Rescue Cat Finds Forever Home in the Most Unexpected of Places

A rescue cat has found a new forever home in the most surprising of places: a Home Depot.

Leo the cat was adopted from Burlington County Animal Shelter in New Jersey by staff back in the summer of 2022 and wasted little time in settling in. He now spends his days luxuriating among the many aisles of a Home Depot in Mount Laurel.

Leo’s exploits might have gone under the radar, were it not for the efforts of Jeffrey Simpkins. He began chronicling the store cat’s adventures in a series of videos posted to TikTok under the handle @cat_dad_2020. “I was just looking for a solar light at Home Depot and saw a cat tree and his set-up,” Simpkins told Newsweek. “That’s how I discovered Leo lives there.”

Leo the cat in Home Depot.
Leo the cat in Home Depot. The rescue pet has lived there since the summer of 2022.

It was love at first sight for the feline enthusiast. “I’ve always posted cat content on my TikTok and Instagram, so when I saw Leo, I had to make videos of him,” Simpkins said.

Though Leo’s setup might not be a conventional one, it’s one that is perfectly suited to everyone involved. Simpkins highlights Leo’s friendly nature and the fact he was partly brought in to “keep the rodents under control” in the store.

The ASPCA says that 3.2 million cats are surrendered to animal shelters across the U.S. every year. While around 2.1 million are adopted annually, despite the best efforts of shelter staff, 530,000 end up being euthanized.

Leo is undoubtedly one of the lucky ones, and Simpkins said the cat has as many as three favorite napping spots dotted around the store. “I would say the garden center, the holiday area, and the plumbing aisle are his favorite spots,” he added.

Leo loves to doze in and out of cardboard boxes found all over Home Depot, as well as on the various blankets and soft surfaces located around the store. The lawn chair cushions stacked up in the garden section, for example, are a favorite.

Simpkins said that Leo’s life largely amounts to him indulging in his two favorite things “hunting mice and sleeping.” However, he is a popular figure with staff and customers alike because of his cuddly demeanor. It also helps that Leo loves to play dress-up and regularly pops up in an array of snazzy outfits.

“He has a great personality, and he’s very friendly,” Simpkins said. Though Leo may appear soft and cuddly, Simpkins said the bosses at the store are also very happy with the job he’s been doing keeping the rodent population down.

“There are quite a few mice from what I heard, but Leo keeps them under control,” Simpkins said.

A spokesperson for Home Depot told Newsweek: “Leo is very loved. We’re thrilled that Leo loves taking care of our people as much as we love taking care of him.”

There is a similar amount of love for Leo on social media, with Simpkins saying that “his videos bring people happiness.”