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8 Bookstore Cats

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Just as library cats enjoy the attention they get from people who love books, bookstore cats get the same treatment. Many are featured prominently on their store's websites, and have become beloved local celebrities.

1. Silas

A stray cat later named Silas came to A Novel Idea used bookstore in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1995. He lived there for 14 years, but he was no paragon of decorum.

He ruined telephones and clocks. Knocked the store's credit card machine to the floor time and again, leaving a trail of receipt paper unspooling across the floor. He climbed shelves and cried when he couldn't get down.

Still, everyone loved Silas. Patrons had their pictures made with him, and passers-by would leave lipstick kisses for him on the store window. Silas even had a fan club. He was euthanized this past February after suffering from the effects of old age. A Novel Idea raised funds for the local animal shelter as a tribute to Silas, and planned to get a new store cat from a shelter.

2. Zola

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Zola was rescued from an abusive situation and was adopted in 2006 as a store cat by Iliad Books in North Hollywood, California. She had been kept in a small cage, where neglect and infection caused her to lose one eye and several teeth. Despite her rough start in life, Zola is an affectionate and friendly cat.

3. Squeak

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Squeak was named for the peculiar sound she makes instead of a regular meow. She lives at Builders Booksource in Berkeley, California. She was a young feral cat who came to the back door of the store looking for a meal. Squeak has the run of the store, and is a loving cat, although she runs from children and wants to be held in only a certain way.

4. Mr. B

168misterb2.jpgSirius Black is not only a character from the Harry Potter books, it's also the formal name of the cat known as Mr. B. He's the cat-in-residence at Shiretown Books in Woodstock, Vermont. He spends his time napping, when he isn't enjoying the attention of patrons and checking out the contents of their shopping bags. The store sells bookmarks featuring Mr. B.

5. Pringles

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Pringles is the official greeter at Prospero's Books in Manassas, Virginia. Pringles shares the most important feature of all bookstore cats of being at ease with and even friendly to strangers. As you can see from the picture, he figures into the store's advertising.

6. Chubby, Little Girl, and Tara

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The Bodhi Tree Bookstore in Hollywood, California has had a series of store cats, beginning with Chubby, who died of old age and was buried under the sacred fig tree behind the store. Little Girl replaced him as the cat-in-residence, and later retired to live with one of the store employees. Tara (pictured) is the current store cat.

7. Ginger

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Ginger lives at Orinda Books in Orinda, California. She came to the store as a five-week-old abandoned kitten. Patrons suggested over 200 names for the cat, who is friendly to everyone who comes in.

8. Fup

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Fup was the Powell's Technical Books store cat from 1988 until her death in 2007. She lived 19 years, nearly all of which was spent at the store in Portland, Oregon, save for a six-week period in 1997 while the bookstore underwent a remodel. A quarter of a million subscribers followed Fup's adventures through her column in the Powell's newsletter.

In her youth, Fup would sometimes climb ladders and hide at the top of book fixtures to look down upon the humans in her domain. Over the years, Fup acquired a well-earned reputation for biting employees who intruded on her time for more than about 30 seconds. However, she would always be sitting in front of the office to greet whoever came to open the store in the morning, demanding her serving of canned food for breakfast. She was more patient with visitors; Fup played the celebrity game well. She received many gifts and cards and emails from fans, which she appreciated.

See also: 8 Library Cats, Five Famous Felines, and Five Fantastic Felines.

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The Edisto Bookstore
13 Bookstore Cats
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The Edisto Bookstore

Curling up with a good book and a cat is a heavenly experience. Libraries and bookstores know that, and having a cat around is not only good for customers relations and advertising, they also keep mice away. And they make the folks who work there happy. Over the years, we’ve brought you several lists of bookstores and their resident cats. Here are a baker's dozen more of them for your enjoyment.

1. Amelia

The Spiral Bookcase via Facebook

The Spiral Bookcase in Philadelphia got a new cat in 2012. The kitten was named Amelia, after both Amelia (Amy) Pond and Amelia Bedelia. She was alone on the street, and believed to have been dumped. The store describes her as “adorable, affectionate, and mouthy, and we can’t let her go.”

2., and 3. Noodle and Freddie

Weiser Antiquarian Books via Facebook

Weiser Antiquarian Books in York Beach, Maine, is the oldest occult bookstore in the United States. As such, the store is almost obligated to have cats. Those would be Noodle and Freddie, who are both male and brothers. Freddie is pictured here.

4., and 5. Pierre and Upton Sinclair

The Kelmscott Bookshop via Facebook

The Kelmscott Bookshop in Baltimore lists Pierre and Upton Sinclair on their staff page as security (Pierre) and apprentice security (Upton Sinclair). The older Pierre is the white cat. Both were strays taken in by store employees to lounge among the books and greet customers. Pierre’s hobbies include “eating, tripping customers, stealing pencils, and learning French.” They also note he’s not the smartest cat.

6., and 7. Tony and Mabel Dodge Lujan

Photo via Yelp

Moby Dickens Bookshop in Taos, New Mexico has always included a cat or two on their staff. The current residents are Tony and Mabel Dodge Lujan. They were no doubt named after Taos art patron Mabel Dodge Luhan and her fourth husband Tony. Customers love the cats.

8. Emily Grace

The Edisto Bookstore via Facebook

Emily Grace lives ands works at The Edisto Bookstore on Edisto Island, South Carolina. She was a stray taken in front he parking lot. Emily Grace takes her responsibilities at the store seriously, but only works for about an hour a day. Then she has to take a nap. Visiting authors get their photographs taken with the usually-asleep Emily Grace, which you can see on their Facebook timeline.

9. Sterling

Abraxas Books via Tumblr

At a store in Daytona Beach, Florida, named Abraxas Books you’ll find a cat named Sterling overseeing operations. See an earlier picture of him at Facebook, and another as a kitten when he first came to the bookstore.

10., and 11. Mr. Blue and Mr. Gray

The Bookman at Facebook

The Bookman bookstore in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has two resident cats named Mr. Blue and Mr. Gray (sometimes spelled Grey). Mr. Gray is the darker of the two, and every Facebook post carries his profile picture.

12., and 13. GwenieB and SweetiePie

Already Read Used Books at Facebook

We mentioned Already Read Used Books in Alexandria, Virginia in a post several years ago featuring their cat Gwenievere the Bibliocat. Gwenievere passed away shortly after that was published. Now the store has two Bibliocats, GwenieB (apparently named in honor of her predecessor) and SweetPie. GwenieB is on the left. There are stories about the cats at Facebook, like the one in which they guarded the store against dogs.

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10 Excellent Bookstore Cats
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Not all bookstores have cats: the big chains don't have cats, and some mom and pop stores keep their cats at home, so if you are allergic to cats, you can still find a place to browse for reading material. But you'll find resident cats in many independent bookstores because they are nice to curl up with (just like a good book), they don't eat the merchandise, and they protect the premises from rodents who will eat the merchandise. Let's be honest, though - this list has more than ten cats. What it is is a list of ten bookstores that have cats.

1. Ralph

Mudsock Books & Curiosity Shoppe in Fishers, Indiana sells books, games, and children's toys. The resident cat Ralph is another draw, as he has quite a few fans. And he doesn't mind posing for a picture. Photograph by Flickr user Phil Jern.

2. Mojo, Molly, and Cupcake

Awesome Books in Pittsburgh has several cats. Pictured here are Cupcake Slim and Mojo. Mojo is the ginger cat; I know because there are other pictures of Mojo with his lion haircut. The third store cat is named Molly.

3. Parit

Pegasus Books in Berkeley, California, is proud of all the pets that belong to their staff, but Parit lives at the downtown store. This photograph was taken by an avid Parit fan who is also a blogger.

4. Sam and Trouble

The Other Change of Hobbit is a science fiction and fantasy bookstore in Berkeley. They have two cats, Sam and Trouble. Sam is the more outgoing of the two, and will jump on the shoulders of customers if given a chance.

5. Ginger

Orinda Books in Orinda, California features their bookstore cat right on the website's home page. They welcome you to come in and pet Ginger, who is accustomed to customers. Here you see her drawing attention to a table of books for sale. Photograph by Karen Lile.

6. Spike

Left Bank Books in St. Louis is home to Spike. Spike has his own page at the store's website, with an interview and some of his literary recommendations.

7. Hawaiian Bookstore Cats

Ed and Cat - Talk Story Bookstore

Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe, Hawaii is the sole bookstore on the island of Kauai and the westernmost bookstore in the United States. Owners Ed and Cynthia Justus are credited with revitalizing the small town of Hanapepe, and have a restoration project going for other downtown buildings. Talk Story Bookstore has three cats, whose names are not recorded online. Here you see owner Ed Justus with one of the cats. Photograph by Flickr user brewbooks.

8. AlleyCat

The American Book Center in Amsterdam has an auxiliary clubhouse nearby call the ABC Treehouse. AlleyCat lives there, and has her own Facebook page, where her activities and interests are both listed as "eating." Photograph by Harald Seiwert.

9. Dante Kot

Then there is Dante, who is quite the celebrity in Poland. Dante lives at a secondhand bookstore in Wroclaw. My Polish is rusty, and Babelfish translates "secondhand books" into "scientific antiques," so I haven't found much about the bookstore itself, but Dante has his own blog, and his own Facebook page, where he interacts with fans and other internet cats -in Polish.

10. Heterochromatic Cat

Love Her -Eyes- 4 of 4 -Bangalore-najeebkhan@hotmail.com

There's not much information available, but I couldn't resist this picture of a colorful white cat who lives in a bookstore in Bangalore, India. Her name is not recorded, but aren't those eyes something else? Photograph by Flickr user najeebkhan2009.

This list was inspired by a post at Metafilter which linked all five previous mental_floss Bookstore Cat posts, and where I found comments leading me to several of today's entries.

If your favorite bookstore cat isn't listed here, it may be found in one of the previous posts, 12 Bookstore Cats, 8 Bookstore Cats, Our Readers’ Favorite Bookstore Cats (Volume One), Our Readers’ Favorite Bookstore Cats (Volume Two), or Our Readers’ Favorite Bookstore Cats (Volume Three).

See also: 8 Library Cats

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