Orange and white cat sits in front of a green display
Benjamin, the Waverly Ace Hardware cat, is retiring after 14 years at the store. Photo from his Facebook page.

Most employees expect to work for at least 20 years before considering retirement, but when that employee is of the feline variety, a retirement paw-ty after 14 years of work seems like a pretty good puuurrrrk.

Benjamin, the official “store mouser” at Waverly Ace Hardware, is leaving the store to move into his retirement home, run by his co-worker, Mary, a floor associate. The store is holding a retirement party on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 12-2 p.m., though Benjamin will be at the store all weekend for pets and pics.

The party on Saturday will be held in collaboration with Animal Allies Rescue Foundation. Attendees can purchase $10 Benjamin Socks, the proceeds from which will benefit the foundation.

Baltimore Fishbowl caught up with Mary to get the litterscoop on Benjamin’s retirement plans.

Mary told us that for the party, they plan to grill on the Big Green Egg, and that hot dogs are on the menu, as Benjamin is of course a meat-eater.

“For the cake, he’s requested sardine-flavored icing, but I’m not sure if that will happen,” Mary said.

Benjamin will have cat treats, too, but those are just for him, and Mary warned that he does not share those with humans. Or other cats.

As for his fiscal situation, Fishbowl asked if he had a 401K, or perhaps nine of them.

“Benjamin has a number of fiduciary sponsors in his retirement. Has the financial means to live a long life,” Mary said.

Mary assured Fishbowl that Benjamin will still get to put his mousing skills to good use. “Yes, he hunted and killed one yesterday. His hobby will continue into retirement,” Mary said.

Given the nation’s pickleball obsession, this reporter wondered if that was Benjamin’s next athletic pursuit.

“I don’t know. His current sport is mouse-on-a-string,” Mary said, explaining that mouse-on-a-string is akin to tetherball for us humans. “Feather-on-a-string is a very different sport. He’s a lefty, so usually he bats the mouse with his left paw, though lately he’s been using both, so he’s ambidextrous.” Or ambipawxtrous.

As for TV entertainment, Benjamin prefers Murder She Wrote over Matlock, no question.

Mary told Fishbowl that Benjamin wasn’t as much of a garden center cat as much as he was an aisle cat. “All the aisles of Ace are represented at his retirement home. Especially with plumbing. He doesn’t know what a bathtub is, but he does a lot of troubleshooting based on his years in the plumbing aisle,” Mary said.

As for reading material, he likes Cats magazine, and even Dogs magazine, though he does loathe actual dogs. Thankfully, there are no canine residents at the new retirement home.

“He also growls at the vacuum cleaner,” Mary said.

In what can only be termed a massive professional oversight, Benjamin has never read Popular Mecatnics magazine.

Mary was unsure if Benjamin’s Facebook page would continue to be active after he retired.

“That will be decided at a higher corporate level than me. He has requested privacy in retirement. As he ages, he doesn’t want too much limelight, so that will be decided by Ace,” Mary said.

Waverly Ace Hardware is located at 601 E. Homestead St., Baltimore, Maryland 21218. Benjamin’s retirement party is on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 12-2 p.m.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *