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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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Big Questions
Do Cats Fart?
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Certain philosophical questions can invade even the most disciplined of minds. Do aliens exist? Can a soul ever be measured? Do cats fart?

While the latter may not have weighed heavily on some of history’s great brains, it’s certainly no less deserving of an answer. And in contrast to existential queries, there’s a pretty definitive response: Yes, they do. We just don’t really hear it.

According to veterinarians who have realized their job sometimes involves answering inane questions about animals passing gas, cats have all the biological hardware necessary for a fart: a gastrointestinal system and an anus. When excess air builds up as a result of gulping breaths or gut bacteria, a pungent cloud will be released from their rear ends. Smell a kitten’s butt sometime and you’ll walk away convinced that cats fart.

The discretion, or lack of audible farts, is probably due to the fact that cats don’t gulp their food like dogs do, leading to less air accumulating in their digestive tract.

So, yes, cats do fart. But they do it with the same grace and stealth they use to approach everything else. Think about that the next time you blame the dog.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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environment
How Japan's 'Dancing' Cats Predicted a Deadly Environmental Disaster
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In the 1950s, residents of Minamata, Japan, noticed that something was wrong with the city's cats. As the SciShow's Hank Green recounts in the video below, the cats would convulse, make strange noises and jerking "dancing" motions—and eventually die. Soon, these symptoms spread to the local townspeople, and scientists began searching for the cause of the terrifying sickness.

The culprit was soon revealed to be the Chisso Corporation, a Japanese chemical company with a factory in Minamata. About 30 years earlier, the company had begun making an organic chemical called acetaldehyde, using mercury as a catalyst to trigger the needed reactions. Afterwards, the company dumped the leftover chemicals into Minamata Bay, where the mercury came into contact with bacteria that transformed it into the most noxious form of the metal: methylmercury. This toxic substance was absorbed by plants, which were in turn eaten by fish. Eventually, the methylmercury made its way up the food chain and poisoned both felines and humans. Birth defects became rampant, and more than 900 people died. Thousands of victims have since been identified. The neurological syndrome caused by extreme mercury poisoning is now known as Minamata disease.

You can learn more about the worst mercury poisoning disaster the world has ever seen by watching the video below.

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