One of Shepherdstown's most beloved friends has passed away.
Djembe, better known as 'BK.' or 'Bar Kitty,' the Mecklenburg Inn's resident orange tabby cat died unexpectedly last week, saddening the many people who he had come to befriend.
"BK was loved by a lot of people," said George Moody, owner of the Mecklenburg Inn.
As Moody explained, BK chose the Mecklenburg as his home sometime in the late 1990s.
When his original owners, who lived in an apartment behind Lost Dog Coffee moved away, the bar adopted the personable cat who loved to lounge in their back garden.
"He adopted the Meck," Moody said.
"He came over here all the time and next thing I know, he started to stay here and he became the Inn kitty."
"He spent a lot of time in the garden. That was his place," he said.
A cat with nine lives, BK survived at least one kitty-napping, a cat fight, which resulted in the loss of his tail and accidentally being trapped in a closet or two.
"He's been trapped in one of those humane animal traps."
"We were trying to get rid of a possum that was living out back and ended up trapping BK instead," Moody said with a laugh.
"He was not very happy about that," he said.
BK stayed with his "favorite human," bartender, Emmett Keller, during Hurricane Sandy.
"I tried to spoil him," he said.
Keller said he fed BK chicken wings every Tuesday from Tony's as a special treat.
"I'm going to miss the little guy," he said.
Though BK was roughly 17 years old, Moody said his passing was a shock for everyone.
Natalia Eyestone, a bartender at the Meck, noticed BK acting irregularly during her shift last Wednesday evening.
"He was lying in a weird position... He was very limp and panting really hard," she said.
Eyestone, and local resident, Maria Allen, rushed BK to a local vet where he quietly died after undergoing diagnostic tests.
"The last of it was very peaceful," she said.
Eyestone said a large mass was found on BK's kidney, which likely led to his death.
"We don't know for sure what happened... Whatever happened that night, it happened really quickly," she said.
Moody said the Meck will hold a special memorial service for BK in their garden this spring, where they will bury his ashes.
"Pawject BK," the Meck's recently formed fundraiser for local animal shelters will continue in BK's honor.
"The next check is going to go to Tara's House Animal Rescue," Moody said.
Moody said the brunt of money raised-- $1200 dollars so far-- has gone to the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County.
Eyestone said BK touched thousands of people, many of whom would visit the Meck just to see the cat.
"It's pretty amazing how many people knew him and are impacted by him not being here anymore," Moody said.
"This cat was awesome."