Junior, a cat born at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, has a new home and a new furry friend. He also dropped his old name for a new moniker, “Chip.”
Chip, known by some as the Coors Field Cat, was trapped this April when he was estimated to be 9 months old, according to KUSA-TV. Even though it wasn’t a sure thing that the born-feral cat could be tamed, Animal Rescue of the Rockies, the organization behind his trapping, decided to give Chip a shot at living with humans.
Animal Rescue of the Rockies reached out to Jenni Leigh, KUSA-TV reports, and asked if she would be willing to foster him.
Leigh agreed, and set out to see if Chip could get used to having people around him. After six months in Leigh’s care, he not only could handle humans, but sought out their attention. When his new owner—who declined to be named—met Leigh to see if she got along with Chip, he immediately demanded she rub his tummy.
“Even just remembering the moment makes me teary because it’s been such a long journey for him, from his early days when he was feral and untouchable,” Leigh told KUSA-TV. “A few days later, he walked into his new carrier willingly and settled in for his trip home as if he’d been planning this for months.”
In an Instagram post celebrating Chip’s adoption, Leigh shared that while he was being fostered, he made friends with the other cats in her care. In the montage, he can be seen cuddling with cats of all ages and helping kittens learn the ropes of being a cat.
Now, the friendly tuxie is happy at his new home with his new name and another cat, a ginger boy named Dale. Though having a pair of cats named Chip and Dale, like the Disney cartoon chipmunks, just makes sense, KUSA-TV reports that’s not the only reason for his name. He earned the “Chip” moniker due to the chip cut from his ear—indicating that the once-feral cat had been neutered—and the fact that his black fur makes him look like a chocolate chip.
Chip is the only known surviving child of Socks, the original Coors Field Cat, who lives at the Colorado Rockies’ home stadium, according to KUSA-TV. Socks has her own Twitter account, where “she” celebrates her son’s adoption. The account is actually maintained by Shannon Hurd, a fan of the Rockies who also helps care for Socks.
“Amazing news! My son, Junior, who was trapped at Coors Field back in January, neutered & fostered for six months by the amazing @PurritoPlace has been ADOPTED!!! He has a wonderful new home complete with an energetic cat brother! So happy for him!!!,” @CoorsFieldCat wrote.
Socks has also been trapped and spayed by Animal Rescue of the Rockies, though she was too feral to tame, and still lives at the stadium.
Though it might seem odd, it’s actually relatively common for cats to live at stadiums—even if that means that they might run out on the field during a game, or otherwise get themselves into trouble. Even at Coors Field, another cat famously went viral after running on the field at a Rockies game in April 2021.
A colony of feral cats has lived at Coors Field for decades, according to The Denver Post. And the cats don’t just interrupt ballgames in the most adorable way possible, they’re also known for helping keep the pest population down. Like the Rockies, the Coors Field clowder has its own fans.
“The idea of living at a ballpark is so cool,” Derek Kessinger, a former concessions worker at the stadium, told The Denver Post. “Coors Field is great for fans, but there’s nothing better than being one of the only people in the stadium. If you were a cat, that’s a perfect life — just laying out in the sun at the ballpark.”