(PUEBLO, Colo.) — As the Colorado State Fair approaches next weekend, one remarkable tale of devotion and friendship, spans two decades, involving a dedicated state fair worker and an endearing state fair cat named Garth.

Sheri Giordano, a dedicated employee of the Colorado State Fair since 1994, reminisces about the day she first crossed paths with Garth, a little black dot under the grandstand.

“I saw a little kitty that was sitting in the grass under the tree right outside of the grandstand. So since the famous Garth Brooks performed at the Grandstand, I named him Garth,” Sheri fondly recalls.

From that moment, a beautiful connection was forged that would withstand the test of time. Sheri had him neutered and vaccinated. For two decades, Sheri made it her mission to care for Garth.

“I had a sense of dedication to him. I felt like he was special and I loved him and I wanted to take care of him,” Sheri explains.

Through snow and rain, Sheri would faithfully visit the fairgrounds every single day, ensuring Garth had food and fresh water. The routine became her anchor, a source of purpose even on the most challenging days.

“It’s been a huge part of my life, and there were days when I didn’t want to get up, but I knew I had to go take care of Garth. So he’s always been there for me, so I was always there for him,” Sheri tearfully expresses.

However, the story took an unexpected turn last July when Garth mysteriously disappeared. For four long months, Sheri continued her daily visits to the grandstand, hoping her feline friend would return.

“I went every day. I was there every day looking for him,” she recounts.

Then, on November 3rd, a miracle occurred – Garth heard Sheri’s car and came running towards her. The emotional reunion left Sheri in tears of joy.

But the passage of time had taken its toll on Garth. Sheri recognized that it was time for him to retire from his state fair cat duties.

“He was skinny and scrawny and he barely had a voice. And I don’t know what happened to him, but that was the point where I realized I needed to do something with him,” Sheri shares.

Sheri took Garth to the SOCO Spay and Neuter Association. There, they conducted tests to ensure his health, and Garth’s bloodwork astounded everyone.

“It was a little bit of a shock to hear of this 20-year-old feral cat that his blood test was clear. So it was a real testament to Sheri for taking such good care of him over the years,” Lisa Buccambuso, the Executive Director of SOCO Spay and Neuter Association, affirms.

Nowadays, Sheri visits Garth every week, ensuring he continues to receive the love and care he deserves. And amidst the routine, there’s a moment that brings a smile to everyone’s face –

Sheri’s familiar voice calls out, “Garth. Kitty, kitty, Garth, kitty, kitty.” It’s a voice that Garth recognizes instantly, a call that bridges their connection and speaks to the enduring power of love.

There are other Colorado State Fair cats that have come about since Garth. Sheri makes sure to get them spayed/neutered and feeds them too. If you would like to donate to the care of Garth or any of the other pets at the SOCO Spay and Neuter Association you can donate at their website.

As the Colorado State Fair approaches, amid the rides, games, and entertainment, this remarkable love story that unfolded under the grandstand, reminds us all that even in the busiest of places, the most heartwarming connections can be forged.