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9 Delightful Library Cats

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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
Plagued with Rodents, Members of the UK Parliament Demand a Cat
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Members of the United Kingdom’s Parliament want a cat, but not just for office cuddles: As The Telegraph reports, the Palace of Westminster—the meeting place of Parliament’s two houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords—is overrun with vermin, and officials have had enough. They think an in-house feline would keep the rodents at bay and defray skyrocketing pest control costs.

Taxpayers in the UK recently had to bear the brunt of a $167,000 pest control bill after palace maintenance projects and office renovations disturbed mice and moths from their slumber. The bill—which was nearly one-third higher than the previous year’s—covered the cost of a full-time pest control technician and 1700 bait stations. That said, some Members of Parliament (MPs) think their problem could be solved the old-fashioned way: by deploying a talented mouser.

MP Penny Mordaunt tried taking matters into her own hands by bringing four cats—including her own pet kitty, Titania—to work. (“A great believer in credible deterrence, I’m applying the principle to the lower ministerial corridor mouse problem,” she tweeted.) This solution didn’t last long, however, as health and safety officials banned the cats from Parliament.

While cats aren’t allowed in Parliament, other government offices reportedly have in-house felines. And now, MPs—who are sick of mice getting into their food, running across desks, and scurrying around in the tearoom—are petitioning for the same luxury.

"This is so UNFAIR,” MP Stella Creasy said recently, according to The Telegraph. “When does Parliament get its own cats? We’ve got loads of mice (and some rats!) after all!" Plus, Creasy points out, a cat in Parliament is “YouTube gold in waiting!"

Animal charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home wants to help, and says it’s been trying to convince Parliament to adopt a cat since 2014. "Battersea has over 130 years [experience] in re-homing rescue cats, and was the first choice for Downing Street, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Cabinet Office when they sought our mousers to help with their own rogue rodents,” charity head Lindsey Quinlan said in a statement quoted by The Telegraph. “We'd be more than happy to help the Houses of Parliament recruit their own chief mousers to eliminate their pest problem and restore order in the historic corridors of power."

As of now, only assistance and security dogs are allowed on palace premises—but considering that MPs spotted 217 mice alone in the first six months of 2017, top brass may have to reconsider their rules and give elected officials purr-mission to get their own feline office companions.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Big Questions
Why Do Male Lions Have Manes?
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Much like the defining features on many animals, a lion's mane is all about attracting the ladies.

A century or two ago, biologists like Charles Darwin postulated that lions grew a thick mane of hair around their necks to protect that vulnerable area from attacks by other lions. Over time, however, field biologists observed lion behavior (from a safe distance) and noted that when lions fought one another, they rarely went for the mane region. Instead they regularly attacked from the rear, targeting the back and the hindquarters.

So, if the mane isn’t designed for protection, what is its purpose? Why, propagation of the species, of course. In the sweltering heat of areas where lions gather, a huge ring of long hair around the face and neck does nothing to help cool the body. That bushy fringe is an inviting home to a variety of parasites, and it also makes the lion stand out against the scenery (a desirable trait for a fashion model but not so much for an ambush hunter). With all those negatives attached to sporting neck hair, the only positive is that it takes some sturdy genes and a very healthy constitution for a male to live long enough to grow a substantial mane. Over the centuries, lionesses have twigged onto the fact that a huge, lush, thick, impressive head of hair equals a virile baby daddy who has the stones to not only sire her cubs but also to aggressively protect them along with the rest of the pride. Even more attractive? A dark, flowing mane, according to studies.

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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