Tattered Jeans

The secret animal story behind the Kuhl-Linscomb lifestyle village store

The secret animal story behind the Kuhl-Linscomb lifestyle village store

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Darryl DeLeon, left, and Andrew Rosenbaum in Building No. 5, also known as Front Building Photo by Katie Oxford
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Bandit behind the blue "Lawn Dodo” in front of Building No. 1 at Kuhl-Linscomb Photo by Katie Oxford
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Dan Linscomb and Pam Kuhl-Linscomb, Ph.D’s in Home and Heart Photo by Katie Oxford
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"Bandit is really the smartest person at Kuhl-Linscomb,” says Satre Kroll, bed specialist at the store. Photo by Katie Oxford
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Satre Kroll, bed specialist Photo by Katie Oxford
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Bandit’s favorite treats. “You know we SELL these," says Satre Kroll. Photo by Katie Oxford
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Kuhl-Linscomb, the design and lifestyle store, is a village, if you will, full of fine stuff, fun people and four furry friends.

If you’ve browsed there before, you know that from any one of their five buildings, you’re bound to find something if not for yourself, for someone else and definitely for the home. If, on the rare occasion, you leave empty-handed, your senses won’t know it. Kuhl-Linscomb sells “fine” from fragrances to outdoor lighting and everything in between. They have a PhD in HOME.

But there’s an understory to this story/store that I love even more.

The owners, Pam Kuhl-Linscomb and Dan Linscomb, are animal lovers. They don’t talk the talk. This couple walks the walk.

So do their pets. Of the four (three cats and a dog), two cruise Kuhl-Linscomb. “Bandit” cruises Building No. 1, “Casey,” Building No. 5. “George Bailey,” scurries. Mostly, it seems around Dan. I thought of a sand flea in dog form but don’t tell his adoring daddy this. Dan thinks he’s a Yorkshire.

I haven’t met Hank (a cat) but at age 18, understandably, he’s probably beyond the cruising years. He “sorta stays in the back office” someone told me but you can bet that his bedding is top of the line, soft to the touch. Hank is one lucky dude. Whether customer or rescued animal, “Life is Good” at Kuhl-Linscomb.

I met Casey (another cat) when he was lounging on top of a display case in the front building, a little like Elizabeth Taylor in the movie, Cleopatra. As I approached him and stroked his head, his eyes (already half closed) closed completely. This is one “at home” cat, I thought. My two scram at the slightest sound of a stranger!

When I could pull away from petting Casey, I viewed the jewelry. KILLER jewelry. For someone who rarely wears any, much less looks at it, this was a new experience.

With the help of Andrew (the jewelry guru) I tried on a ring and one necklace. The rest is history and so is the money but the pleasure far exceeded the pennies long ago. I wear the ring, a hammered gold band (3/4 inch) as a love ring. A thief in NYC took the necklace.

Hopefully, someone wears it as sheer pleasure. Picture a rabbit from a box of Cracker Jacks cast in silver, five miniscule beads, two tassels, spaced apart like towels on a clothes line and voila — you’ve got art around your neck that’s whimsical yet brilliantly put together.

But back to the understory.

Bandit (my favorite) is also a cat and another story. I met this guy while looking at linens in Building No. 1 with Satre Kroll, their bedding specialist. Satre knows as much about Bandit as she does about bedding, and she can tell a story as humorously as Bill Cosby, only faster. When it comes to the critters at Kuhl-Linscomb, there a few to tell.

Before Kuhl-Linscomb occupied Building No. 1, Bandit did. Specifically, he lived in what’s now known as their baby section. But believe me, there’s nothin’ baby about Bandit. The guy can be a brute!

After Kuhl-Linscomb adopted the building, Pam kindly adopted Bandit. But sometime later (cats being cats), ole Bandit cruised over to a neighboring house and got into another cat’s food. “When a fight ensued and, of course, Bandit won,” Satre explained, the neighbor sent Bandit’s collar along with a vet bill to Pam.

Pam graciously paid the bill, but there’s something else I liked. When I brought the story up to Pam, her face turned red as a beet. She has a PhD in HEART too.

George Bailey (the dog) is another rescue and a story probably best for Dan to tell. But here’s the funny part.

Apparently, Dan wanted to enroll George Bailey in a training program so he opened up the yellow pages and found “Yorkshire Academy.” Dan dialed the number and spoke, at length, to a person about their program. When the woman got to the enrollment part, she apparently explained that one requirement was being “potty trained.”

According to an employee whose desk was nearby, it was AFTER Dan said something like “Well, now George still pees on the floor” when he realized Yorkshire Academy was for kids, not George Baileys.

Here’s a vignette that might best sum up this village.

During one visit with Satre, she whipped out a bag of chicken treats and offered one to Bandit. Recognizing the morsels immediately, I said, “I get those from Whole Foods too!”

“You know we SELL these,” Satre said, pointing to their bag of pet treats.

“No, I didn’t know,” I said, then jokingly, “Is there anything you DON’T sell?”

Satre paused for a second, “I don’t know, salami?”

Not yet anyway.