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Coors Field cat Smokey gets adopted

Smokey, the aging feline that called Coors Field home, has officially entered retirement and “chosen the position of lead-off catter in a nice Denver home,” the cat’s caretaker announced Friday.

Smokey’s new adopter wants to remain incognito, although Animal Rescue of the Rockies, which brokered Smokey’s adoption, said the request for privacy showed that Smokey wasn’t being adopted for the wrong reasons.

Animal Rescue of the Rockies released the following statement Friday, purportedly dictated by Smokey himself: “I, Smokey the cat, would like to thank everyone for the well wishes… I feel like I’ve hit a home run. I would like to thank the Animal Rescue of the Rockies for placing me in a local home instead of trading me somewhere else, like to the St Louis Cardinals.”

After news broke of the venerable ballpark mouser’s search for a more laidback, indoor home to live out his twilight years, Smokey received 16 adoption applications, according to Jenni Leigh, who helped with the cat’s transition.

Those 16 applicants were whittled down to two people who visited Smokey at his temporary caretaker’s home and then Leigh conducted a final visit with the lucky recipient deemed worthy to scoop the litter of Coors Field’s finest resident.

“We’ve gotten some hate for relocating a feral cat, because it’s truly not normal, but nothing about Smokey’s life has been normal and we’re very confident he will be safe and happy in his adoptive home,” Leigh said. “He has already been enjoying the soft beds, sunny windows and toys at his caretaker’s home since she removed him from Coors Field.”

There remains a number of other feral felines who roam the Denver ballpark, sustained by the anonymous caretakers who provide food and water to the cats, come rain, shine or snow. Leigh called them the true heroes of this tail.

Smokey’s profile will remain posted on the Animal Rescue of the Rockies website in perpetuity as an homage to the esteemed animal and an avenue to bring awareness to Smokey’s shelter peers who are less famous but still in need of loving homes.

“If you liked my story, please donate to your local shelters, and don’t forget to spay and neuter your pets,” Smokey’s statement says.

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