The living Gulfport Casino Kitty has new temporary digs and is looking for her forever home.
She had been living in the shadow of the Casino near her famous counterpart who is now memorialized with a monument overlooking Boca Ciega Bay.
“I pass by the Casino every day so, just like everyone else, I started feeding her and giving her general attention,” said Melissa Branham of Gulfport. “I talked with the Casino’s city staff and realized they were feeding her too.”
Branham also coordinated with other locals through social media. People were trying to provide medical care and the possibility of adoption, she said.
“I started to notice the kitty was a little lethargic and her gums seemed to be pale,” said Branham. “She didn’t seem like she felt well.”
With the help of another resident named Mary, Branham started to take more action to find the cat a permanent home.
Then, with the inaugural Grand Prix Boat Races coming up at the end of April and crowd sizes expected to be near or above 4th of July attendance figures for each of the event’s three days, Branham and others became concerned for the cat’s safety.
“We wondered if she had a microchip,” she said. On April 20, “we took her to Friend’s of Strays,” a local no-kill animal shelter in St. Petersburg, and “we found out she was chipped!”
But, reuniting the kitty with her former owners was not meant to be.
After the shelter’s customary waiting period and some routine medical care, Casino Kitty was renamed Bailey and then put up for adoption.
Bailey is a brown and white 3-year-old domestic shorthair female kitty.
“She’s really sweet and was obviously somebody’s pet,” said Branham.
To find Baily, a.k.a. “Casino Kitty,” and other animals in need of forever homes, visit friendsofstrays.com/adopt or call 727-522-6566 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shelter is closed on Tuesdays.