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Kittens at the Bookstore September 25, 2009

Posted by Galaxy in Uncategorized.

Written by Sandy

Kitties in a boxFor a lot of people–and I’m one of them–books and cats fit together. That, and a good cup of tea. It’s not unusual to find a kitty curled up in some cozy spot in a bookstore; even a library might become a home for a cat. So, when Linda agreed to take in two kittens, there was some excitement at The Galaxy Bookshop about the possibility of adopting a bookstore cat. For a little while, at least, they’ve found a home in our bank vault, and they are the most adorable things you’d want to see.

The benefits are obvious (at least, to a cat lover): Cats are good company and, on a bad day, can be therapeutic; they attract other cat lovers; a cat would catch any stray rodents or flies that might find their way in; cats are good lap warmers (and it does get chilly in here during the winter.)Linda & kitty

Of course, there are also draw-backs, the most obvious of which is that there are  plenty of people who are allergic to cats. We certainly don’t want to make those people uncomfortable about visiting the bookstore. We really don’t want to cause an unsuspecting customer to have a serious reaction, such as an asthma attack.

I have to admit, it’s a bit hard to be objective when the matter at hand is a kitten–they’re just SO CUTE! Just look at those tiny faces!

Kitten on a shelf

Despite the overwhelming cuteness, our goal is to provide a welcoming place for people to spend time browsing and buying books, and that gives a lot of weight to the “con” side of the debate. Still, I keep hoping to discover the secret to having a cat that won’t irritate allergic customers. How do other stores handle that? (Besides adopting a hairless cat, that is. I have a feeling those wouldn’t do well here during the winter.)

We had a number of responses to our polls about a bookstore cat, both at the store and on Facebook. If you’d like to weigh in, or have any suggestions as to how we might be able to have a cat and give all of our customers a happy bookstore experience, please share!


1. Linda - September 25, 2009

Actually, it’s not usually cat hair that is the problem for those with allergies. It’s cat dander. http://www.allergybegone.com/aboutpetdander.html
A great vacuum cleaner – one that actually collects dander and doesn’t distribute it can help a lot. Is there a daily vacuum routine at The Galaxy?

2. Heather and Tom Stearns - September 25, 2009

We love your kitties. We NEED the Galaxy to have kittens. (and stay kittens for a long long time) Love, Heather and Tom

3. stellaluvstasing - October 2, 2009

I had the opportunity to fill in for Sandy this past week (I am the regular seller on Saturdays) and discovered something about kittens. A) It is not easy determining gender, especially when kitties are not inclined to be checked. B) Kittens are not only soft, furry, and cute, but they are darned good runners and excellent escape artists!

Case in point for item “B”: today, prior to opening, I allowed the kittens to run around before returning them to Linda’s office, where they are temporarily housed. After making sure they were snuggly in their bed, I closed the door. The next thing I knew, the little black and white kitty was out again. I figured maybe the little guy (at least I think he’s a male) must have squeezed under the door, since there is a gap between the door and floor. I put him back in the office, shoved some packing paper under the door and figured that was that. Wrong! I turned around and there stood little Houdini! At that point, I took both of the little darlings down to our basement kitchen area and closed them in there while I figured out this conundrum. After a while, I discovered a hole on the inside wall to the office where pipes and the modem cable go through. I shoved more packing paper into the hole and secured it, then returned the kitties to the office – problem solved.

Later on, after closing, I decided to let the kittens out so they could stretch their little legs. When it was time to put them in the office (and somehow, they knew what I was about to do) both of them ran under our movable bookshelves and all over the store before I could catch them – one at a time – and put them, once again, into the office. As I was closing the door, I noticed that this time, the gray cat was missing. Apparently, she (at least I think she’s a female) ran out as I was closing the door. Fortunately, my lightening-quick reflexes allowed me to grab her before she went far. I deposited her unceremoniously into the office and quickly closed the door. So far as I know, they are still there – at least I think so.

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