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Library Cats: A Heartwarming Story

Library Cats: A Heartwarming Story

It was the winter of 1987, and a Minnesota blizzard swirled madly outside Phyllis Lahti’s home when she heard the pitiful cries of a cat outside her door.

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Although the distressed tabby was covered with sores and bite marks, Phyllis recognized him as one of the street cats she regularly fed. Because her two resident cat companions made it clear they welcomed the formerly homeless feline about as much as a trip to the vet, the librarian took Royal Reggie (so named because of his “royal bearing,” says Phyllis) to live at her place of work, the Bryant Public Library in Sauk. There, he established himself as the library’s Cat in Residence, with the reference room being his preferred spot.

Although by no means the first cat to inhabit a library, Reggie served as the inspiration for Phyllis to found The Library Cat Society, whose dozens of member libraries have provided safe havens for many a cat left in library parking lots or dumped in book-return chutes. In the group’s newsletter, Phyllis describes the society’s aim: “to advocate the establishment of cats in libraries and recognize the need to respect and to care for library cats.”

As she wrote in the anthology, Cats, Librarians, and Libraries: Essays for and About the Library Cat Society, “The library office can, after all, serve as a refuge for the library cat. It should not lean toward the overly organized, and when possible it should have an inviting open desk or cabinet drawer for catnapping. It need not have a window box, but having one can be therapeutic, both for the cat who is reclining on it and the observer who is watching the cat.”

Do you know a library that could benefit from the addition of a Library Cat?

Read more: Pets, Cats, Humor & Inspiration

Adapted from Kirsten Rosenberg‘s story in Speaking Out for Animals, Kim W. Stallwood, ed. (Lantern Books, 2001). Copyright (c) 2001 by Kim W. Stallwoood. Reprinted by permission of Lantern Books.
Adapted from Kirsten Rosenberg‘s story in Speaking Out for Animals, Kim W. Stallwood, ed. (Lantern Books, 2001).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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+ add your own
4:21AM PDT on May 9, 2013

Great story, please keep posting more like this. Thanks

11:51AM PDT on May 8, 2013

Cats and books are a match made in heaven.I really love the book "Dewey" from Vicky Miron.Dewey Read More Books was an amazing library cat.

3:04AM PST on Jan 1, 2013

Can we have more stories like this in 2013?

12:44PM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Great Article, thanks!

6:25AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Thank you Annie, for Sharing this!

4:14AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

What a sweet story, thank you.

3:19AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Cats can read!

2:10PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Books.....Cats......Life is good!

5:48AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012


6:37PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

What a perfect match!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Not a cat person, but will keep this in mind for my kitty-loving friends.

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thanks for sharing, staycations are fun

Some really great tips! Thanks for sharing.

Oh, I love them! They're like little aliens. Thanks for sharing.


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