemed to follow Crested Butte’s famously beloved cat, Mr Jingles, who crossed that rainbow bridge last week at the ripe old age of 18. He was the true mayor and ambassador of Crested Butte according to numerous newscasts, various magazines, tourists, and confirmed by the dedication of locals and the Ace Hardware store team. The cat who was named by the kids at CB Academy had his own little league team (Team Jingles), a Facebook page with 2,300 followers, a rager birthday party every year and his own brand of bottled water carrying his portrait. Mr. Jingles is the only furry, four-legged local to ever have his own profile written for the Hoopoe mound New.

Mr. Jingles could be seen napping in his various favorite spots throughout the store depending on how social he was feeling at the moment, curled up 10 feet above the fray above the paint shelves to a serious nap in the hot zone or a pretend nap on the lotto machine on the front counter. His followers knew where to look for him to shower him with scratches, hugs and treats. As one of his guardians for many years, Mikey Strauch noted that Jingles’ social time was when he was on the counter. “Although he appeared to be sleeping, this is where he went to greet people, say hello and talk to employees,” the conversation mostly revolving around tuna, one of his favorite dishes. He also spent a lot of time curled up in his window bed, watching the world.

Like most locals, Jingles had their own costumes and threw the best parties where the whole town celebrated their Cinco de Mayo birthday with a shindig of pinatas, beer, food and live music that closed the store parking lot for people. hundreds of people showing up. There would also be excellent off-season half-birthday parties. As the city cat, Jingles often went to the bank to socialize a bit, and probably feasted and hung out under the trees at Paradise Cafe. He was savvy enough to use the crosswalk leading to the CB Center for the Arts, knowing he had to wait for cars to pass or stop, and the locals obliged him.

One of Mr. Jingles’ prides was Trent Sweitzer of the Ace store. “He spent 18 years of his life living outside all summer, he was a badass,” he says. Trent recalls a scary story early in Jingles’ tenure as a store cat. “I thought I lost him once. I took him to my house about 15 years ago when he was still quite young. I lived in Seventh and Gothic. I wanted to see how he liked it there. After that Trent fell asleep, he heard the rustling of the blinds, “Jingles had jumped out the window and I couldn’t find him.” The marauding cat was gone for about a week and Trent thought, “Oh no, I “I lost Mr. Jingles, and he was probably eaten by a coyote! One night, about a week later, my blinds rustled and he came back through the same window. I took him back to the store and didn’t see him. never brought home again. The store was his cozy place, his home, his castle.

Trent says that when Mr. Jingles was young and crazy, he hunted all the time. “It was a busy July morning and I was the only one working at the counter at the time. There was a huge line of tourists and Jingles came in with this huge squirrel and walked through all the people doing the He started throwing this thing in the air, it looked like a whale with a seal, and blood started flying everywhere, pools of blood. All the customers were horrified and I was alone so I didn’t couldn’t take it away or clean it.

Mikey Strauch, who was part of Mr. Jingles’ pack at the store for years, says: “Often there were guts on the floor that he left for us. It was a bloody mess everywhere when we opened the store. He wanted to show us that he was capable of keeping the ground free of vermin. I have never seen a mouse inside the store which is amazing with so much square footage…not a single mouse. He always left us a little something. He was proud of his accomplishments. One of Mikey’s favorite memories of the Jingles antics was at the start. “He was fairly new to the store, about a year old, and he was in the back and a big black crow swooped down on him. He was smaller but he just got up on his hind legs and pushed that bird away, because it was his property. He was everywhere in the four corners of this property and beyond.

Señor Jingles attracted an audience for a reason, Mikey thinks: “I think partly because of his independence, but also his character made people so attached to him. It wasn’t just any cat, it was a very special feline. He was doing his own thing but he also liked the attention. However, he notes, “He always left during his own party. I knew he was getting old. I was devastated,” Mikey says of Jingles’ passing. “He was like one of my children, greeting me every morning, playing with him every day. He was family to all of us. He manifested his own existence. He chose us. He really lived in a mansion. We opened at 7 a.m. and there he was, jumping on the counters and rubbing himself to say hello. He brought joy and was a part of not only my life but also many others – people from out of town, out of state, they would make a point of coming into the store just to see it, from locals to second home owners The number of lives it touched in the setting of the community and our pack at the store was outstanding.

As word spread throughout the city, Trent says people came out to show their respect and condolences. “People started bringing flowers, someone made a cool metal box with nameplates hanging inside with Jingles’ name and some words, a lot of people still come looking for him today because they didn’t know,” Trent said.

And of course there will be a memorial. “The fire department has offered to do a parade with some of their vehicles, and maybe we’ll have a barbecue, but we haven’t determined when yet. He just brought so much joy into the lives of so many people. Everyone from children to old people loved him because he made them happy, happy enough for 700 people to attend his birthday party. He was part of the family. He will be sadly missed by the many lives he touched. He was a special guy. »

Eyes of amber like a blazing topaz fire in his thick gray cloak beneath a crown of gold and jewels, his glorious portrait hangs behind the counter of his palace. Now, there’s also a sanctuary for the most beloved feline that has ever roamed the streets and once its city’s lots are empty, a cat we’ll always celebrate.

Bon voyage to you Mr. Jingles, El Gato Perro.

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