Daniel takes a catnap on the paint counter at Shoppers True Value Hardware in South Portland, where he has resided for the past 10 months. Drew Johnson / The Forecaster

What has black stripes, over 60,000 social media followers and sleeps on the job? Daniel – a plump and friendly cat who lives at the hardware store at Mill Creek in South Portland.

Daniel was stationed at the paint counter on Tuesday afternoon. He was napping but occasionally would wake up when chin scratches were offered, putting smiles on the faces of customers, staff and store owners alike.

“He loves it here,” said Lauren Springer, manager of Shoppers True Value Hardware on Market street. “He has a big recliner with blankets out back that he can sleep in, but he doesn’t ever go. He just wants to be out here with everybody all day.”

Co-owner Jessica Simpson adopted Daniel from Midcoast Humane in Edgecomb in February.

“He accommodated pretty quickly to this place,” Simpson said, petting Daniel as he napped in his bed on the counter. “Within a week he was like this. He doesn’t try to leave; he’s completely content here.”

Her father, Tom Simpson, said Daniel greets him at the door every morning.


The business, which has been in the family since the 1950s, is beginning to expand its customer base thanks to Daniel.

“Someone came in from Falmouth,” Tom Simpson said. “He said he could’ve bought his duct tape in Falmouth, but he wanted to see Daniel.”

The cat’s fan base stretches well beyond Falmouth; Daniel has attracted over 60,000 followers on TikTok and 2 million likes from viewers of the videos he stars in.

“That’s my fault,” said Springer, who also runs the store’s social media accounts. “We’re always trying to figure out ways to get people aware of us … That we are a locally-owned family business that’s been here for so long.”

In order to connect with “a new generation of homeowners,” Springer said, TikTok was the best route.

“When TikTok started, we had it for quite a while before we had Daniel,” she said. “Once he came along, it became much less of a project and easier to make fun videos about the cat, and it just took off.”

While Daniel can sometimes be found at the cash registers at front of the store, allowing customers to bid him farewell as they exit, his role at the paint counter is a special one.

When Jessica Simpson saw a photo of Daniel, Springer said, she was reminded of her brother, Michael, who died three years ago at age 41 of cancer. “Her brother used to (be there) … This was his department. He was in the paint department all the time.”

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