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American Library Cats 1


Libraries A-G


Libraries H-N  |  Libraries O-Z

These pages are devoted to library cats, both past and present, in the United States of America, and we are collecting them together into a separate set of pages because there have been quite a large number of them over the years. While recent (2010) budget cuts and economic difficulties have meant that some American libraries have been unable to keep their feline mascots, or cats have not been replaced when they died, in other places library cats are alive and well and continuing to give great pleasure to staff and patrons alike, as well as performing their job of rodent control. Dewey Readmore Books of Spencer, Iowa has become the most celebrated library feline, of course, but we dedicate these pages to all the other unsung library cats across America who have made, and continue to make, libraries pleasant and 'fun' places to be.

Information and images have been gleaned from many sources, notably but not exclusively library web pages, and we express warm thanks to all who have supplied information, particularly those librarians with whom we have been in touch. If you see anything that is incorrect or incomplete, we'd be pleased to hear from you so we can amend it. Our very special thanks and acknowledgements go to Gary Roma, whose Library Cats Map at the Iron Frog website perhaps inspired this whole project as well as providing certain images, and whose 1997 film Puss in Books (available on video) gives a fascinating insight into the world of library cats. His listings are much more complete than ours can be here, and also extend to library cats in many other parts of the world.


Entries are arranged alphabetically by library name

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Library cat Porter C Bibliocat of the Anna Porter Public Library, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Library cat Porter C Bibliocat, of the Anna Porter Public Library, Gatlinburg, TN

   ANNA PORTER PUBLIC LIBRARY
Gatlinburg, Sevier County, Tennessee


Late in 2009 the library adopted a cat, a ginger-and-white male of about 3 years old, from the local animal shelter and named him Porter C. Bibliocat (Porter after the library's founder, while the 'C' stands for 'Catalog'). There was a complaint that having a cat in the library was a disservice to people with allergies; but in a refreshing decision the Board of Trustees decided it would be in the best interest of the library and its patrons and employees to keep a resident cat. As can be seen from the photos, Porter is a laid-back feline, and we are told he does not 'talk' a lot. At weekends and holiday times he's visited and cared for by staff who live nearby.
     Although several Trustees have cat allergies, they are not worried about one well-groomed cat in a relatively large, open space. For patrons, library director Kenton Temple placed an attractive, well-worded sign regarding Porter at the library entrance; any patron can request that Porter be relegated to the back during their visit, and the staff will comply.
     In March 2014 we heard that 'Porter is most definitely still here, usually in his basket on the circulation desk! Many folks come to visit just to meet him.'
Website | Facebook



Library cat Piper - Arkansas School for the Blind, Little Rock, AR
Library cat Big Footsie - Arkansas School for the Blind, Little Rock, AR
Library cat Alex - Arkansas School for the Blind, Little Rock, AR Library cats - Arkansas School for the Blind, Little Rock, AR

   ARKANSAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND & VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Little Rock, Arkansas


The library cat programme was started in the late 1990s by librarian Susan Loesch, with the current cat(s) travelling back and forth with her each working day rather than living at the library. Piper was the first, taken in as a 4-month-old-kitten and having a long tenure as one of the 'assistant library cats' until autumn 2010, when he died of intestinal lymphoma. In 2001 he was joined by Big Footsie rescued from euthanasia at an animal shelter and so named because he had large feet with extra toes. He became Head Library Cat, a responsible position involving numerous duties, especially making the library a fun and happy place to visit and being a 'reading motivator' for the elementary-school students. The much loved 'Foots' was lost to heart disease and renal failure in summer 2009, after 8 years in post. A memorial book was created in his honour and an oil painting of him was placed on the library front desk; there remains a lovely tribute to him over several pages starting here.
     After Footsie's demise the top position was taken over by red tabby Alex, only survivor of 4 three-week-old kittens taken on in November 2003 and still needing to be bottle fed. To celebrate his 'promotion' and his sixth birthday there was a party in October 2009, attended by many friends and admirers from the school; guests were regaled with popcorn and 'orange tabby punch'! Alex quickly grew into his position, but died unexpectedly in April 2011 from a mystery infection; he was sorely missed.
     Tank, a large and cuddly tabby rescued from a feral colony, was next in line to be head cat, but although he loved the children the library itself seemed to make him nervous, so it was decided he should just visit occasionally, and two new 'co-head library cats' were taken on. Barney was a large, laid-back, orange tabby from a feral colony, where the other ferals were said to be afraid of him and he was due to be evicted — but at the library he seemed very peaceful and took to the job immediately. As a colleague he had Shadow, a 2-year-old all-black cat, outgoing and calm, who also took readily to the job. As well as their library duties, the pair acted as public-relations cats at fund-raising events for Feline Rescue and Rehome (FuRR), a rescue organisation that Susan and four friends started in 2001 and from where many of the library cats came.
     In addition to the chief library cats, there were several assistants over the years. Footsie was assisted at different times by Daisy, a small tabby; Valley, a flamepoint Siamese; and Bill Murray, another Siamese who became a great favourite. All three were positive for feline leukaemia. There was also Bessie, a tortoiseshell Manx who had heartworms, successfully treated but causing residual heart problems from which she died 4 years later. A 'special case' cat came to live at the library later: SnuggleBunny, a 6-month-old sealpoint Siamese kitten who had feline leukemia and had also been facing euthanasia. Staff and schoolchildren were determined to make what was expected to be quite a short life as enjoyable as possible for her. She died early in 2010, to be greatly missed.
     By 2014 it appeared that the library cats programme was no longer operating; we don't know when that happened or the reason, but it seems Mrs Loesch is no longer at the school.
With many thanks to Susan Loesch for all her help.
School website



Library cat Carmen, Asotin County Library, Clarkston, WA
Carmen's kittens, Asotin County Library, Clarkston, Washington State
Library cat Mikey, Asotin County Library, Clarkston, WA

   ASOTIN COUNTY LIBRARY
Clarkston, Asotin County, Washington State


In March 2013 the library was given Carmen, a pretty young female cat — and two days later she was found to be pregnant! She gave birth to six healthy kittens, who were named Lor, Luna, Dudley, Mikey, Rascal and Arnold. They were friendly, liking to lie in the sunshine somewhere, to sit by the front door to meet people when they come in or to wander around the computers looking for someone to pet them; they also 'helped' with events like storytime. By the time they were weaned, aged 10 to 12 weeks, five had been adopted; but Mikey remains with his mother (now spayed) and they are permanent library residents.
Thanks to library director Jennifer Ashby for the information and images.
Website | Facebook | Carmen at Facebook | Twitter



Library cat Molli, late of Azle Memorial Library, Azle, Texas
Library cat Molli, late of Azle Memorial Library, Azle, Texas

   AZLE MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Azle, Tarrant County, Texas


Molli was the beloved cat of the library in the Texas town of Azle, not far from Fort Worth. Her name came from the library's first, DOS-based computer system, which was known as Molli. The cat was so popular that at one point she was 'catnapped' after closing time one Saturday. Posters were put up to report her missing, and on Monday morning a patron returned her, claiming to have found her. The person then gave herself away by saying Molli didn't get on with the dog! No action was taken, as everyone was just so pleased to have Molli back on the job. Molli died in 2007 while work was in progress on a new library building; but a sculpture of her was commissioned so that her memory now lives on in the new location.
Web page | Blog



Library cat Winnie, late of Bay City Public Library, Bay City, Texas
Library cat Winnie, late of Bay City Public Library, Bay City, TX

   BAY CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas


Winnie was adopted by the Bay City Public Library in 2001 after she'd been found hiding around the dumpster behind the building; the vet thought she was about 2 years old at the time. She kept the lively spirit of a kitten, assisting employees and volunteers in the staff room with their daily duties (and lunch, if she could manage to distract them!), being introduced to new library patrons of all ages, and then enjoying long naps in the freshly emptied boxes of incoming books. Unfortunately she developed stomach and intestinal issues more recently, which made it hard for her to use her litter box, and she lost a lot of weight. Winnie passed away on 9 January 2014 at the age of about 15; she was very much missed. The Friends of the Library have put her name on their plaque as a life member of the Friends.
Many thanks to Sue Hall for information and several images.
Website | Friends blog



Library cat Ernie, of Bealeton Public Library, Bealeton, Virginia
Library cat Ernie, of Bealeton Public Library, Bealeton, VA

   BEALETON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Bealeton, Fauquier County, Virginia


In about 2005 a cat was found living rough at the nearby 'Depot', which was boarded up at the time, and he was adopted by the library staff. (The Depot is a former rail station building, built in the early twentieth century, which has since been renovated and is now used by the library as a program room and meeting space.) Since the red tabby is a polydactyl cat, he earned the name Ernest P. Hemingway — Ernie for short — after the famous author who had a number of polydactyl cats. According to Ernie, his extra toes 'add to my overall dashing appearance and distinction, while the "P" in my name stands for "polydactyl"'. Ernie lives in the library workroom and 'runs the library from there'. He's often to be found sleeping in the manager's chair, while other duties include keeping an eye on the parking lot, and greeting patrons. He can travel vicariously to places around the world by means of photo cards, known as 'Flat Ernies', which people can put in their suitcases and photograph at their destination!
Thanks to Dawn Sowers for permission to use information and images of Ernie.
Website | Facebook | Ernie @ Twitter | Library news blog | Meet Ernie



Library cats Tigger and Pooh - Beech Grove Public Library, Indiana
Library cats Tigger and Pooh - Beech Grove Public Library, Indiana

   BEECH GROVE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Beech Grove, Marion County, Indiana


In August 1997 the library adopted two female kittens as library pets — they were sisters — and named them Tigger and Pooh [someone must have been an A.A. Milne fan! —Ed.]. They were sponsored by the Beech Grove Animal Hospital who provided their care, and the Friends of the library, with the help of donations from the public, paid for their food. We believe they remained at the library until at least 2002, but don't know what became of them then.
Website | Facebook



Library cat Dr Seuss, late of Bradford Area Public Library, Bradford, Pennsylvania
Library cat Miss Whispurr, Bradford Area Public Library, Bradford, Pennsylvania
Library cat Whispurr, Bradford Area Public Library, Bradford, PA

   BRADFORD AREA PUBLIC LIBRARY
Bradford, McKean County, Pennsylvania


For a number of years, from 1987 until he died of old age in 2000, Dr Seuss — usually known just as Seuss — was cat-in-charge at the library. He arrived as a six-month-old kitten in a similar manner to Dewey of Spencer, Iowa — via the book drop on a cold and stormy night — and, as no one claimed him, he and the library adopted each other. During his tenure he trained five library directors and supervised the move to a new building, all the while making sure staff did their jobs properly. For his 12th birthday 100 of his friends were invited to a big party at the library. When Seuss died, which was front-page news in Bradford, he was cremated and his ashes are buried in the garden. He is fondly remembered by a plaque and mounted photograph hanging in the Children's Room.
     The library board was not planning a successor to Seuss, but a survey of patrons convinced them otherwise. The local SPCA thought that Gloria, a Maine Coon kitten, would be a good choice, so in December 2000 she came to take over Seuss' duties, and a contest among children at the library renamed her Miss Whispurr. She proved to be ideal, attending meetings, sitting in on story hours, walking across keyboards and leaving cat hair everywhere! One of her favourite napping spots is on top of the warm photocopier. There have been very few complaints about her, demonstrating that she does a very good public-relations job for the library. She even appeared on the calendar one year; and a few years ago was voted winner of the McKean County SPCA's annual 'favourite pet' contest.
     The staff are cat-friendly, share litter duties and ensure Miss Whispurr is properly fed (tuna, chicken and spiced beef jerky are favourites). Donations ensure that she is self-supporting, and when the library is closed there's someone to come along and check on her. Whispurr used to have a monthly blog where she gave her view of library affairs, but this now (2013) appears to have been discontinued; she does, however, have her own Facebook page under the name of 'Whispurr Nap'. In 2012, when the library adopted a new logo in the form of a tree growing out of the spine of a book, a little cat silhouette was included in the foliage to pay homage to Whispurr and Dr Seuss.
Our warm thanks to library director Linda Newman for originally supplying information and images of the Bradford cats.
Website | Library at Facebook | Whispurr at Facebook | Twitter



Library cat TLC - Broken Bow Public Library, Broken Bow, Nebraska

   BROKEN BOW PUBLIC LIBRARY
Broken Bow, Custer County, Nebraska


This library is one of few with a traditional open fireplace, so naturally that's where TLC (for Top Library Cat) is likely to be found during those cold Nebraska winters. However, if there's any kind of celebration going on, he's likely to be at the centre of it. He enjoys 'working the room' when poets, authors and various other speakers stop in for a visit, and has stood front and centre at the wedding of a former library board member. When he's not entertaining others, TLC finds that the writing of Lillian Jackson Braun entertains him — but of course he's never against perusing any literature that stars fellow felines or fluttering fish!
     As has been the case in some other libraries, there has been an issue about TLC's presence involving a couple of people who claimed they couldn't go to the library because of allergies. The library said it would take steps to address the problem, and hoped TLC would be able to remain there for the rest of his life.
     In the spring of 2013 TLC was still in residence and said to be 'very spoiled'. His age then was estimated to be about 15.
Website | TLC's page | Facebook



Library cat Powell Ricks, late of B S Ricks Memorial Library, Yazoo City, Mississippi
Library cat Orangela of B S Ricks Memorial Library, Yazoo City, Mississippi
Cats at B S Ricks Memorial Library, Yazoo City, Mississippi
Cats at B S Ricks Memorial Library, Yazoo City, MS

   B S RICKS MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Yazoo City & County, Mississippi


The first library cat here was Powell Ricks; he was born in 1993 and was found as a small, sickly kitten on Powell Street, near the library — hence his name. After 3 years he went to live with John Ellzey, who is the Reference and Local History Librarian and current 'cat carer'. Powell died in 2003. Since then the library seems to have become something of a haven for local cats, some of which are 'dropped off', and staff do their best to rehome them after they're 'fixed'. But a nucleus of nearly a dozen remains and they are considered permanent, although they don't live in the library itself.
     The undoubted 'Queen of the Cats' is Orangela, who arrived in about 2006 and has been featured in Cat Fancy magazine in the US. Before being spayed she had two litters of kittens, ten in total; all the second litter of six were rehomed, but three of the first batch remain as some of Orangela's 'subjects' (the fourth died in a traffic accident); they are Misty Moon, Orange Julius and Caramel. The seven other 'subjects' in early 2014 are Socks (the oldest at around 9 or 10), Stubby (has a short tail), Tailey (has half a tail), Babalou (a natural bobtail), Mister Gray, Snowdrop (solid white), and Sultan (solid black). There's also a neighbouring cat who visits for almost every meal, called Spot On. [We don't have pictures of him or of Sultan —Ed.]
     There's a very generous board member who is the cats' benefactress, paying for all their food and the vet bills. John's job is to take care of them; he says: 'Like the old-style postman, neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of night shall deter me from my appointed rounds.'
     Postscript: Sadly, since posting the above we've learned that Snowdrop has been missing for a while and may have been lost; and Socks, who was the oldest resident, has died, probably from old age.
We're much indebted to John for information about and images of the Ricks Library cats.
Website | Facebook



Library cats Cricket and Olivia, Bunker Hill Public District Library, Bunker Hill, Illinois

   BUNKER HILL PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT
Bunker Hill, Macoupin County, Illinois


Cricket and Olivia were indoor/outdoor cats who lived at the library, although we aren't sure how long they were there. It's hard to believe, but tragically someone poisoned them in spring 2009.
Website



Pumpkin, library cat at Camden Public Library, New York State, USA

   CAMDEN PUBLIC LIBRARY
Camden, New York State


Pumpkin was a stray kitten that found his way to the doors of this library in 2007; he's thought to be about 5 years old now (2011). He likes to stay close to the circulation desk, near the staff, but is a wonderful greeter for the library clients and enjoys being a 'lap cat' too. He's well loved, and patrons have brought him gifts of toys, catnip, and even a home-made bed! There's a charming short video of Pumpkin at YouTube.
     In early 2014 it was reported that Pumpkin was 'doing very well at the library'.
Thanks to Library Director Linda Frenzel for information.
Website | Facebook



Office and library cat Charlie, formerly of CASBS at Stanford University, California Charlie, formerly office and library cat at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, CA Charlie, fomer office and library cat at CASBS, Stanford University, CA

   CASBS
(Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences)
Stanford University, Santa Clara County, California


Charlie adopted CASBS as his home in 2003, when he was believed to be about a year old, and remained there until 2011. He then 'retired' and now (early 2014) enjoys life as a house cat at the home of one of the staff members. He's still missed at the office.
Thanks to librarian and information officer Tricia N Soto for information about Charlie and permission to use images.
CASBS website | Images are from The Life of Charlie the Office Cat, a group collection at Flickr where they and many others taken by Tricia and her colleagues can be seen complete and full-sized.



Library cats Dewey and Kitty - Cazenovia Public Library, Madison County, New York state
Library cat Jesse - Cazenovia Public Library, Madison County, New York state
Library cat Page - Cazenovia Public Library, Madison County, New York state

   CAZENOVIA PUBLIC LIBRARY
Cazenovia, Madison County, New York State


Cazenovia is a village in Madison County in the Syracuse metropolitan area of New York State. The first library cat in Cazenovia was Dewey Decimal; he arrived in July 1985 but died in February 1988. He was succeeded by Kitty, who occupied the post for 11 years until October 1999.
     The next feline to grace the library was Jesse, quite an adventurous soul who loved riding in the elevator, 'just because he could'! He had something of a reputation as an escape artist, too; but was also a meeter and greeter par excellence and was much loved by patrons. He held his job from 2000 until he died in April 2009, at the age of about 14. Since September 2009 there's been a new library cat at Cazenovia; she's called Page and was described as very playful.
Website | Cats page including very nice tribute to Jesse | Facebook | Twitter



Library cat Belle - Charles & Ona B Free Memorial Library, Dublin, Virginia

   CHARLES & ONA B FREE MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Dublin, Pulaski County, Virginia


The library board in the town of Dublin, Virginia, took on Martha as resident cat in 2005 on the recommendation of the local humane society, as she was so gentle and loved people to pick her up and make a fuss of her. Because she was beginning a new life, it was felt she should have a new name, so she became Belle (after Ona Belle Free) and soon settled in. However, three years later there were apparently some complaints from patrons, most of which seem to have had little or no foundation.
     Unfortunately it does sometimes happen that a very few patrons make complaints about a library cat, which causes problems for the far greater number who enjoy the animal's presence. In these litigious times a library board has to take these matters seriously, though, and in this case the board held a forum to invite public comment. A number of citizens of ages ranging from 12 to 70 spoke or submitted letters in favour of retaining Belle, whereas no one spoke or wrote on this occasion against her. An online petition was also set up for people to sign in Belle's favour. After quite lengthy investigations and deliberations, the matter was duly considered at a board meeting, at which — to many people's relief — a majority of the board voted in favour of keeping Belle at the library, while ensuring that policies and procedures were in place to safeguard her and the patrons' safety.
     There's an online picture gallery of Belle, and a very short video of Martha (as she was while with the Pulaksi County Humane Society) at YouTube.
Website



Library cat Miss Dickens, late of Charles City Public Library, Charles City, Iowa

   CHARLES CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa


In June 2000 the Charles City Public Library was temporarily housed in the Cedar Mall while renovations were made to the library building. During that time a very small calico kitten was found, apparently lost, by the back door of the library's temporary home. She was being harassed by birds and staff feared for the kitten's safety, so she was brought inside; then it didn't take long for this young cat to be adopted. She was named Miss Dickens and went with the library staff to the newly remodelled building. Her veterinary care was donated by a local vet. All appeared to be well until — as so often happens — concerns were raised about patrons having allergies to cat dander, and at one point an attempt was made to have Miss Dickens removed and adopted by a family. However, she ultimately ended up as the pet of library staff and spent most of her time in the staff area of the library.
     In the summer of 2012 Miss Dickens began to have some health issues and developed a mass on her side which needed to be removed. She survived the surgery for its removal, but sadly she died at the vet's just a day or so later. She passed away on 31 October 2012 and is still much missed by staff.
Many thanks to library director Jill Gray for letting us have Miss Dickens' story.
Website | Facebook



Library cat Nyx - Chesterfield County Public Library, Virginia
Library Cat Nyx - Chesterfield County Public Library, VA
Nyx - Chesterfield County Public Library, Virginia

   CHESTERFIELD COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Chesterfield, Virginia


Wind your way through the offices of the Central Library and you may encounter Nyx, a precocious grey-blue cat with a few cream and white splashes, who inhabits the Collection Management section. From a distance Nyx appears to be a perfectly normal and typical library cat, playing with her many toys, taking naps and keeping library employees company as they go about their day. From time to time, she even rides along on the library book carts.
     But Nyx, named after the Greek goddess of night, is special. She was born, in May 2008, without eyes, so has been blind since birth and has had surgery to protect her empty eye sockets. She was fostered by a local humane society and then in October 2008 was adopted by the library department that is now her home base. She's a compact little cat, with a kink in her tail, which might have been broken at some point. Her blindness is part of the reason why in 2008 county officials granted her permission to live in the library office Monday through Friday. At weekends, she stays at the home of Ann Theis, her adoptive mom and administrator of Collection Management. 'We have a lot of cat lovers here in the library, and Nyx is a very people-oriented cat,' says Ann. 'Most employees were enthusiastic about having her stay here with us. She settled in right away.'
     Nyx's disability doesn't prevent her from getting around the office with ease. She relies on her keen sense of hearing, and senses when there's someone new in the room. She uses her sharp hearing to navigate around her office — her head bobbles in order to track sounds. She's sussed out the office area well and can generally be found perched on her 'cat condo' (a prime sunny spot). She has never hissed and is almost always purring, having a 'turbo purr' accented with a bit of a burble and trill. She does 'chat' with people and knows her name. Even employees who didn't previously consider themselves cat lovers warmed to this amazing cat. Staff members chip in for food, toys and other things Nyx needs.
     People from other departments often stop by for a quick 'Nyx fix' — a few minutes of purring, petting and playing. 'She's a great stress reliever,' says one library associate. 'She is a special-needs cat — but only because she is special and we have come to need her!' Nyx is fearless and fun, and life is good. There's a blog with further accounts of Nyx's adventures, more photos, and links to her YouTube and Facebook pages.

Note: readers interested in Nyx's condition may like to know of a book written about life with another blind cat, Homer from New York, and published in 2009. See the review and details of Homer's Odyssey in our Feline Folios section.



Library cat Pewter, late of Clark Fork Branch Library, Clark Fork, Idaho
Library cat Pete of Clark Fork Branch Library, Clark Fork, Idaho
Library cat Pete of Clark Fork Branch Library, Clark Fork, ID

   CLARK FORK BRANCH LIBRARY
Clark Fork, Bonner County, Idaho


Pete, 11 years old in 2014, used to be the 'greeter' at the Westwood Veterinary Clinic, but unfortunately he had a habit of beating up the canine clientele, so he was asked to move on! The library had recently lost their long-time resident Pewter, and the next cat taken on, Panther, 'kept checking out other openings for cat positions in the neighbourhood and one day didn't return from walkabout'. So there was a vacancy; Pete was recommended, has been at Clark Fork ever since and takes his job as Feline Public Relations Expert very seriously. Being a library cat takes a special kind of feline, with strengths in greeting patrons and maintaining good relations with the public; Pete has his job description down to a T, keeping both younger and older patrons returning for the 'purr flirt', the 'lap flop' and the 'keyboard scramble'. He also knows just when to walk away and is enough of a tease to keep his fans coming back for more. He's patient with the younger set, is usually good for a walk-through or to hold down your favourite chair, and is nearly always ready for a catty greeting or a serious cuddle — although now he's getting older he may need a refreshing nap a bit more often. 'At times Pete forgets himself and may be caught with his spectacles on, perusing the latest Daily Bee [the local East Bonner journal] or chittering at birds on the bird feeder — but that's only at break-time.' The library would love you to pass by and meet Pete and his friendly staff!
Very many thanks to Sharon Wallace for information about and images of Pete.
Clark Fork is part of the East Bonner County Library District and the following links go to their pages for all libraries in the district — look for Clark Fork from there:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube



Library cat Dewey, late of Elko County Library, Elko, Nevada
Library cat Dewey, late of Elko County Library, Elko, NV

   ELKO COUNTY LIBRARY
Elko, Nevada


Even before a certain cat from Iowa made the name Dewey famous in the cat world, it was understandably something of a favourite for library cats. The handsome grey-tabby bearer of the name from the town of Elko in Nevada was adopted from an animal shelter in about 1993/94, and resided in the staff section of the library, but was always pleased to make a public appearance on request! He enjoyed sitting in windows to look outside, loved sharing desks with the staff — they just worked around him — and was a good stress-buster, seeming to sense when someone was having a bad day and giving them particular attention. He liked Monday mornings when everyone returned to work, but apparently they had to 'watch their lunch' as Dewey was partial to 'all people food except French fries.' In 2001 he appeared in Cat Fancy magazine.
     Sadly this beautiful cat died in April 2010. He was very much missed, and according to reference librarian, Patrick Dunn, the place was not the same without Dewey: 'He gave it a sense of character, and it felt like a home.' We understand there were no plans to adopt another feline in the foreseeable future.
     In 2014 Dewey was still remembered fondly. A library staffer, after seeing a cat sitting outside nearby who looked very like him, posted at Facebook and remarked that 'Dewey was a gray cat with a very expressive face. [He] has been gone for quite a few years now but he will always hold a special place in our hearts.' The Friends were also still using Dewey's image for their Facebook profile.
Website | Dewey memorial page | Library at Facebook | Friends at Facebook



Library cat L.C., late of Escondido Public Library, Escondido, California

   ESCONDIDO PUBLIC LIBRARY
Escondido, San Diego County, California


L.C. (standing for Library Cat) arrived at the library in 1993 as a tiny kitten, probably no more than 3 months old, when a lady who was moving away brought her in and asked if the youngster could stay there. She did, and became a much loved library cat for a number of years, with patrons often stopping to pet her as they entered the library. In 2001, though, a man filed a claim against the city of Escondido for 1.5 million dollars after his assistance dog was clawed by the cat. He said that when he entered the library late in 2000 he and his dog Kimba were approached by her, and claimed that a fight between the animals ensued in which Kimba suffered scratches. The man claimed that his mixed-breed dog helped him because he suffered from a panic disorder and Kimba could sense his attacks before they actually happened, and that the fight caused him extreme mental anguish. The library was ordered by the City of Escondido not to discuss the incident, but said that it had had a dog-alert system in place for some time. The complainant said that he was not trying to have the cat removed from the library, but he wanted them to warn people with assistance animals better, and he wanted the city to pay for his pain and suffering.
     Eventually the claim was dismissed as frivolous, but as a result of it L.C. was obliged to retire from the library. She was found a private home, where she settled in well, but died in October 2003. She is fondly remembered at the library; a patron even wrote a poem about her, which was inscribed on a plaque and kept on the circulation desk. There's also a commemorative brick for L.C. at the Escondido Humane Society.
     A YouTube video, apparently one of a series of short films under the general title of I am California of the Past made by the Media Arts Center of San Diego, tells L.C.'s story and includes a number of stills.
Website | Facebook | Twitter



Library cat Pudders, late of Everett Free Library, Everett, Pennsylvania

   EVERETT FREE LIBRARY
Everett, Bedford County, Pennsylvania


Pudders just wandered onto the library porch and took up residence in about 2006. When taken to the vet, it was found that she had been ill-treated. 'Taking in a stray goes along with the library mission of service to the community,' said Denise Plaskon, library director at the time, who believed that 'having a library cat around puts everyone in a good mood, and fosters interest in the library for the younger kids'. When a new director was appointed she was allergic to cats, so Pudders was adopted by a family. She died there a couple of years later. Now there's a library dog.
Thanks to Judy Hillegas, library director, for the information about Pudders.
Website | Facebook



Library cat Judge Kitty, late of Fairplay Public Library, Fairplay, Colorado
Library cat Judge Kitty, late of Fairplay Public Library, Fairplay, CO
Library cat Buster Bailiff, formerly of Fairplay Public Library, Fairplay, CO
Library cat Buster Bailiff, formerly of Fairplay Public Library, Fairplay, Colorado

   FAIRPLAY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Fairplay, Park County, Colorado


The resident cat in this library was quite a celebrity in the town of Fairplay, with his image appearing on T-shirts, calendars, mugs and fridge magnets to help fundraising for a new library building. Judge Kitty was cream-coloured, with definite traces of Siamese, and as such was a great 'talker'. It was thought possible that he was the last descendant of the wild cats that roamed the town's streets for many years. He was taken on at the library as a kitten in 1995, when the librarian began to feed him as he seemed to be abandoned; he wouldn't come in until the weather turned cold — but then he never left! He was very friendly and was a great favourite with patrons, especially the children. His name arose because the library was then in the old county courthouse — and the cat used to hold court there. He had several favoured sleeping spots, including any available lap, and — if it was sunny and he could persuade someone to open the door — outside on the book drop. Going outside proved to be his undoing, however, as in November 2009 he was run over and killed by a truck outside the library.
     Judge Kitty even had his own bank account, although he was not on the county payroll. Library patrons chipped in when he needed surgery for a digestive problem some years ago; and when someone stole the tin into which donations for his upkeep were regularly dropped, the local newspaper carried the story under the headline Judge Kitty Robbed.
     A new library cat, from the Summit County Animal Shelter, was appointed in February 2010 following Judge Kitty's demise; he was named Buster Bailiff (Buster for short) — a red tabby with one torn ear. At first described as 'a little shy but getting more affectionate and talkative', he turned out to be an easy-going and sweet-tempered cat, 'enjoying the quiet environment of the library and tolerating all manner of interruptions to his intellectual activities. When he needs more solitude, he has his special hideaways; he enjoys treats, being brushed, and is generally not interested in having his picture taken.' At one point, in July 2012, he went missing for six weeks; apart from some broken skin and an infection from his old collar he was fine when he returned, although he did spend a week of 'r & r' at a sanctuary to help him recover.
     During 2013, however, it was announced that the library would be moving from the courthouse to new premises situated right on a busy street, and staff were concerned for the cat's safety if he got out or tried to get back to the old library, which would mean crossing a busy highway. It was reluctantly decided that Buster would need to find a new home and a plea was made on the Facebook page of the Friends of the Library. In September 2013 it was announced that a 'forever home’ had been found, and a special open day event was held to bid him farewell.
     Early in 2014, in response to an enquiry, we heard that Buster was 'a happy cat, doing great, and enjoying the serenity of his retirement from the hustle and bustle of the library move'.
Website | Friends site | Friends at Facebook



Library cat Louie - Freedom Public Library, Freedom, New Hampshire
Louie - Freedom Public Library, Freedom, NH

   FREEDOM PUBLIC LIBRARY
Freedom, Carroll County, New Hampshire


Louie is the resident male tabby cat in the library. Although he's unable to read books himself, despite the fact that he adores them, he looks for books that encourage library patrons to read to him. Two of his favourites are said to be Three Stories You Can Read to Your Cat and Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat, both written by Swan Miller and illustrated by True Kelley. Another activity he enjoys is checking out boxes. He is 'gentle with people of all ages and is especially patient with the youngest patrons'. There's a great selection of photos of Louie to be found at the library's blogspot if you spend some time browsing through the archived entries.
     Louie still works at the Freedom Public Library and his 11th birthday is in July 2014.
Website | Blog | Facebook



Library cat Page, late of Gladstone Public Library, Gladstone, Oregon

   GLADSTONE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Gladstone, Clackamas County, Oregon


Back in 2004 Page, the tabby library cat at the Public Library in Gladstone, Oregon, was the cause of some issues with the security system because of her antics, as reported by Catherine Powers, then the library director. 'Between January and March, I bet I had half a dozen calls from the police that the security alarm had gone off,' said Powers. 'I'd have to drag myself out of bed at 1 a.m. or 3 a.m. to check the building and reset the alarm.'
     She assumed that the alarm system was faulty, because the motion sensor was set too high for 10-pound Page to trigger. A company employee checked out the system, found nothing wrong with it — and offered the only logical explanation. He said, 'I think that cat is sliding down the banister.' Powers assured him that was ridiculous.
     A few weeks later, Page was strolling along the mezzanine stair railing when, just as pretty as you please, she turned and slid down the banister. 'We just all started laughing,' Powers said.
     Sadly, Page died in 2008. We have not heard that a new library feline was taken on; but in 2014, replying at Facebook to someone commenting that they missed her, the library said they did too, adding that Page was 'a total library dude... so laid back.'
Website/blog | Facebook



Library cat Bubbles, of Grand Forks Public Library, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Library cat Bubbles, of Grand Forks Public Library, Grand Forks, ND

   GRAND FORKS PUBLIC LIBRARY
Grand Forks, North Dakota


The cat here originally belonged to the mother of a staff member, but when the lady had to move to accommodation that didn't allow cats, another librarian, Lori, 'begged her boss to allow the cat to live in the library'. Eventually permission was given, and Bubbles has lived there since 2006, with Lori as her principal caregiver. She spends much of her day in the 'perch' fixed up for her on the window sill in Lori's office, basking in the sun; she's been described as 'aloof' and can give the impression she's really not bothered about people! However, as with many library cats, she enjoys supervising from the circulation desk, and in the evening, at around 7:30 or 8, she wanders around the library and may allow herself to be petted by some patrons, although she prefers to be talked to and looked at rather than interacting with people she doesn't know. Many times a day there are people — especially children — who want to go to the office to see Bubbles. She's very good at the innocent 'What, me?' ploy (like when pretending she really wasn't batting at the fish from outside their tank), and staff believe she creates 'kitty mayhem' when the library's closed and she's the only one around!
     A YouTube clip relates the story of her arrival at the library and shows some shots of her. Reaction to her presence has been overwhelmingly positive over the years, although one patron did complain of allergies. The Board considered other complaint requests and felt that because of the age of the library building there were other reasons for allergies. The issue was tabled and would be addressed again in the future if there were a new building or a remodel.
Warm thanks to Bobbi Wood for supplying information and images of Bubbles.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube channel



Library cat Purrl Reedmoore - Grayson County Public Library, Independence, Virginia Purrl Reedmoore - Grayson County Public Library, Independence, VA Library cat Purrl Reedmoore - Grayson County Public Library, Independence, Virginia

   GRAYSON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Independence, Grayson County, Virginia


Purrl Reedmoore is a beautiful pure-white cat who arrived at the library in March 2004. She's said to prowl like a 'white ghost', and is very good with children. In 2005 local artist Kathye Mendes donated to the library an original painting of Purrl with two young readers; a competition was held to create a short story around the picture and give it a name. Purrl had a fine scrapbook page, unfortunately no longer found at the library site but saved at the Internet Archive.
Web page | Purrl's scrapbook



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Our featured feline at the head of the page is Socks, pictured in 2003 surveying his 'estate' in the early morning sunshine. Affectionately known as Soxy, he blossomed from a thin and hungry stray into a substantial and handsome cat who loved life and company, and his gentle ways endeared him to many friends. He is now no longer with us, but you can read more from his human companion here.


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