This New Jersey Home Depot Has Its Own Resident TikTok-Famous Cat

published Aug 31, 2023
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Even on the quickest shopping trip, you’re sure to see a lot of things at Home Depot, from unexpectedly chic decor items to TikTokers building an actual tiny home inside the store. But shoppers at one New Jersey store get to enjoy the sweetest surprise: Leo the cat, a stray who was adopted by store associates and lives inside the Mount Laurel location.

Leo arrived at his new home in summer 2022 and quickly warmed up to all the attention he got, as store manager John Vazquez told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We knew instantly this was his new home,” said Vasquez. “He is unlike any other cat.”

Although Leo has always “loved people and attention,” it seems he has thrived since snagging some social media fame, thanks to posts by Mount Laurel resident Jeff Simkpins, a commercial floorer who began chronicling his encounters with the cute cat on TikTok earlier this summer.

Simpkins’ videos have racked up close to 25 million views, and the fellow cat dad even brings his own four-legged friends, Will and Grace, with him on trips to the home improvement store to hang out with Leo.

His viral fame has inspired shoppers to care for Leo’s well-being, so he now has a sweet setup in the store where he spends his time during the day, snoozing and lounging in his very own orange cart in the HVAC aisle. He’s got an assortment of shirts, toys, and treats, which he enjoys before moving to the garden center at night, where he wards off mice and other pests. Of course, he also has fun climbing up the store’s signature orange ladders, hiding out in the aisles and keeping an eye on things.

Leo is also well-fed and has plenty of fresh water; not only did Simpkins set up an Amazon wishlist for cat-lovers to buy anything he might need, but shoppers also frequently drop off food for him at the store.

Naturally, Leo has won over the hearts of cat enthusiasts everywhere, with one commenter writing, “Someone has to make him a little Orange Cat Depot vest, so he can be an official employee!” Another joked: “What you mean he lives there, he is the CEO.” Yet another called Leo “an emotional support animal for everyone who spends too much money there.”

Plenty others want to petition their local Home Depot to rescue their own Leo, which would certainly make any trip to the store all the more fun and exciting.