MARION, Va. (WJHL) – Have you had the chance to meet the Mayor of Marion, Virginia? No, not Mayor David Helms; the other mayor.
Mr. Pickles is a free feline that calls the streets of Downtown Marion home and because of this, many residents, including Mayor Helms, feel the stray cat has some higher street credit.
“He’s a true resident of Downtown Marion,” said Helms, Marion’s actual mayor.
Mr. Pickles gets multiple meals a day, along with unlimited pets from those passing by him on the street. He’s known to keep close to The Wooden Pickle restaurant and The Downtown Pioneer. Hanging outside The Wooden Pickle is how he got his name.
His past, for the most part, remains a mystery.
“He’s been here on Main Street for about 10 to 12 years, we’re not sure exactly how long. We don’t know where he came from,” said Morgan Hughes, a server at the Downtown Pioneer.
The people of the town make sure he stays happy and healthy.
“We have a house here outside for him that our owner, Amber Hanks, and her husband designed and built for him,” said Hughes.
A brand new home in this market at no cost is pretty lucky, and Mayor Helms said the cat’s luck doesn’t end there.
“Mr. Pickles… I think definitely has more than 9 lives. How he gets back and forth across Main Street, I just don’t know,” said Helms.
If you plan on heading to town, know there are a few rules when meeting this member of Marion royalty.
“You’re more than welcome to feed him snacks if you’d like, but please be gentle. Do not pick him up because he does not like it. Just approach with caution,” said Hughes.
Staff at The Downtown Pioneer encourage people not to feed Mr. Pickles human food. If you’d like to donate wet or dry cat food or even some cat treats, they have a pantry just for him and donations can be brought to the restaurant.