A black feline, similar to the Coors Field cat who found his forever home in the summer of 2023.
(Photo Credit: Anita Kot | Getty Images)

The Story of Smokey, the Coors Field Cat

A cat who lived at Denver’s Coors Field for more than a decade made headlines in July 2023 when he was searching for a new home. The feline, named Smokey, was put up for adoption through the Animal Rescue of the Rockies, as per The Denver Gazette

Smokey was looked after by a dedicated team of caretakers at the home of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, where he was often seen roaming around or chasing rats. With age, however, the cat started slowing down. In addition, he was facing some health issues, including Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Fortunately, though, he soon found a loving home, according to FOX affiliate KDVR News.

Coors Field cat got adopted after more than 10 years playing the field

After Smokey was put up for adoption, his shelter received several applications. Subsequently, the cat met with his soon-to-be owner. His caretaker later visited the adopter’s home to ensure Smokey would spend his retirement years in a safe environment.

As per the shelter, feral cats usually don’t get along enough with people to live with them in homes. According to Jenni Leigh, a kitten foster who works with Animal Rescue of the Rockies, the feline’s caretakers “have provided daily positive interaction with humans for more than a decade, and over time he has truly opened up.”

Following Smokey’s adoption, the shelter released a quirky statement on behalf of the feline. It read: “I, Smokey the cat, would like to thank everyone for the well wishes.” Continuing, it said, “I am happy to say that I have chosen the position of lead-off catter in a nice Denver home. I feel like I’ve hit a home run.”

“I would like to thank the Animal Rescue of the Rockies for placing me in a local home instead of trading me somewhere else, like to the St. Louis Cardinals,” the statement added. “If you liked my story, please donate to your local shelters, and don’t forget to spay and neuter your pets.”

Smokey, Colorado’s stadium cat, was a ‘local celebrity’

Smokey’s heartwarming story inspired a song by local musician Marty Jones, as per Westword. Titled “Smokey the Coors Field Cat,” the ballad talks about the titular protagonist who realizes he’s getting old and must retire.

Jones described the feline as “a local celebrity” and said his story touched him. “It kind of bummed me out, frankly. Poor guy’s time has gone at the stadium,” he shared. “It’s a wonderful fate, but it’s also bittersweet.”

Jones also said that 50% of the song’s proceeds will go to the Animal Rescue of the Rockies.

Coors Field cat raised $10K for local animal rescue

A couple of months after Smokey found a new home, Coors Light, a beer company based in Chicago, pledged to donate $10,000 on behalf of the cat to his former shelter, according to KDVR News. The donation will go towards cat litter, food, and other basic supplies.

This isn’t the first time the beer company has raised money to help rescue animals. Back in 2020, they launched a campaign offering to cover $100 of each adoption fee for 1,000 shelter dogs, as per People Magazine.

History of cats at Coors Field

DENVER, CO - APRIL 2:  A cat runs onto the field during the eighth inning of a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on April 2, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds / Stringer | Getty Images North America via Getty Images)

Smokey isn’t the only cat to have lived at Coors Field. The stadium is home to several other felines who are quite popular among fans.

“I almost always see one,” Shannon Hurd, a Colorado Rockies fan, told The Denver Post. Hurd added, “I still dream of one running across my lap. I would be the person trying to catch it and take it home.”

Several cats have lived around the neighborhood even before the ballpark’s construction in 1995. Barbara Ford, who used to work as a meter reader, said she’d cared for many felines in the area during the late 80s and early 90s. “There were dozens and dozens,” Ford shared. “It used to be a bunch of old warehouses in the area, and they were all over. I even snagged a few kittens,” she added.

Back in 2021, another Coors Field cat, Socks, was in the news after she was diagnosed with a tumor. However, subsequent tests revealed the tumor wasn’t cancerous. As such, the cat later returned to the ballpark.

Previously, Socks had given birth to a kitten at Coors Field who found his forever home in July 2022, as per NBC affiliate KUSA News. The feline, Chip, was nine months old when Jenni Leigh decided to foster him. After several months of socializing, the cat started getting along with humans. Chip instantly took a liking to his new mom when she visited his shelter.

“Even just remembering the moment makes me teary because it’s been such a long journey for him, from his early days when he was feral and untouchable,” Leigh said. Continuing, she shared, “A few days later, he walked into his new carrier willingly and settled in for his trip home as if he’d been planning this for months.”

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