Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cats and Libraries

I know a lot of people consider it a cliche for librarians to have cats, but what these people don't realize is that it's actually a law of the universe.

I didn't have a cat when I started working in libraries. I wasn't looking to get one either. In less than six months, I had a cat. The universe forced me to, and I was powerless to resist. If you work in a library, and you don't have a cat, either you're allergic and so exempt, or you just don't have one YET. You can argue with me all you want, but when you find a kitten sitting in your desk chair when you get to work, you'll know. The universe got you too. No, I didn't find my cat in my desk chair. The universe was sneakier with me.

At one time, I was in charge of opening the library, and arrived fifteen minutes early to do so. I walked around checking the emergency doors, and was strolling through the window lounge when a small glob of orange huddled against one of the windows caught my eye. I walked over and saw a kitten half covered in mud shivering against the glass.

It was late fall. It was morning. It was cold. I looked at the kitten crouched there, and knew I had to go out and check on her. She was so small, and she looked so pitiful with her hind legs covered in red mud while her front half was fluffy and orange, and her eyes were still blue. Orange fur, blue eyes, bedraggled kitten. I dare you to resist the combination.

I went outside, and circled round to the back of the library where the window lounge was located, and approached the kitten. As soon as she saw me, she did one of the most heartbreaking things imaginable. She tried to run away from me through the window. She boinked her head and scrabbled with her tiny little paws against the glass as I crept closer. I scooped her up easily. She fit in the palm of my hand. As soon as I had her, she was hissing and spitting, and scratching, but as I said, the little thing could fit in the palm of my hand so her claws were too small to even really break the skin.

I cuddled the kitten to give her some warmth and took her back inside. As I was walking to an entrance door, I felt something glance off my chin. I looked down and realized that the little thing had tried to bite me, but it hadn't hurt and instead of freaking me out, she just endeared herself to me more. I did lower her from striking distance to my face though. She continued to growl and hiss at me the whole trip back inside.

When I got back inside, I got a clean rag to wipe her off and bundle her up. The kitten still was not happy. She made outraged noises and attempts on my life as I tended to her, but I had a secret weapon--A turkey sandwich. I took the turkey from the sandwich, wiped off the Mayo, and fed small pieces of it to her. She ate the meat greedily and any nips I received I contributed to hunger and not the open malice in her eyes.

Of course, she came home with me.

I named her Caper.


Blogger Happy Villain said...

Awww, she's adorable! I think there is a sign written in Feline, instructing wayward cats to seek the local library, where the librarians who worship their species are found.

Happyville Library is home to two orphan kitties. Yes, they live in the library. That's only because we all have no more space at our homes for stray kitties. It's a good thing stray alligators don't wander up to the windows and doors of libraries. Although, they might make for cheaper security.

10:59 PM, January 09, 2006  
Blogger MadameBoffin said...

She is sooooooooo cute! Talk about melting the heart :)

6:25 AM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger Linda said...

OMG! She is way too cute. I know what you mean about cats and books (libraries), they go together like peanut butter and jelly!
I have two myself and I call them "the jerks who live with me" because they are both male and both (of course) sponge off me and never lift a paw to do any house work.
(If you would like to see the jerks, go to, the link below goes to my attempt at an exercise blog).

3:31 PM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

I was powerless to resist


It's very cute.

4:44 PM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger Katya said...

She's so cute. I have cats that I'm not fond of but even they are just too cute to resist sometimes.

9:31 PM, January 11, 2006  
Anonymous Jess said...

She is beautiful. I once had a stray orange and white kitten bolt through my front door and into the kitchen where our other cat's food was. He had blue eyes too, and we weren't sure what color he was at the time because of a layer of dirt coating his fur. He was just as sweet looking though...once we gave him a bath...and we named him Chauncey. They do have a way of finding you.

5:06 PM, January 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 Librarians and 9 cats in one house--see, we're required to have extra cats because we're both library people.

It does make me wonder tho--if I have 9 cats and I'm married. . .how many cats would I have if I were one of those crazy old maids?

1:50 AM, January 13, 2006  
Blogger disgruntled world citizen said...

aw, she's adorable. :D

6:40 PM, January 13, 2006  
Blogger Gareth said...

Only female librarians have cats. Maleones are just gay or slightly dysfuntional, or maybe both.

4:55 PM, January 15, 2006  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Gareth, I'm sending you a cat. Vampire Librarian is EOC (Equal Opportunity Cat-People).

7:39 PM, January 15, 2006  
Blogger Kris G. said...

I just discovered your blog this evening and was reading back through the archives when I stumbled on this post. Oh, my, what a lovely girl Caper is, and very lucky too.

Out here where I am, the Universal Law of Felines and Librarians seems to have been suspended in favour of dogs. Fie on that. I have two cats and am on the lookout for another...

10:17 PM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger NicoleAllee said...

Thank you for your blog. My hubby is a Librarian and is often trying to convey the life and times thereof.

Of course, between us, we have 4 cats.

Your kitten is adorable!

11:24 PM, June 27, 2006  
Blogger I LUV CATS said...

I found the cutest photo on your site.

2:08 PM, July 09, 2006  

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