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Mister October 2014 - Eisenhower
Liking Ike

ay “office” and desk, computer and phone come to mind. An office cat usually does not.

But at the Oriental Marina and Inn office a large orange cat named Eisenhower, or “Ike” rules. The marina’s headquarters wouldn’t be complete without the feline sprawled across the desktop keyboard, or curled up under the TV or lingering by the office door. Marina and Inn Manager Tom McIlhenny describes Ike’s job as “corporate trainee majoring in Pacification Management.”

For contributing to corporate cool – with an occasional speed dial thrown in – TownDock.net names Ike, Mr October.

cat ike eisenhower oriental marina desk
Ike logging hours on the Oriental Marina desk. “He can operate the calculator and the speed dialer,” Tom jokes, “and he’s currently working his way through reservations.”

Some employees may think that looking busy is the key to success, but Ike does not equate activity with productivity. Instead, he spends most of his office hours sleeping, be it on the desk or on a towel-topped cabinet.

Luckily, he’s a good-natured snoozer. When kids come in to the office, they’ll go right over to Ike and give him a pat. With some cats, this young human-feline encounter could lead to clawing and tears. But not with Ike. Tom says Ike just lifts his head and gives the kids a look that says, “Thank you. I was sleeping….”.

Which he then goes back to doing.

Snoozing then, is Ike’s contribution. By slowing folks down – even if only for the few seconds it takes to pat him – he calms the office.

cat ike eisenhower oriental marina towel
Ike snoozing on another of his favorite spots, a towel covered cabinet next to the desk.

But it’s not all sleep for Ike. His active streak is often motivated by food. In that he is particular. He is “not a roach and mouse kind of cat,” says Tom McIlhenney. “He’s more of a chicken and lizard kind of guy”.

Being on the marina grounds one perk he enjoys is take out from the Toucan Grill. This can be hard on the expense account. “What he really likes is sushi grade tuna,” says Tom. “But he’s been cut off for economic reasons and lack of self-restraint.”

Over the years, Ike has developed a following. Tom says that while Oriental may be a dog town, “when people hear barking around here, everyone checks on Ike.” He’s also a favorite with young customers. Tom says many kids, before they learn what room they’re in or where they can eat, ask, “Where’s the cat?”

The answer is: between the fuel dock and the front porch.

When not napping on the desk, Ike relishes a snooze on the marina’s front steps. From here, he can can keep an eye on the street. With a bit of luck, he’ll land a few admiring glances or, better yet, gain a gentle pat from an arriving customer. Another favorite haunt is the breezeway that leads from the office to the Tiki Bar.

If the weather’s fine, the shade of the Tiki Bar exerts a stronger-than-catnip pull.

cat ike eisenhower oriental marina tiki bar bar stool nap
Ike dodging the ultraviolet rays under the palm-fringed tiki bar. He finds the shade between the chair legs ….
cat ike eisenhower oriental marina tiki bar
especially hard to resist.

Ike was born somewhere close to the new Town Dock. His early days are a mystery, but at some point he showed up at the dumpster behind the Oriental Marina. Tom says he was hanging out with some other young cats. When he was around 18 months old, he started his new life as the marina’s cat.

Four years on, he’s has become a part of the Oriental Marina’s social fabric.

There have been some hardships along the way. During Hurricane Irene, the storm that flooded Oriental, “he fled to the balcony and got really soaked” and caught pneumonia. Tom says. “Dr Sherry Hicks and her staff slowly dried him out and cleaned him up.” He made a full recovery.

cat ike eisenhower oriental marina front step
Ike in one of his favorite – and visible – spots, the front steps in front of the marina office.

It’s a genuine contribution to the marina atmosphere, this feline snooze and greet with an occasional stretch thrown in. It keeps people calm. It reminds folks that, even if they’re in a hurry to check out of their room or pay for their gas, they have to wait a moment until the cat moves from the keyboard so an invoice can be printed.

It’s the life of Ike.

cat ike
Ike waits on your next visit

Ike’s Bio

Celebrity Pet Resembles Most: Dwight D Eisenhower
Nickname: Ike, Ikster, Copper Cat, Carmine the Cat
Motto: I like Ike
Arch canine rival: Bentley, Wally Chapin’s dog
Favorite Atkin catboat design: “Cat Bird”
Favorite dinner: Sushi (when Tom’s not looking)
Favorite drink: Coffee & creme, hold the coffee

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