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9 Delightful Library Cats

Libraries are quiet places visited by children and literary-minded people and sometimes the occasional mouse. That makes them wonderful places for cats to hang out. Many libraries have resident cats that become quite the local characters -and sometimes even famous! We posted about some of them before; now here are nine more library cats.

1. Tober

Tober lives at the Thorntown Public Library in Thorntown, Indiana. Librarian Karen Niemeyer adopted Tober in 2008, but her dogs had a problem with that, so Tober took up residence in the library. He says:

I have one Assistant Boss and a bunch of Assistant Assistant Bosses, one of whom is a Lergic. Apparently Lergics can't be around Cats a whole lot, but luckily I don't bother them too much, because all sorts of Lergics visit the Library and don't even know I live here.

You can follow Tober's continuing adventures on his blog.

2. Andy

Andy Being Festive 1

The Schoharie Free Library in Schoharie, New York has a lovely ginger cat named Andy. Since at least 2007, he has been spending time at the library and charming patrons although he officially lives at a nearby home. Those days ended when the library was damaged by hurricane Irene in 2011. The library has been rebuilding since, and Andy came for a visit to inspect the progress just this week. Photograph by Flickr user Schoharie Library.

3. Page

The Cazenovia Public Library in Cazenovia, New York had always welcomed cats. The current library cat Page has been welcoming patrons to the library since 2009.

4. Libris

Playing

Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia has a library cat at its Willet Memorial Library.  The current cat Libris was a feral feline adopted to replace the longtime library cat Squeakers, who passed on in 2008. Photograph by Flickr user Courtney McGough.

5. Sandy Rankine

Sandy Rankine, VUW Library cat (#369)

The Central Library of the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand had a cat named Sandy Rankine for many years. Sandy suffered from diabetes in his later years, but library patrons and fans did what they could to help with his medical needs. Photograph by Flickr user Jonathan Ah Kit.

Update: Sandy's passing in 2010 was mourned by his many fans. (Thanks, dg!)

6. Cauli Le Chat

The Mooresville Public Library in Mooresville, Indiana is home to Cauli Le Chat, who is sometimes called Kit Cauliflower due to ear damage from a fight. She does not live at the library full time, but goes home with an employee at night. During the day, she is the library's "roving reporter," lending her name to a blog about everything that goes on at the library. Cauli also has an alter-ego, a cardboard cutout of herself called Flat Five (short for Cauli V), which travels to other libraries and interesting places.

7. Piper

The Arkansas School for the Blind has a formal library cat program that goes back more than ten years! It was a natural idea, as librarian Susan Loesch is also involved with the organization Feline Rescue and Rehome. It all started with Piper, a kitten rescued from a drainpipe in 2000. Piper moved into the library, interacted with the students, and even lent his name to the prizes for the accelerated reading program. He was soon joined by Big Footsie in 2001. Current cats at the library include Alex, Shadow, and Bob.

8. Browser

The library in Pine River, Minnesota, welcomed Browser in 2002, and he has been going strong ever since. Browser has his own blog and Facebook page.

9. Porter C. Bibliocat

Anna Porter Public Library in Gatlinburg, Tennessee named the cat Porter C. Bibliocat, whose visage graces the library's Facebook page. Porter was named after the library's founder, and the "C" stands for "Catalog." He was adopted in 2009. There were some complaints about a cat in the library, but the board decided Porter would stay, although if a patron requests, Porter will be taken to a secluded area while they browse the books.

See more library cats in our previous post 8 Library Cats, and you may also enjoy our extensive series on Bookstore Cats.

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Animals
If You Want Your Cat to Poop Out More Hairballs, Try Feeding It Beets
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iStock

Have you ever wondered if there’s a way to get your cat to poop out its hairballs instead of hacking them up? If so, you’re likely a seasoned cat owner whose tolerance for gross stuff has reached the point of no return. Luckily, there may be an easy way to get your cat to dispose of hairballs in the litter box instead of on your carpet, according to one study.

The paper, published in the Journal of Physiology and Animal Nutrition, followed the diets of 18 mixed-breed short-haired cats over a month. Some cats were fed straight kibble, while others were given helpings of beet pulp along with their regular meals. The researchers suspected that beets, a good source of fiber, would help move any ingested hair through the cats’ digestive systems, thus preventing it from coming back up the way it went in. Following the experiment, they found that the cats with the beet diet did indeed poop more.

The scientists didn’t measure how many hairballs the cats were coughing up during this period, so it's possible that pooping out more of them didn’t stop cats from puking them up at the same rate. But considering hairballs are a matter of digestive health, more regular bowel movements likely reduced the chance that cats would barf them up. The cat body is equipped to process large amounts of hair: According to experts, healthy cats should only be hacking hairballs once or twice a year.

If you find them around your home more frequently than that, it's a good idea to up your cat's fiber intake. Raw beet pulp is just one way to introduce fiber into your pet's diet; certain supplements for cats work just as well and actually contain beet pulp as a fiber source. Stephanie Liff, a veterinarian at Pure Paws Veterinary Care in New York, recommends psyllium powder to her patients. Another option for dealing with hairballs is the vegetable-oil based digestive lubricant Laxatone: According to Dr. Liff, this can "help to move hairballs in the correct direction."

[h/t Discover]

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Animals
John Lennon Was a Crazy Cat Lady
Chloe Efforn
Chloe Efforn

John Lennon was crazy about cats, and though he owned a couple of dogs (Sally and Bernard) over the years, he was better known for getting by with a little help from his feline friends.

1. ELVIS

Growing up, Lennon's beloved mother, Julia, had a named cat after Elvis Presley, whom Julia and John were both crazy about. The Lennons later realized they had misnamed Elvis when "he" gave birth to a litter of kittens in the cupboard, but they didn't change the cat's name based on that small mistake.

2. AND 3. TICH AND SAM

He had two other cats as a boy growing up in Liverpool: Tich and Sam. Tich passed away while Lennon was away at art school (which he attended from 1957 to 1960), and Sam was named after famous British diarist Samuel Pepys

4. TIM

One day, John Lennon found a stray cat in the snow, which his Aunt Mimi allowed him to keep. (John's Aunt Mimi raised him from a young boy through his late teenage years, and he affectionately referred to her as the Cat Woman.) He named the marmalade-colored half-Persian cat Tim.

Tim remained a special favorite of John's. Every day, he would hop on his Raleigh bicycle and ride to Mr. Smith's, the local fishmonger, where he would buy a few pieces of fish for Tim and his other cats. Even after John became famous as a Beatle, he would often call and check in on how Tim was doing. Tim lived a happy life and survived to celebrate his 20th birthday.

5. AND 6. MIMI AND BABAGHI

John and his first wife, Cynthia, had a cat named Mimi who was, of course, named after his Aunt Mimi. They soon got another cat, a tabby who they dubbed Babaghi. John and Cynthia continued acquiring more cats, eventually owning around 10 of them.

7. JESUS

As a Beatle, John had a cat named Jesus. The name was most likely John's sarcastic response to his "the Beatles are bigger than Jesus" controversy of 1966. But he wasn't the only band member with a cat named Jesus: Paul McCartney once had a trio of kittens named Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

8. AND 9. MAJOR AND MINOR

In the mid-1970s, John had an affair with his secretary, May Pang. One day, the studio receptionist brought a box of kittens into the recording studio where John and May were. "No," John immediately told May, "we can't, we're traveling too much." But she picked up one of the kittens and put it over her shoulder. Then John started stroking the kitten and decided to keep it. At the end of the day, the only other kitten left was a little white one that was so loud no one else wanted it. So they adopted it as well and named the pair Major and Minor.

10. AND 11. SALT AND PEPPER

John owned a pair of black and white cats with his wife Yoko Ono. As befitting John's offbeat sense of humor, many places report he christened the white cat Pepper and the black one Salt.

12. AND 13. GERTRUDE AND ALICE

John and Yoko also had two Russian Blue cats named Gertrude and Alice, who each met tragic ends. After a series of sicknesses, Gertrude was diagnosed with a virus that could become dangerous to their young son, Sean. John later said that he held Gertrude and wept as she was euthanized. 

Later, Alice jumped out of an open window in the Lennons' high-rise apartment at the Dakota and plunged to her death. Sean was present at the time of the accident, and he remembers it as the only time he ever saw his father cry.

14., 15. AND 16. MISHA, SASHA, AND CHARO

In later years, John also owned three cats he named Misha, Sasha, and Charo. Always an artist at heart, John loved to sketch his many cats, and he used some of these pictures as illustrations in his books.

This piece originally ran in 2012.

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