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Friday, November 4, 2011

How many bookstores have their own cat?

Time Out Bookstore in Auckland, New Zealand, does

Time Out began 23 years ago in Auckland’s Mount Eden shopping strip with a conscious attempt to be different. One of the first boutique bookstores, it also sold music and kept daringly late hours.  While shop space is for those who are slim enough to enjoy browsing through a huge choice in a small area, above the store is an airy brick walled space used for book launches and promotions.  And owner for the past nine years, Wendy Tighe-Umbers, doesn't charge a cent.  All she wants is for those who are coming to let her know ahead, for catering purposes.

The last time I sat up there on one of the comfy couches to chat about books with Wendy's super-enthusiastic staff, I was honored with a rub about the ankles by the resident cat, Oscar.  Now, sadly, Oscar has passed on to kitty-heaven.  Lucinda, his successor, is no stray, but a pedigree Tonkinese, named after a Peter Carey novel.  And her personal taste in literature?  No one knows.  She is definitely too ladylike to reveal anything so personal ...

Spoonbill and Sugartown in Brooklyn has a cat, too.

His name is Hayes.  Hayes is an unusual cat, as unusual as his bookstore's name. 

Hayes is a tripod.  Surgery to remove a cancerous leg cost $1000, but much of it was donated by adoring bookstore patrons.  "Come for the books, and stay for the synth musik," the staff say, but it seems sure that some folk come to see the cat.

And in Madison Avenue, Manhattan, there is another

This is the Corner Bookstore, whose cat is the grandly named Hampton.

He was named after that domain of the super rich because he was rescued from there.  Appropriately, he has developed very particular tastes.  When he was small, he used to get stuck behind any old bookshelf, but now he favors the travel section.

Especially China and India.

To read more about New York City bookstore cats, try this link




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