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.