DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Sep 14 2012

Feline Fancy

by Veronica W

I recently read a quote which stated “All real librarians have cats, some deviant librarians also have dogs.” Although this may be something of a generalization, I have noticed that an inordinate number of library staff have cats. There is something about a purring cat on your lap, as you read a good book, that spells tranquility. In my opinion, while dogs are great as jogging companions or alarm systems, it’s hard to cuddle up with one in front of a fireplace. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

According to history cats were used in ancient Egypt to keep rodents and snakes from the preserved papyrus housed in temple libraries. The famous New York Public Library lions, Patience and Fortitude, have been greeting patrons since 1911 and are said to “symbolize felines as the guardians over literary works.”  If you visit catster.com, you’ll see other  friendly felines who have made their home among the stacks and are adored by staff and patrons alike.

I know all cats are not wonderful, especially since I started watching Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell with Jackson Galaxy. I  confess  I am amazed at what some cat lovers will put up with and it’s fascinating to watch him work with what were considered irredeemable cats since cats are, by reputation, not trainable. Mr. Galaxy, whose sympathies are  obviously with the cats, has written a book entitled Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love and Coming Clean. 

The world’s population is divided by their preference for cats and dogs—or so I’m told. A few undecided folks claim to like both. Question: If, for your birthday, you received a surprise box with air holes, what would you want to find when you opened it? (Reptile and bird people may refrain from answering.)

DeKalb County Public Library has recently acquired a wonderful addition to their library card offerings. James Dean’s Pete the Cat card is sure to please feline fanciers. For a donation of twenty dollars to the DeKalb Library Foundation, you can have this charming “passport” to everything the library has to offer. After all, what’s not to like about a cat wearing red and white sneakers?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia D September 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Please, don’t let this encourage folks to start dumping kitties on our doorsteps, but with one exception all my fur-footed darlings over the years have been library strays. Though my furniture has taken a full on beating, and we must be hyper vigilant with dental floss, thread, jewelry any other vet bill waiting to happen, and the end always brings great heartbreak, my life is the richer for having feline companions, even if no one in my house is willing to cuddle up with me while I read.

David September 14, 2012 at 2:58 PM

There’s also this website about libraries that have resident cats:


Don’t know if their duties entail purring on the laps of readers, though.

Dea Anne M September 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

My Rita loves to curl up next to me as I read. Alternatively, she enjoys placing herself on top of my reading material if it happens to be a magazine. I guess the glossy surface appeals to her. Archie likes to get eye level with me as I’m reading and stare at me until I pet him.

Ken September 17, 2012 at 7:58 PM

If anyone out there is discouraged with their cat’s behavior, I read an interesting book recently along the lines of Cat Daddy (I think, haven’t read that): Cats Behaving Badly by Celia Haddon. Basically, she believes that if your cat is misbehaving, it’s your fault for not understanding them.

Since my two are always perfect angels, I was curious from a scientific point of view only, of course.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: