top of page

Cat in the Hat

Laura Beil

Tri-City Tales Issue No. 16

Jill Thompson knew exactly the kind of kitten she wanted: confident, outgoing, interactive. She was looking for a cat she could train (yes, trained cats are a thing) and take to cat shows and enter in the Household Pets category. As she stood in front of the viewing windows at Tri-City Animal Shelter, one fellow came up to the glass to say hello. He seemed bold and sure of himself. After playing with him for a few minutes, Jill knew he was the one. She named him Skipper.


She taught him tricks, like sitting up and waving, but his true calling was modeling. He was unflappable enough to wear kitty outfits —mostly hats— that Jill would crochet and sell on Etsy. One day in 2019, Jill took Skipper to a cat show. She dressed him for the costume contest in a tiny cowboy hat, jean jacket and bandana. As she sat in the audience holding him, a film crew from Good Morning Texas arrived to promote the cat show. Once the host spotted Skipper in his irresistible cowboy outfit, she scooped him up and gave him his 15 minutes of morning TV fame. 


After Jill’s older cat passed away about a year ago, she wanted a new companion for Skipper. Once again, she knew exactly the kind of cat she had in mind: an orange tabby. She looked in animal shelters around the area until one day she walked into Tri-City, and spotted a bright-eyed ginger named Penny.


Skipper and Penny are best friends, but Skipper’s show career is on hold. So he models hats, does his tricks for Jill, hangs out with Penny and finds a sunny spot to nap. And for now, that’s the only spotlight he needs.  

bottom of page