It’s not unusual for guests exploring the Kruger Avenue Toy and Practice Museum in West Virginia to imagine they’re taking a look at a cute, fuzzy, toy cat once they see Bathroom sleeping or sitting nonetheless among the many classic playthings. However then, the kitty strikes and … shock! They’ve met the museum’s beloved resident cat, Bathroom, who is not any stuffed toy.
This yr, Bathroom celebrates his tenth birthday and tenth anniversary on the 25-year-old museum.
Turning into Bathroom
Bathroom discovered the museum by serendipity as a stray kitten in 2013. The furry little man, then about 4 to five months outdated, sneaked into and stowed away in a van that belonged to the filming crew of Captain Z & the Terror of Leviathan, an indie comedy-horror film that was shot within the Wheeling space, the place the museum is situated.
On the second day of filming, the kitten got here working from one of many automobiles within the parking zone, trotted up the steps to the museum and made himself at residence. A supervisor tried to seek out the kitty an adopter for perhaps an hour, however staffers knew they had been goners. They agreed: The kitten had a house already, proper there on the museum.
“All of us fell in love. How will you not?” says Becky Gerlak, IT supervisor on the museum.
A customer favourite
Bathroom — named after legendary Twentieth-century American toy maker Louis Marx and Firm, the maker of the enormous robotic known as Huge Bathroom — lives and sleeps on the museum, and workers members all pitch in to deal with him. Museum guests are often delighted to come across the kitty, who has developed a fan following. Bathroom has his personal Fb web page known as “Bathroom Authorised,” and the museum will possible add a web page devoted to the cat to its web site (toy andtrain.com), Becky says.
Many individuals come from close to and
far primarily to see Bathroom, after which take a look at the museum’s assortment of classic toys, together with dolls, collectible figurines, vehicles, robots and video games. Becky remembers a couple of years in the past, when a tour bus en route from Los Angeles to New York Metropolis with about 35 folks on board stopped on the museum as a result of somebody wished to fulfill Bathroom.
Proper at residence
Bathroom is pleasant and loving to visitors, and he usually likes to be petted however not picked up, Becky says. Bathroom generally follows folks across the museum, and also you by no means know the place you’ll stumble upon him. Some followers ship Bathroom items of catnip toys and different goodies. Throughout my go to, Bathroom was lounging on the large staircase and watching over the foyer.
Having a cat offers the museum — which even has a claw merchandising machine within the foyer stuffed with plush toys known as “Bathroom’s Loot” — a hotter, fuzzier and extra homey and alluring really feel, Becky says.
“Individuals say that he’s lovely,” she says. “Lots of people say that he appears to be like like their cat. … They see Bathroom, and it makes them really feel extra at residence as a result of they keep in mind their cat.”
Melanie “Mel” Larch, an enormous fan of Bathroom’s and an everyday customer, remembers searching the museum’s present store sooner or later and working into Bathroom there. She sat down on the ground, and Bathroom climbed into her lap and sat along with her for a number of minutes.
“He’s only a actually candy cat,” says Mel, who travels to the museum from West Virginia. “He’s an amazing attraction for the museum — an amazing ambassador, if you’ll.”