By AUTUMN NEAL
Though peaches are regularly fuzzy, Rodin Farms Fruit Stand’s newest “peaches” has their regular fruit beat with a full coat of hair.
A few weeks ago, Antoinette and Anthony Rodin found there was a fire behind their property. They went to investigate to make sure that their produce wasn’t affected and found firefighters already on the scene. However, they weren’t alone.
A kitten, about five weeks old, was with the firefighters. Antoinette took the kitten, figuring she’d find her a good home. That home ended up being the Rodin’s fruit stand on the corner of Claribel and Oakdale roads.
Emma Burke, an employee at Rodin Farms Fruit Stand, explained the whole story.
“We got attached to her,” she confessed on behalf of herself and the other employees. “We were like ‘she’s so sweet, so cute’ and we started buying her toys.”
Quickly, they realized that they wanted to keep her, so it was decided that the kitten would stay at the stand. Antoinette named her Peaches and since then, she’s been growing more and more popular every day.
“You can always hear when people find her,” Burke continued. “I don’t have to turn around, I already know they’ve seen her because they go ‘oh my goodness!’”
She noted that nowadays when people come to the stand, you can see them looking around for Peaches. Sometimes she’ll be taking a nap, but if you’re lucky enough to catch her in the morning, she’s usually in a playful mood. On a recent day, she bounced back from attacking a purse to jumping on the workers’ laps, to leaping around the office.
Burke is confident that Peaches will stay and won’t run away because “she knows where the attention is.”
Additionally, this apparently isn’t the first time that Rodin Farms has had a stand cat. Years ago they had an older one and it was reported that she never had any problems running away or with the busy intersection just yards away.
“She just started adventuring in the back, but she gets nervous. She’s still very little so she gets nervous with loud noises and things that are bigger than her,” Burke explained of Peaches.
Besides, there seems to be plenty going on in the stand to entertain a kitten like her.
The fruit stand is open seven days a week year-round, so there isn’t any worry that she’ll run out of care. Employees will be working every day and feeding Peaches and entertaining her have just become part of the job. Burke and Stephanie Perez relayed that all of the workers camera rolls are filled with hundreds of pictures of Peaches, so it’s safe to say they enjoy their new responsibility.
Naturally there are some concerns having a cat at the stand, but Burke assuaged them quickly.
“People sometimes bring their dogs in and I grab her (Peaches) and put her in the crate so she’s fine. Just to make sure nothing happens,” she explained.
Though most of the dogs that come are friendly, employees are quick on their toes to avoid any conflict.
Additionally, Peaches likes to meander around the fruit and on the counter as she welcomes visitors to the fruit stand.
When asked if this was a health hazard, Burke replied with a firm “No,” since there are routine safety protocols that should be followed.
“You should always wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them, so it’s not a problem,” she emphasized. “And all of the packaged things are packaged tight.”
With any doubts relieved, plenty of attention to fall back on, and a loving home, Peaches is quickly becoming a staple of Rodin Farms Fruit Stand. She recently celebrated a month with her new family and also is eager to greet customers. If you want to meet Peaches, visit Rodin Farms Fruit Stand, on the corner of Oakdale and Claribel near the Crossroads in Riverbank. It is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.