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


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


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


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


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


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


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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June 4, 2009 - 4:34am
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