As a pet friendly hotel, it’s important to our team to have happy, loving animals around to comfort our guests and make us laugh throughout each day. If you’ve stayed at Old Town Manor since April 2018, chances are high that you met our Key West cat, Doc (and maybe his canine counterpart, Mojo).
As our official Guest Services Cat, Doc hangs out in the lobby of Old Town Manor pretty much all day. He was a perfect fit in the hotel setting from the start. Last April, after losing our long-time resident Ms. Kitty, our staff decided it was time to adopt from the wonderful Florida Keys SPCA on Stock Island.
We interviewed several cats, but Doc stood out, perhaps because he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sitting on a cat sofa. He had been in the shelter for a while, and he looked like a cat who needed some loving.
Doc has scratch-like marks on his back that look like he was once in a cat fight. The people at SPCA began dressing Doc in shirts (size XL) to help with healing. They sent his favorite, a tropical patterned polo, home with us. Since then, we’ve learned the scratches are a skin condition and nothing to be concerned over.
It was only a matter of days before Doc made himself right at home in the lobby and in our hearts. He was named Howard when he first came to us. We set up a poll on the Old Town Manor Facebook page to rename the cat, and “Doc” won hands down. He is named in honor of Dr. William Warren who bought the Manor in 1913 and whose spirit, along with his wife Genevieve, may still be present at Old Town Manor.
It would be incorrect to say that Doc made friends with Mojo, our Guest Services Dog, but they have come to a tolerant understanding. They both enjoy lounging and naps, treats, and pets from guest. They like to hang out around one another, just not together!
When we first adopted Doc, we also rescued another cat from the SPCA. Unfortunately, “Ernest” and Doc did not exist peacefully like Mojo and Doc do, maybe because Doc constantly tried to eat Ernest’s share of meals. Ernest was young, much smaller than Doc, and had a beautiful black coat with bright green eyes. He was a hunter and hid in the shadows of the gardens, seeking out his next lizard as prey.
Ernest didn’t stick around long in Doc’s shadow. The story is crazy but true. Ernest disappeared in August. We searched for him and, sadly, stopped leaving his meals outside after a while. It turns out, Ernest felt he was ready to go out on his own. He simply crossed Eaton Street, ending up a St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The good people at St. Paul’s adopted him, and he is very well cared for. His new name is “Clover”. We venture over to visit and bring treats.
There’s no doubt that Doc’s favorite activity is eating. He enjoys breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a cat-sized, orange bowl on the steps outside of the Manor’s kitchen. But, diet canned meat and fish are not Doc’s favorite foods. He lives for treats, specifically Feline Greenies. He devours them.
Doc is continually playing tricks to get us to feed him all day long. For example, he learned that if he jumps into a human chair near the front desk, he will get a treat to move to his cat couch. He also knows that if he puts his paw on your leg as you’re seated at a desk and meows constantly, eventually you’ll lose patience and give him treats. And, when someone new comes in to work for a later shift, he will pretend to be starving for food, as if he hasn’t eaten all day. Doc is a particularly expressive cat and he has a special meow that translates to “feed me”.
After eating, Doc’s second favorite activity is sleeping. On average, he probably sleeps 23 hours each day. Though still, he is not nearly as passionate about sleeping as he is eating! If the box of Greenies is moved or touched, Doc is more than ready to interrupt his nap to have a snack.
Even while he’s napping, Doc is always available for petting. He loves our guests’ attention. He became quite a star at the SPCA, and we often get visits from local volunteers who knew him back then!
We do expect Doc to provide more than cuddling services. He manages to find time, in spite of his heavy sleeping and eating demands, to help us out as much as he can around the Manor. If there is a box hanging around, he’s the man for the job to lay in or on it and supervise the items inside. Even if that box happens to be Mojo’s dog bed, or gift bags. Your wedding guest’s gifts are safe with Doc… unless there’s food inside.
While Doc loves to eat, sleep, cuddle, and sit on boxes, his real passion is making friends with our guests. He has made himself home at Old Town Manor and couldn’t be more of a perfect fit.
See Doc for yourself! Check availability at Old Town Manor & Rose Lane Villas here. Read our other blog posts here.