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May. 28, 2022 | Saturday
Local News
NOTL loses a star
Thomas was euthanized on Jan. 11. (Supplied)

Niagara-on-the-Lake lost a well-known community friend last Friday. Thomas, the shop cat of Pet-Valu in Virgil was euthanized after his health started to deteriorate, and vets could no longer do anything to help.

“He passed away, the morning of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.  I got to visit with him at the store a few days before he went to pet heaven,” said Erika Buchkowsky, a member of NOTL Cats Rescue.

“His health has not been good for a while and the difficult decision was made.  Everyone has been in tears,” said Buchkowsky.

“He was so well known and liked. People that were not really cat people would say to me ‘I’m not really a cat person, but I sure like Thomas.’”

Customers who come into the store have also been brought to tears, she said.

“Thomas really touched a lot of people and brought joy to their lives.”

Carol Thibault, store owner is thinking of holding a special memorial celebration of Thomas’ life, and Buchkowsky is making up a  display board full of photos of Thomas dating back to September 2013 when he was first adopted by Thibault.

The store also wants to raise awareness of cats with FIV and why cats should be kept indoors; Thomas was a stray that got attacked by another cat with FIV early 2013. Buchkowsky said staff at Pet-Value figure he was about 10 years old.

Each year, the store held a birthday party for Thomas, raising money for local cat rescue groups like NOTL Cats Rescue.

Pet-Valu posted a message on its Facebook page Friday, Jan. 11:

Thomas has been an important member of the Pet Valu Virgil family for more than five years now.

Many of you have noticed a decline in his overall health and appearance over the last year.

Even with the best medical support we were not able to bring him back to good health.

With heavy hearts and Thomas’ wellbeing in mind, we made the difficult decision to have him humanely euthanized this morning.

We all appreciate the love and support you have shown Thomas over the years. He truly felt at home at the store and loved greeting his customers. Thomas had a special way of making us all feel like we were important to him.

Let’s celebrate a life well lived. He truly was one of a kind and will be dearly missed.