When she's not busy greeting customers, this Abyssinian tabby can be found taking up the reading chair that was put there for humans. Frequent stops are made to a shamrock plant in the store, which the approximately 14-year-old Ruby nuzzles and delicately licks on a daily basis. And if you approach the counter, she'll jump up for a pet. You weren't planning to buy a book or anything, were you?
This husky boy is 10 years old. When he's not busy taking up (considerable) space in the stacks, shelter cat Buddha has limitless reserves in the domain of customer service - Cam, the store manager, tells us that Buddha is so docile that kids will pick him up and run around the store with him. If you want to guarantee his affections, bring turkey treats.
Adopted from a local shelter in 2008, this fluffy guy is always up for pets from cat-loving customers. He can often be found taking up space on the counter, so you may have to find somewhere else to put those books you want to buy. And if the staff do not give him his morning brush after breakfast, there is hell to pay. Check out Nietzshe's Vine account.
GATSBY (a.k.a. GATSBY THE CATSBY)
Gatsby spent the first chapter of his life on the streets before joining the Abbotsford branch of The Book Man when they opened in 2011. Described by the bookstore staff as being somewhat "chattier" than his bookstore brother Nietzsche in the Chilliwack branch, Gatsby (called "Gatsby the Catsby" by customers) likes to meow loudly from the tops of the shelves and will quite literally throw himself at your feet for a pet.
The first of three bookstore cats we're featuring from this Edmonton institution, Fergie has quite the collection of cat toys strewn about and hidden in the downtown location. Named for hockey player John Ferguson, Fergie sleeps a lot on the job, but plays a crucial pest control role as well, sitting at the door and watching for bugs that may fly in. Her fondness for the front counter - and especially the computer keyboard - has resulted in many mistakes in people's orders, but no one seems to mind.
A contemplative Himalayan, the beautiful and mysterious Fleur likes to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Old Strathcona from her perch at the window. (This is also her preferred place to groom her rear end, in plain view of everyone passing by.) Named for hockey star Guy Lafleur, she's not receptive to the caresses of strangers, preferring to be admired from a distance.
A feline court jester with a playful personality, Saku (named for hockey player Saku Koivu) may spring out of his nubbily upholstered cat house to surprise you. He takes a direct approach with customers, so you might find him sidling right up to you for a pet. And if you've got a laser pointer or a Temptations cat treat on your person, he may never let you leave.
Dos, whose name means "two" in Spanish, is the second resident cat at this New Age bookstore. He used to live around the corner from the shop, but the lure of alternate philosophies was so strong that he couldn't stay away. When his owner moved, Dos took up permanent residence at Prairie Sky as spiritual supervisor and greeter.
The employees at this children's bookstore are under no illusion that they will ever reach executive status. "Mabel's the real boss around here," says the store's "books for schools" manager Erin. A rescue cat, Mabel is about 15 years old and is unfailingly sweet with all the children coming in and out. There's even one little boy who comes every Thursday afternoon to visit her.
A fancy and beautiful girl, Pushkin had a troubled youth being passed from place to place until she ended up at this indie bookstore in Prince Edward County. Although it took her some time to settle in, Pushkin now hitches rides around the store in customers' strollers and walkers when she's not laying on top of the computer, obscuring the order totals.
Along with her brother Shadow (just below), Mittens was taken in by bookstore owner and former steel worker Ed Gillis when their previous owner in Glace Bay had to move into an assisted living facility. When she's not busy unpacking new shipments, Mittens loves to take up residence in Ed's chair to prevent the boss from slacking off.
Like his sister, Mittens, Shadow has the freedom to come and go as he chooses thanks to a cat door in the back of the store. But he greatly prefers to stay inside and hang out with the literary types. Shadow also has a musical streak and can often be found sleeping on the used LPs for sale, body-blocking customers who dare try to look through them.