FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ind. (FOX19) - The Smelly Gourmet in Metamora, Indiana is not your usual small-town gift shop.
They open, not at 10 a.m., but at 10:04, because, according to their website, owners Brenda and Steve Collier just can’t ever seem to get their act together.
They sell a peculiar array of products too—shea butter, oatmeal soap, wax-tart potpourri, glass-blown friendship balls, geek-themed clock sculptures, and whimsically intricate bird houses, as well as drinks from their European coffee bar.
Steve, by the way, who at the store is known himself as “Smelly,” happens to have spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force.
Then there’s the shop cat, Spooky.
He’s big, fat and lovable, their website says, and won’t let anyone in the door without acknowledging him.
At least, that’s how it used to be before Spooky was stolen.
“We saw some lady come along, and she loved Spooky, picked him up and stroked him, then walked off carrying him,” Steve told FOX19 NOW.
Camera footage confirms on Nov. 9 a woman with a black backpack and white boots walked away with the cat.
Spooky had been part of the Collier family for nine years, ever since Steve’s daughter had to leave the cat with them for a month while she moved and Brenda fell in love.
“You know, this is a business here, and he’s a big part of it,” Steve said. “He always has been.”
The cat is especially popular among customers who come in to enjoy a coffee or a sandwich, he explains.
“We’ve got a food service here and a lot of our customers know him,” Collier said. “He gets better reviews online than we do as a matter of fact. He’s well known, everybody in Metamora knows Spooky.”
You can bet they all miss him too.
Anyone with information on the woman who took Spooky is asked to call the Smelly Gourmet at (513) 314-5693.