MADISON — The friendly feline that greeted local grocery store customers for nearly a decade has died, her owners confirmed on social media.

Rascal the cat basks in a shopping cart in this undated photograph posted to the Skowhegan Community Matters, Resources and Information Facebook page. The friendly feline died this weekend after greeting customers for nearly a decade at the Madison Hannaford supermarket at 225 Upper Main St.

Rascal, who was about 12 years old, made almost daily trips to the Madison Hannaford supermarket at 225 Upper Main St., plopping down in the store’s foyer and collecting treats and affection from shoppers.

Following Rascal’s death, a memorial sprang up outside the store, with shoppers leaving flowers, balloons, cat food and donations.

“In Rascal’s memory, our Madison store has made a $500 donation to the Somerset Humane Society,” Caitlyn Cortelyou, Hannaford’s spokeswoman, wrote in an email. “We send our heartfelt condolences to Rascal’s owner and hope it brings them comfort that Rascal was loved by so many members of the Madison community.”

Rascal was owned by Ernestine Shemwell. Her daughter, Leah Christen, wrote in a social media post that Rascal had died Saturday after being hit by a car.

“From day one Rascal was very determined she was to go outside. No matter her size,” Christen wrote. “It was a risk Rascal took on a daily for the last decade. Though it was a stressful and known fear that the accident may or may not happen it was better for Rascal to live a life she loved.”


Rascal was the center of controversy last year when claims began circulating on social media that the Madison Hannaford had banned the cat from the store. The company clarified it was just asking customers to give Rascal treats outside the store, rather than inside the cart corral she would often occupy.

Rascal had previously grabbed headlines when WABI-TV in Bangor reported she had been taken — several times over — by shoppers who had picked her up alongside their groceries.

Many customers of the Madison Hannaford took to social media to share their memories of Rascal and condolences for Shemwell, posting photographs and telling stories of interactions they had had with the cat. Others, including Norridgewock resident Tonyia Cartos, made a trip to the store to pay their respects.

“I’m gonna miss her. I’m used to seeing her there every day, but I went today and I was like, ‘Oh my God, no Rascal,'” Cartos said. “I go to that store almost every day, and she made it better. Every time you walked in, you knew somebody was going to be happy to see you.”

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