Attacked cat sets up shop - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Attacked cat sets up shop

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CARLSBAD (CBS 8) - A Carlsbad cat has definitely used up more than one of his nine lives in surviving an attack by an owl. But as Larry Himmel finds out, he's found a loving home in an unusual place.

It all started when Richard Johnson took over Carlsbad Auto Supply and noticed a little problem.

"We were working in the store late one night and we saw some mice scurrying, and said 'We need to get a mouser,'" Richard said. "I instructed the wife to go find us Catzilla. Go find the meanest and nastiest we could find."

What they got was Auto, a rescue cat who had survived a vicious owl attack.

"There's a pretty good patch where he's lost some skin. He got a puncture mark. The real good one is where the owl was picking him in the head, trying to kill him," Richard said.

After spending a couple of months at the vets, Richard brought the then-emaciated tabby to his shop to settle the mouse problem once and for all. Ah, but the best laid plans of mice and men.

"He just doesn't do anything," Richard said.

So Auto's position at Carlsbad Auto Supply has been redefined.

"He's a greeter now. People actually come in the store just to visit Auto," Richard said.

Besides being a greeter, Auto is quite an eater.

"He's a lot fatter now because he basically free feeds. The neighbor next door brings food over to him daily," Richard said.

"It's canned pate, you know, more of a gourmet kind, he gets that every morning" An employee said.

Along the way, this fat cat who wouldn't harm a flea has managed to charm a grizzled group of crusty car guys. They are putty in Auto's paws.

If you have a mouse problem in your place, you could get an owl. Meanwhile, the job of calorie-consuming counter cat has already been taken.

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