A miniature panther — Sir Indiana Bones — stalks the Museum of Osteology or Skulls Unlimited, and if you visit, you might just run into him.
The team welcomed the now 4-year-old black cat in 2019, and he’s been prowling the museum grounds ever since. After pleading for a staff pet for several months, the museum staff formed the “Kitty Committee” to persuade management to overturn their previous decision. Upon claiming victory, the team journeyed over to the Moore Animal Shelter to find their new friend.
“They gave us the afternoon off to go to the shelter, so we went out and looked at all the cats,” said Brenna Glover, supply chain manager for Skulls Unlimited. “We didn’t know if we wanted a kitten or an adult cat. Indy fell in love with Kristin [Dean]. He kept rubbing on her and sitting on her lap. We’d go look at another cat, and then he would bring us back to him. We just couldn’t tell him no because he was very persistent. So really, Indy chose us. He knew he was getting a good place.”
It didn’t take long for Sir Indiana Bones to steal the hearts of people far beyond Oklahoma. After a photo of the cat went viral on Instagram, he quickly amassed more than 10,000 followers on the platform.
“We never thought he was gonna become kind of a local celebrity,” said Kristin Dean, product specialist for Skulls Unlimited. “We just made his Facebook and Instagram pages because we thought it was adorable. We never thought it would go anywhere. Then one picture went viral, and now we’ve actually had people call to make sure he’s here because they’re driving in from other states. He gets fan mail and pictures sometimes. It’s fantastic and just so fun.”
- Photo provided by Skulls Unlimited.
- Sir Indiana Bones. Photo provided.
Indy, as he is affectionately called by his coworkers, is now an official museum employee.
“He has his own job now,” Glover said. “On Instagram, he’s verified and gets paid for his posts, so he actually makes his own money. It’s hilarious … We researched if we could make a pet an employee. Lo and behold, you can. She had to set him up a little account. He’s got his own little line item on her expense report and an income. He supports himself.”
Indy enjoys the often lavish perks of his fame like flowing water fountains and endless treats, but he makes sure to pay it forward to other felines in need by regularly hosting donation drives and fundraisers to support the Moore Animal Shelter.