In April 2021, a fluffy gray cat streaked across Denver’s Coors Field the night the Colorado Rockies with the Los Angeles Dodgers in an MLB matchup. And while this fluffy streaker captured attention and commanded headlines, behind the scenes, a kitten was finding his way into the world somewhere in the depths of the ballpark. But no one would meet the black and white kitten until his mom, Socks the Coors Field Cat, began showing him the lay of their ballpark land after deeming the humans okay. It was then Junior caught Jenni Leigh’s attention.
As a cat foster and TNR advocate, Jenni volunteers with the Animal Rescue of the Rockies and cares for the cats that roam the ballpark and its surrounding area. She was inspired to get the park cats fixed after watching the gray cat run Coors Field during that April 2021 game. And now, after months of work, Jenni Leigh has given Junior the chance to find a forever home.
The Story of Socks the Coors Field Cat
Heading up the Animal Rescue of the Rockies TNR program, Jenni Leigh and a team of volunteers have a soft spot for the kitties of Coors Field. And tuxedo cat Socks in one of the cats in their care. This wild mama has not only captured their hearts, but she’s also the delight of all her Twitter fans. Socks has called the park home for years now, and when she turned up pregnant at the start of spring 2021, Jenni Leigh knew they needed to catch her.
“We could not get her before she delivered, so she ended up having the babies,” Jenni told 9News. “We waited, hoping that she would bring the kittens to the feeding area, and she never did. Finally, we decided to trap her. ”
By the fall of 2021, Socks had been captured, fixed, and vaccinated. But while she was at the vet clinic, they discovered a mammary tumor. The vet removed the mass, and as Jenni explained, “We went the extra mile, sent it [the tumor] off for biopsy. ”
While they waited for the results, Socks stayed in Jenni’s cat room for two weeks, a feat for a feral girl who called the outdoors home. She handled it well, but once the tumor pathology came back benign, she was happy to return to Coors Field and her son Junior.
Looking Just Like Mom
After her stay with Jenni, Socks realized the cat ladies were trustworthy souls. So she started bringing her mini-me with her to the feeding zone. Because of his age and the sad statistics of feral litters, Jenni suspects Junior might be the only surviving kitten from one of Sock’s last litters. And being the excellent mama she is, she took good care of her baby even as he grew toward adulthood. Now, Socks has given her boy the best gift ever — a chance at forever.
Just a few months after Socks’ stay with Jenni, Junior found himself ensnared by TNR magic. Estimated to be around nine months old, Junor was well beyond the optimal age for socializing a feral kitten, as kitty babies who have not been around humans by three to four months of age typically remain in the wild world. But Junior showed potential for taming. So, he’s spent the last few months learning about indoor life as a foster with Jenni.
@purritoplaceSocks has been spayed and returned to the stadium since she is fully feral. Junior has decided the indoor life is better than baseball game! ♬ Memories – Lux-Inspira
And thanks to Jenni’s patience and love, Junior is now a kitty who’s ready for adoption! But as a cat who spent nearly his first year as a feral cat, he’ll need a little time to warm up to his new family. Jenni says the work will be worth the reward, though.
“He’s totally adoptable right now, for the right person to come along and be willing to spend the time,” Jenni shared. “Have patience. You earn his trust over time. He’ll reward that person a million times over because he’s just so precious. “
Coors Field Cat Work Continues
While Junior is destined for a forever home, his mom and feline buddy Midnight are happy, healthy, and enjoying all the goodness Jenni Leigh and friends bestow upon them at the baseball park. And as for the fluffy gray cat who streaked the field a year ago, he’s still around and on Jenni Leigh’s radar, with the cat lady saying, “He’s definitely on the goal list.”
Follow Socks on Twitter to keep up with her and her Coors Field cohorts. Follow Junior’s journey home at Purrito Place on Instagram.
H / T: www.9news.com
Feature Image: @ CoorsFieldCat /Twitter