Bookstore cat industry struggles in 2012

Bookstore cat industry struggles in 2012

Algonquin, New York: the numbers are in from the NBCG (National Bookstore Cats Guild), and there was a 17% rise in unemployment for the literary mascots in 2012.

“When the store closed around me, what could I do? I slitted my eyes and swished my tail, but it didn’t make any difference,” said Dawn Kittyhotee, ten-year veteran of  recently shuttered “Musty Woodpulp Books” in Alexandria, Virginia. “I took a position (lying down, mostly) in a private home, but I miss ignoring intellectuals.

We interviewed Guild President Furry Bookend at a small milk bar (we called several times, but he didn’t answer until we put out food).

ILMK: “What would you say is the biggest contributor to the downturn in the number of bookstore cats?”

FB: “Well, it’s important to note that there are just as many bookstore cats are there used to be…we just aren’t all working in bookstores. Once you get the business under your fur, it stays with you. For example, many of us now sleep on our owners’ feet while they work the business from a computer.”

ILMK: “Has the internet had a negative impact on Guild members?”

FB: “Absolutely. Only twenty percent of Americans have petted a physical cat in the past week (down from 34% in 2010), whereas 97.9% have watched a cat video online. People say they prefer the feel of a real cat in their laps, but you can’t beat the convenience of instant delivery and behaviors-on-demand.”

ILMK: “How can the Guild compete with that?”

FB: “We’ve looked at a number of possibilities, although if we look at them too long, we tend to doze off. We are talking to Amazon about a virtual bookstore cat for their store. On a rotating basis, we’d appear through remote presence technology on search result pages. Customers could pet us using their pointing devices.”

ILMK: “You mean mice?”

FB: “We don’t call them that. It’s an offensive term. Can you imagine any human actually holding a rodent like that? Gross. We also are looking at working with the traditional publishers…I keep hearing there are a lot of fat cats there, but I’ve never actually encountered one. I think it might just be some kind of complimentary analogy, but I”m not sure.”

At this point, the interview ended. We tried asking additional questions, but President Bookend noticed the ceiling fan, stared at it wide-eyed for thirty seconds, and then ran out the door.

We will continue to monitor this story.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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12 Responses to “Bookstore cat industry struggles in 2012”

  1. Harold Delk Says:

    I almost choked on my coffee while reading this. NSTRWDC begs to be a new warning acronym.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      “Not Safe To Read While Drinking Coffee”…I like it, since it could also be “Cola”. That’s where I hear about it a lot.

      Of course, people also talk about laughing too hard with milk…but that could be “cow juice”. ;)

  2. Zebras Says:

    I am a cat person, and I really enjoyed this. Met a few lovely book store cats over the years.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      I like cats…and dogs. I’ve often had both together.

      Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it!

  3. cardinalrobbins Says:

    My four cats and I absolutely loved this. I actually do miss going into a brick and mortar store to browse, then coming up to the check out counter to pet the store’s mascot. Those were the days! Excellent work, BC!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, cardinalrobbins!

      Say “Hi” to the cats for me…they don’t have to acknowledge it, though, I understand. :)

  4. Lady Galaxy Says:

    The very first Kindle book I ever purchased was, “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World” purchased on October 16, 2008. That was 730 books ago, but I still keep it on all my Kindles. Quite a few of those books are about library cats and book store cats like the “Magical Cats” series by Sofie Kelly or the “Cat in the Stacks” series by Miranda James or just cats who help their person solve crimes like the “Cats in Trouble” series by Leann Sweeney.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I’ve heard of Dewey! Well, at least I’ve heard of a Dewey who is a library or bookstore cat…can’t remember which.

  5. Robert JR Graham » A Cat-Like Race Of Beings Says:

    [...] Bookstore cat industry struggles in 2012 [...]

  6. Erysimum Says:

    Too funny! I am very lucky and get to pet at least four physical cats every day :-) If you meet any unemployed bookstore cats you could suggest a garden centre. My favorite ones have resident cats that follow me around. I’d be slightly worried abound boy cats marking in a library anyway. One of my boys marked my Kindle :(

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Erysimum!

      Yes, I can see having cats in a garden centre! We see them on our walks around here, but I can’t think of store that has one.

      One of our past cats jumped off the bookshelf…and dragged claws down several spines of books to slow the drop! Those were certainly conversation pieces later…

  7. Paging Dr. Page: your Amazon Author Central page Says:

    [...] Bookstore cat industry struggles in 2012 [...]

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