If you live, work, or hang out in Seattle’s upper Fremont neighborhood, you might know Nibs, the 5-year-old, 25-pound orange and white cat who’s constantly cruising the streets.
“He always seems to have someplace to go, something to do. He seems to be very busy,” says Carl Sander.
Carl is technically Nibs’ owner, but ‘owner’ is a bit of a stretch considering Nibs is only home about 15 minutes a day. Nibs is a cat-about-town, he’s the ruler of the Nibberhood, as neighbors like to say.
“They all have these most amazing stories about him just walking into their apartment and taking over and how he’s the first person that they met in the nibberhood. That he’s really the ambassador,” says Carl. “Many stories of him walking attractive women home late at night. Yes! Pictures of women closing bars and Nibs escorting them to their cars, and their apartments, and them saying, ‘He was a perfect gentleman.'”
These stories appear on Nibs’ Facebook page, created by Carl, and when it reached 500 followers, Carl decided a celebration was in order. So Tuesday night, for the annual National Night Out event, Carl is throwing Nibsfest 500.
“So I approached Cafe Vita and said, ‘Would you do an art show?’ And I approached the Fremont Abby and said, ‘Would you do a talent night?’ And they both said, ‘Sure, we’ll donate the space.'”
There will be live music, a potluck and neighbors will tell and read stories about Nibs:
“Outside sat nibs, curled up on a chair, patiently waiting to be seated. His tail a metronome passing the time…” Carl reads a story written by Ellison, who contributed three small paintings of Nibs for an auction.
“All the money that’s raised in the auction is going to the Retired Seattle Police Canine Fund because a cat can help a dog.”
That’s the fund that helps Seattle Police officers take care of retired police K9s.
National Night Out is all about preventing crime and coming together as a neighborhood, and that’s exactly what Carl says Nibs does every day.
“Somebody put up posters in the neighborhood that were pictures of Nibs that said, ‘On PAWtrol in the Nibberhood.’ It was pictures of nibs licking himself and wandering around. Then someone made a Twitter account. We were collecting people’s names who were keeping track of him and so we had a brunch, we had people over. And I realized that the cat was serving as a networking influence. A catalyst for the whole neighborhood. A CATalyst, yes!”
Seattle’s Claudia De La Via used to live in the Nibberhood and said Nibs would often come into her apartment and take naps with her, when he wasn’t out on the town.
“I’ve seen him being kicked out of tables at Roux, going inside the Laundromat, going inside Cafe Vita, sneaking inside the window,” Claudia muses. “Going inside the yoga place.”
“He goes to yoga quite a lot actually,” Carl chimes in.
Now, just because everyone loves Nibs, doesn’t mean he’s always a nice guy.
“Like it says on his tag, it says, ‘Friendly. Might bite’ and he can be a little bit of a [expletive],” laughs Carl. “You gotta take him on his own terms.”
Nibs’ attitude shines through in a cocktail made by a bartender at one of his favorite hangouts, a nearby restaurant called Roux.
“They made a drink for Nibs, in his honor, called the Bait ‘n Swat and it is an orange drink that is very sweet to start with. It has some cayenne in it, I believe, and it will, after a few moments, sort of grab the back of your throat and give you a little scratch.”
When Claudia left the neighborhood, she missed Nibs so much, she soon went out and adopted two orange tabbies.
“He’s a character,” Claudia says about Nibs. “If he was a human he’d probably be a smooth talker, kind of a boss. Knows how to take control of things.”
If you’d like to bid in the silent auction, that benefits The Retired Seattle Police Canine Fund, click here.