Petaluma Pet Pals, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Petaluma, California, is fundraising to open Morti’s Used Book Nook & Adoption Lounge. The cage-free pet adoption center and used bookstore will be located next to their Great Stuff Thrift Store. The organization recently hosted an in-person fundraiser and is looking to raise $15,000 via GoFundMe, where they write, “We are looking to build a cage free adoption center where folks can come in and interact with the cats. There will be used books for reading and purchase.”
The used bookstore/cat lounge will be named after a baby kitten, Morti, short for Morticia, who passed away last year. The groups’s cat adoption coordinator Tanya Reyes told Petaluma 360 that the group has received many book donations, and will be looking for more, along with volunteers, in the fall. Petaluma Pet Pals President Shannon Frieberg said in the same article that the goal is to enable more cats to be adopted. “It would be a more stable program if we could streamline the adoption process. My dream was a cat café, but it cost too much. Tanya and I talked it over and she came up with the bookstore idea. We get a lot of books donated.”
The idea of helping people bring home a new pet along with a book isn’t totally new. Otis and Clementine’s Books And Coffee in Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia, Canada, is also home to foster kittens courtesy of the local SPCA in need of adoption. Owner Ellen Helmke told the the CBC in 2019, “I thought it would be a fun thing to do and I thought people would enjoy it, but it’s turned out to be so popular. They jump on piles of books, they hang out on the albums, they sit on people’s laps, curl up on their shoulder. They run the place.” On the bookstore’s website, they state, “We have kittens from time to time,” asking customers to call ahead if that’s the reason for their visit.
Fat Cat Books in Tallahassee, Florida, is another used bookstore with a feline-inspired mission, and features multiple adult adoptable cats in a program run by the non-profit animal rescue group Feline Advocates of Leon County. Their website states that all their cats have been spayed or neutered and tested negative for feline leukemia and feline AIDS. “We do not discriminate with our kitties, we love them all; short hair, long hair, big or small. We also love our special needs kitties (such as Finn); every one of them deserves a chance at a loving home,” the site proclaims. The bookstore accepts donations, and charges $3 per paperback book and $5 per hardcover book.
My Cat Jeoffrey Bookstore and Cat Lounge is currently an online bookstore based in Arizona, with plans to open a brick-and-mortar store in Phoenix. The store bills itself as a non-profit “cat bookstore” which specializes in books for animal lovers. The store’s mission is to “get homeless animals adopted in an atmosphere that is more comfortable and home-like than a regular shelter, as well as to promote compassion toward and empathy for animals through literature.” Their website lists rescue groups with cats available for adoption in Arizona and elsewhere.
Elaborating on the bookstore’s goals, they write, “We seek to improve literacy and compassion through reading and writing by hosting therapy sessions where patrons can practice reading to an animal, and writing programs where young people can write a story about a favorite animal to be included in a published book.” The bookstore is named after poet Christopher Smart’s ode to his cat in the poem “Jubilate Agno.”
Bookstores and cats are a familiar pairing in many locations, so beloved that the Instagram account bookstorecats, which documents felines who dwell in or are frequent visitors to bookstores, has 23,000 followers.