Jingles El GatoPerro, coolest cat in Colorado

10:34 AM, Nov 21, 2011   |    comments
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"It looks really chilly," one man said staring outside the shop's warn out windows.

At 8,900 feet in elevation, the temperature in Crested Butte can drop quickly. The folks who live here know how important it is to stay warm.

"He looks warm," a customer said, as he pointed to a furry ball on the counter.

"He's always warm. He likes to curl up and just sit there," Rhett Yarbrough, an employee at True Value responded.

That ball of fur is a 12-pound cat named "Jingles El GatoPerro," which in Spanish means, "Jingles the Cat Dog."

"He's pretty much similar to a dog is where I guess that comes from," said Ben Sweitzer, another employee.

For no particular reason, Jingles has become a celebrity in this eclectic community.

"It's funny how people in the community can just fall in love with a cat. It's crazy," Yarbrough said.

Seven years ago, Jingles appeared in the doorway at the True Value meowing to come in. Employees obliged and fed him some tuna.

"He just kept coming back," Yarbrough said.

Eventually, Jingles decided to set up home in the hardware store. He was welcomed with open arms by the owners of the shop. In fact, they even made a few beds for him.

"He's a very smart cat," said Trent Sweitzer, co-owner of the True Value.

Sweitzer says Jingles has no owners now. Instead, he believes Jingles owns the town.

"There's nothing to not like about Jingles!" said Kathy Winslow, an employee at True Value.

People from all over the country have come to Crested Butte to visit Jingles. Some have seen him before, while others have only heard his story.

"Pretty much most of the businesses in town I think have had him in there," said Ben Sweitzer.

Jingles tends to roam around town in his free time. He passes between businesses begging for scraps.

"I've seen him in the back here. We had another cat that tried to claim his territory and when Jingles got a call and heard about it, he came over and beat the cat up," said Ron Alex, owner of the Inn at Crested Butte.

Jingles is an adventurous eater. From mouse heads to granola bars, he loves it all.

"There's nothing this cat won't eat," Sweitzer said.

Animals have the ability to develop their own personalities. Until you meet Jingles you won't truly understand why he is so special.

That said, the folks in Crested Butte invite you to visit their town to experience this cool cat. You'll likely find Jingles at the True Value Hardware store, sleeping on the counter.

If you'd like to friend Jingles on Facebook, follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/gettinjingywiddit.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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