On Third Street, life at Songbird Coffee & Tea House seems normal. The sun shines as patrons enjoy the cafe’s shabby-chic ambiance while delicious drinks are concocted.
There is only one thing missing: Jesus.
Jesus is the feral community cat who called Songbird Coffee & Tea House home ever since it opened. He has been absent for the past three weeks, disappearing shortly after college students finished settling in for the semester.
“This is his beat,” said Hannah Bachinski, 33, the general manager at Songbird Coffee & Tea House. “He has never been gone this long…usually never more than a day or two.”
While some might want to dismiss the loss of an animal as something trivial, any pet owner can relate to the heartbreak of a missing pet. The situation hit home for customer Stephanie Jackson, 24, who began reminiscing about a similar situation with a cat that belonged to her father.
“Pets are very special to human beings,” Jackson said. “I don’t even know the cat, but I want him to come back! It’s more than just a cat — it’s a family member of the community.”
Jesus really is a cat for the community. Patrons of Songbird Coffee & Tea House look forward to seeing his furry face as much as, if not more than, they look forward to their favorite beverage or pastry. Jesus is an ambassador, welcoming visitors into the cafe and community in the unique way that only four-legged friends can.
As for how Jesus ended up straying from his home, no one can be sure. The most common hypothesis is that an out-of-towner scooped Jesus up and brought him to a shelter, not knowing of his life at the cafe.
The people at Songbird Coffee & Tea House are asking locals to keep their eyes out for a mature black cat, estimated to be around four years old. He is very friendly, and, according to Bachinski, knows his name and will respond when called.
Despite the fact that Jesus refused to be collared, this feline does sport a distinctive white ring around his neck. Bachinski stresses this as a distinguishing mark, saying that there might be “a million black cats (in Phoenix), but not many with a built-on collar.”
If anyone has any information regarding the missing feline, you can contact Songbird Coffee & Tea House at (602) 374-4192. There is a $100 reward, no questions asked, on the table for anyone who returns Jesus to his happy, loving home.
“We miss him a lot,” Bachinski sighed. “We just want him home.”
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