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A Cat in a Bowtie Named Sly James

curiousKC Has His Story

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Above image credit: Brandy Peed dressed up her cat as Patrick Mahomes, dubbing him "Catrick Mahomes." (Contributed | Brandy Peed)

Question: What purrs and has 6,000 followers on Instagram? 

Answer: Sly James the Cat

Sly James the cat in a suit
Brandy Peed said former Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ team asked her to take a photo of Sly James the Cat in a suit to use at his retirement event. The former mayor even signed a copy of the cat’s portrait. (Contributed | Brandy Peed)

The Insta-famous tabby cat is known for daily posts where he dons a new outfit every day. 

His quirky account piqued the interest of Kansas City-based account manager Kim Jones. Jones works at 88 Design Group, a graphic design agency, and took over the company’s social media recently. Suddenly, Sly James the Cat’s account kept popping up in the company feed. 

Jones and her coworkers were smitten, but also curious. What is Sly’s story and how is he so patient being dressed up every day? 

“There’s the phrase ‘herding cats’ for a reason,” Jones said, laughing because she also owns a cat. 

“(Sly James the Cat) has become a highlight of the day,” she added. “It’s just doom and gloom everywhere (in the news). Sometimes it’s just better to look at a cat’s Instagram page.”

So she wrote curiousKC to learn the IG-famous cat’s story. 

Brandy Peed, a full-time nanny in Kansas City, adopted the feline three years ago and decided to name him “Sly James” because the name just suited him. Plus, he looked cute in a bowtie. 

“Every week we do bowtie Thursday where he always wears some funny bowtie,” Peed said, who makes them herself for their weekly tribute to the former mayor. 

His first outfit was for Valentine’s Day in 2018. She bought little doll angel wings because he was so tiny. He did so well, she just went for it, inspired by a calendar full of random, funny holidays. Things like Rubber Ducky Day, Liberace Day and Disaster Day, to name a few. 

Sly James the Cat’s first-ever costume was for Valentine’s Day in 2018. (Contributed | Brandy Peed)

“I think he seems to enjoy it, he doesn’t really fuss,” she said. “He comes and sits down when I pull out the backdrop.” 

For Peed, crafting her cat’s costumes and props is a stress reliever. She initially planned on posting one photo a year, but the number of followers on Sly’s personal accounts continues to grow. She had to start a personal account for him, she said, because of how popular he became online. 

On top of that, strangers sent her messages thanking her for what she was doing, so she kept it up. 

“That for me makes it worthwhile,” Peed said. “Everyone’s like, ‘When are you going to stop?’ I said, ‘When we run out of holidays.’ ” 

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