Locals 2007: Ted the cat
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs Airport is managed by Ted the cat.
He is the official greeter and commander, and sometimes the 5-year-old gray and white tabby even stows away on airplanes.
“He has been on some unauthorized airplane rides,” said Don Heineman, FBO manager of the airport. “Mostly local airplanes, and he got on a couple that had to bring him back.”
Ted loves everybody – except dogs. He sent three dogs to the veterinarian last summer.
“He has needles for claws and scratched one dog’s eyelid, or he gets them across the nose and they have to get stitches,” Heineman said. “He probably weighs 22 pounds, but he is the ruler of the roost.”
Most of the hangars have pet doors, so Ted can have complete reign of the entire airport.
“He has so much personality, it’s unreal. Everybody knows him, and he knows everybody,” Heineman said. “And everybody takes care of him because he is pretty special to everyone.”
Ted especially enjoys special events at the airport like the Wild West Air Fest.
“He mills through the crowd of 300 of 400 people out there, doing his politicking,” Heineman said. “He really likes people, and everybody ooos and aahhs over him.”
He is typically a very docile cat.
“Sometimes he gets ‘kitty weirds’ and starts running around with his head cut off,” Heineman said. “And one of the ladies brought in a bouquet of flowers to brighten up the area, and the next thing we know, he was eating one of the orchid type flowers.”
Although Ted is very distinctively marked with a goatee, he was once mistaken for a stray and taken to the animal shelter.
“He spent the weekend in jail,” Heineman said. “And it cost us $5 to get him out.”
– Story by Allison Plean
Photo by Tyler Arroyo
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