8 Library Cats

Libraries are wonderful places for people who love books, and wonderful places for cats to meet book lovers. There are an estimated 808 documented library cats, including 301 cats who currently reside in libraries around the world. Here are just a few.

1. Dewey

Dewey Readmore Books became the official cat of the Spencer Public Library in Spencer, Iowa in 1988. Someone had left him in the book return bin. Dewey faithfully executed the duties of a library cat: attending meetings, greeting patrons, and inspecting every box delivered, until his death in 2006, just after his 19th birthday. He proved to be such a popular addition to the library that people drove hundreds of miles to meet him. Library director Vicki Myron wrote a book about him, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. The book is going to be made into a movie, which will star Meryl Streep. Watch Dewey in action in this series of videos. Dewey's story has inspired other libraries to adopt cats, but while he may be the most famous, there are many other library cats.

2. Squeakers

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The Willet Memorial Library on the campus of Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia was the home of Squeakers for nine years. Before becoming the library cat-in-residence, Squeakers roamed the campus for a decade. It is believed that Squeakers was 23 years old when she died in 2008. Squeakers would spend most of her time in her later years sitting in a comfy chair near the library entrance, so she could see everyone who came through the doors.

3. Browser

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Since 2002, Browser the blogging library cat has lived at the Pine River Library in Minnesota. He even moved along with the library to their new building. See more pictures of Browser at Flickr, and a video at YouTube.

4. Nyx

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Nyx is the resident cat at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Virginia. Nyx was born without eyeballs in May of 2008. She also has a stubby tail, possibly due to an injury. Nyx gets around by echolocation, meaning she produces sounds and is aware of how far they travel when they bounce back. Even when she is still, she has a loud purr. Nyx seems very happy at the library. The patrons and staff alike spoil her with attention and toys. Nyx has a Facebook page for her fans.

5. Belle

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Belle, the cat who lives in the Charles & Ona B. Free Memorial Library in Dublin, Virginia, may have to find another home. After three years of Belle having the run of the library, the Pulaski County Library Board discussed some complaints from library patrons about the cat. No action was taken at the time, but Belle fans became alarmed. They collected 787 signature (so far) on a petition to keep Belle.

6. Max

200max1.jpgMax achieved library cat status at the Hastings Branch Library (a branch of the Pasadena Public Library), without ever living there officially. Max had a home nearby with his owner Leah Thompson, but he visited the library so often that he was issued his own library card! Max would wait at the door until someone opened it and  walk in like he belonged there, from the early 80s until 1996. When Max stopped visiting, the library staff looked into his fate, and found his family had moved away. Presumably, Max found the public library in his new location.

7. Addison

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Addison lives at the Nash Library on the campus of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha, Oklahoma. Addison is more than just a library cat. She also is a fundraiser for Friends With Four Paws, an Oklahoma shelter for adoptable pets.

8. TLC

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TLC is short for Top Library Cat. He is the cat-in-residence at the Broken Bow Public Library in Broken Bow, Nebraska. TLC has it made, as this library has a working fireplace! That's where you'll find TLC spending his days in the winter months.

Meet more library cats worldwide with the help of the Library Cats Map.
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The companion to this post is a series on Bookstore Cats. See also: Five Famous Felines and Five Fantastic Felines.

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June 2, 2009 - 4:10am
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