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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Where is Fatso? Downtown Torrance residents say stranger took the beloved neighborhood cat

On Halloween night, Cleo, a partly black and white cat known primarily to residents of the city of Torrance and business owners as “Fetso”, disappeared.

A resident familiar with Fatso reported to a clerk at a liquor store that the cat repeatedly saw a stranger leaving the area with the cat in his car. According to Fatso’s owner Jennifer Vanderhof and other residents, the clerk again spread the news.

While some people who knew Fatso said that the person who raised her probably felt she needed a home, others said they thought the act might have been more maladaptive—when it was taken. Was.

Black cats are synonymous with Halloween and sometimes bad luck. Violence against spiking black cats during the holiday has become an urban legend, although there is little evidence to prove that black cats pose any heightened threat on All Hallows’ Eve.

No one has lodged a complaint with the police. And whatever the intention, Vanderhof and many others in the area who knew Fatso are pleading for his safe homecoming. As of Friday morning, November 26, he was still missing.

LR Willie Schaffner and Dan Niculescu are neighbors of Cleo or Fatso, the cat that went missing on Halloween. Together with the cats’ real owner, they would like to see the friendly neighborhood cat return home in Torrance on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

“Everyone is asking where the heck is,” said concerned resident Dan Niculescu. “He’s missed.”

Vanderhof and her boyfriend, Mike Caplinger, met Fatso in 2008, when the cat wandered into their yard, looking for a place to live.

The couple welcomed the cat, took her to the vet, where she was cured and neutered, and brought her back home – naming her Cleo – joining the ranks among the four cats already living in the Vanderhof home. For.

Fatso’s over-friendly behavior was met with aggression by a territorial male indoor cat – and Vanderhof eventually decided that it would be best for Fatso to come and go as he pleased.

The then-named Cleo took on the Fatso moniker after becoming an outdoor cat.

“Unbeknownst to us,” said Vanderhof, “every time he went out, because he was so friendly, everyone fed him.”

According to those who knew him, one of Fatso’s favorite places to hang out was in front of the neighborhood liquor store Handy Market.

“He likes to sit on the cinderblock wall, so he keeps an eye out with people,” Vanderhof said. “Not that he goes for food; He goes for meditation. He drives people to their cars. ,

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Where is Fatso? Downtown Torrance residents say stranger took the beloved neighborhood cat
Dan Niculescu and Mike Caplinger with passersby about the missing neighborhood cat in Torrance on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. Friendly cat owner Caplinger wants her back as well as many neighbors like Niculescu who have become accustomed to the daily conversation. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Willie Schaffner, who lives nearby and has known Fatso for more than four years, has a view of the shop from his front porch.

“It scares me because I look up and he was always sitting on the corner of the store and I always expected to see him sitting there,” Schaffner said. “It’s a shame that he suddenly disappeared.”

Fatso had many friends in the area. He was not only friendly, but also sweet and curious, according to those who interacted with him. Schaffner said that anyone who goes to a liquor store must pet Fatso—if not, he will chase after them until they go inside.

“He used to sit in front of the liquor store, and then he would round the street to everyone’s house,” said Rachel Kent, another downtown Torrance resident. “People, when they see me outside, they ask me about the cat.”

Rachel’s son Gavin Kent said that of all the cats in the area, Fatso was not there. 1.

“She was just an amazing cat, she is very friendly and I love her so much,” Gavin said. “She was a very, very nice cat and I want her back.”

But the people of the city of Torrance aren’t the only ones missing Fatso’s friendly presence. Vanderhof says Gracie, his longtime companion, and one of his indoor cats, are lost without him.

“They do everything together except go to the liquor store,” Vanderhof said. “She’s not eating, she can’t sleep, she’s looking for him. He doesn’t have her friend anymore and she’s having a really hard time.”

Vanderhoof is offering a reward for Fatso’s safe return home. Anyone with information about the cat’s whereabouts can email [email protected] or visit the Torrance Lost and Found Pets Facebook page.

“I hope to see him soon. I pray every night. I sat there wondering where he might be,” Schnaffer said. “I hope he’s hot.”

Fatso wearing a green collar was the least seen near Cabrillo Avenue on Halloween night. His microchip ID is 981020009578288.

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