(Posted Jan. 22, 2018)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Over 400 people from across the country–and right here in Madison County–follow the everyday shenanigans and lounging-about of Bart and Darwin, two shop cats who call Wilson Printing & Graphics home.
Bart, a black domestic short-hair, and Darwin, an orange tabby, are the stars of “Daily Dose of Bart,” a Facebook page on which staffers at the London print shop post pictures and videos of the photogenic felines, complete with humorous captions. The cats are a hit online and in person.
“We have customers who come in who just want to see the cats,” said staffer Bridget Shoemaker.
The Facebook page got its start about three years ago, shortly after the shop adopted Bart, a stray kitten they found trying to make do on his own on South Main Street. Darwin came along a year later, adopted at a local veterinarian’s office. Darwin’s entry into the Wilson Printing & Graphics menagerie came too late for his name to make the Facebook page title, but the “super chill” kitty definitely gets his share of the spotlight.
Photos and videos capture the duo napping on warm paper, warm copiers, and warm window sills, playing with plastic binder straps, drinking from the utility sink, play-fighting in the hallways, and auditing mail tubs and various print jobs by, well, sitting in them or on them.
“They hang out at the shop all day and all night, and they are super spoiled,” Shoemaker said. “They can lay anywhere and in any box they want.”
Late last year, the staff decided to pick 13 of their favorite Bart and Darwin photos to make a 2018 calendar with all of the proceeds going to two charitable causes: the Humane Society of Madison County and Sufficient Grace, a food program for school-aged children.
“We picked the Humane Society because it just makes sense, and we picked Sufficient Grace because we really like what they do for kids. We like what they stand for,” Shoemaker said.
The calendars are $15 each and can be purchased at Wilson Printing & Graphics, 158 S. Main St., London, during regular business hours. They also can be shipped for an extra $5. For details, call (740) 852-5934.
A total of 250 calendars are available. If all sell out, the shop–Bart and Darwin included–will be able to donate $1,200 to each organization.
The Humane Society of Madison County cares for cats and dogs in need of adoptive families. The shelter is located at 2020 Plain City-Georgesville Road in West Jefferson. More information, including profiles and pictures of animals available for adoption, can be found at www.hsmcohio.org. The shelter is open Tuesday-Thursday 1-5 p.m., Friday 1-7 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday 12-5 p.m. The shelter number is (614) 879-8368.
Based in West Jefferson, Sufficient Grace is an all-volunteer organization that provides evening and weekend meals to school-age children who experience food insecurity. Currently, the non-profit serves 350 children at six schools. Volunteers meet to pack meals from 10 to 11:15 a.m. on Mondays at West Jefferson United Methodist Church, 36 S. Center St. To learn more about donating or volunteering, visit www.sufficientgrace2012.org .