Chester a Tourist Draw in Port Aransas

Yes, the fat cat is here, says writer Beth Wilson.

“Among the beach pictures, jewelry, and nautical dÃ?©cor at The Connoisseur, Chester roams,” she writes. “The 31-pound orange tabby cat has become something of a tourist draw after he was featured in a May segment of Texas Country Reporter, a television travel show.”

“They said they wanted to interview Chester,” said owner Cassandra Clark in a recent interview.

But even before that, word was traveling about Chester, Wilson wrote.

“All day, every day, people want to see the cat,” Rhoda Gleason, a store employee, told Wilson.

She and Heather Conner, another works, know by heart the list of questions that come when customers first see Chester, she said.

Is it real? (Yes).

How much does he weigh? (30 lbs.).

Can he walk? (Yes.)

What does he eat? (He shares one cup of cat food with another cat each day).

Sure enough, Sam Carnes and his niece Molly McGuire, 8, asked every question during a recent visit from Boerne, TX, according to Wilson.

Donna Slagle and her daughter-in-law Carmen Slagle said she had to come back for a second look.

“I told my husband, ‘You’ve got to see this cat,'” she stated. “And he was impressed. He said he had never seen a cat like that.”

Chester shares the store with Rat, a calico cat, say onlookers.

They moved to the store about eight years ago when Clark learned her now nine-year-old son was allergic to cats and the three couldn’t inhabit the same space, according to reports.

“The cats are not on display,” Clark explained.

Sandi Stout with the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce said she’s been directing people to Chester, answering phone calls from people vacationing in the area who are making an extra trip to see the fat cat, according to a recent article.

“We have a lot of things that people would find interesting that a lot of other people would go right past and never pay any attention to it,” she reported.

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