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Jasmine gives new meaning to 'cat-napping'

"As one of Jasmine's coworkers says, Once in retail, always in retail.That was the impression when the 9-year-old cat was dropped at the Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation Thrift Store on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor a couple weeks ago, where the kitty was unusually at home in the retail setting.She wasn't stressed at all, said WAIF manager Shari Bibitch.In fact, that laid-back personality was one of the clues that led to the calico cat's return to its home at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes.But that's getting ahead of the story. Jasmine was found by a Whidbey Island couple alongside a road last week. They took her to the WAIF shelter near Coupeville. Because of a feline virus there, Jasmine was shuttled up to Oak Harbor.At that point, no one knew her name. But thrift store volunteer Mary Jo Adams had seen a flier about a missing cat at the Animal Care Center in Oak Harbor. Could this be the cat?WAIF called the veterinarian's office, and the vet's office called the man who had posted the missing-cat flier - Kevin Green, owner of Pelican Bay Books.Turns out the Anacortes bookstore had been missing their store cat since Aug. 21, when she was picked up by a stranger outside the front door. Green and store employee Woody Thomas sent fliers all over the area, describing a female calico cat with no teeth. But they were thinking their best bet to find her would maybe be Mount Vernon.We really weren't looking on Whidbey, said Thomas. When the Animal Care Center called Pelican Bay Books last Friday and told about the toothless calico cat at WAIF in Oak Harbor, Green came right down. He said yes indeed, this was his cat, Bibitch said.By that afternoon, Jasmine was back on familiar turf at the bookstore.No one is certain who abducted the calico, though Green reportedly got an apologetic call by the woman who did it. (Green couldn't be reached for this story.)Thomas said it was good to have his buddy back to share his shifts at the store. But he didn't know if he could keep up with Jasmine's new-found fame. Customers now make a bigger fuss about the cat than ever before. Now she's a legend, he said. "

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