No question about it—people love bookstore cats. If you were one of the many who enjoyed my post on WonTon the Bookstore Cat, you’re in for another treat—Lelia Taylor, blogger at Buried Under Books | Tales of a Former Indie Bookseller and former owner of Creatures ‘n Crooks Books & Sundries, describes life with the handsome and beloved Hamilton, her bookstore cat:
Hamilton came to us by way of the SPCA. There’s no question he picked us and he really was meant to be a bookstore cat because he loved people, typical behavior for a Maine Coon. From the day we opened in May 2000, Hammie made it his mission to greet customers and “escort” them around the store. When we moved to an area with high foot traffic, folks would tell us he sat in the windowsill at night watching the world go by but, first thing in the morning, he’d be back on greeter duty. And woe to the customer who ignored him or who sat on the comfy sofa without indulging in a cuddle.
Hamilton also loved the camera, posing for pictures with great aplomb, and he especially enjoyed being filmed by the various video crews that came into the store over the years (his left side was his good one). Along with his photo ops, Ham ALWAYS had to be the center of attention during author signings and other events, parking himself right in the middle of the books or on a chair in the audience, front and center. He even participated in a wedding that we hosted in the store and got his real claim to fame when he was featured in a Washington Post article about Edgar Allan Poe.
This ultra-friendly cat had a lot of four-footed friends, too, the dogs (and a couple of more exotic pets) that came in with their owners. He liked nothing better than to romp through the store with a canine buddy. Naturally, he started each friendship by making it plain this was his home, his rules, and all were welcome who were willing to follow those rules. Watching Ham and his friends play was pure joy for all.
If the day ever comes when I open another bookstore, a bookstore cat will be first on the list of must-haves, all because Hamilton was so special. It’s just too bad that Hammie couldn’t live forever.
Would your cat be a good bookstore cat? Why or why not?