Store Pets

A few weeks ago a friend’s Gchat status read, “Bodega cats, exemplary creatures.” We agreed. Then, we heard about the Brooklyn Mutt Show coming up this weekend, and we really got pets on the mind. So we asked photographer Liz Vidyarthi to visit some of our favorite store pets from around the borough and put together a gallery of Brooklyn’s cutest blue-collar cats, dogs…and bunnies.

Community Bookstore in Park Slope (the closest thing Park Slope has to a petting zoo)
The Five Six Store Pets: Pat (the Bunny), Karrthus (the Bearded Dragon), Sir Marjorie Lambshank (the cat), bookstore owner Catherine Bohne’s dogs Todd and Priscilla, and a turtle out back.
How the bunny got there: Some girl dropped him off at the store one day, saying he needed a home.
Biggest kerfuffle to date: Once the booksellers started feeding what they thought was a stray cat, only to be informed that they were effectively stealing the nearby bodega’s pet. (Sir Marjorie, by the way, is not the same stray).
Cute overload moment: Sometimes Sir Marjorie runs down the road to play with his best friend, the cat who lives at the nearby pet store.

We’ve put together a slideshow of the Community Bookstore pets, here.

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Littlefield in Gowanus
The Venue Pet: Scully, a 10-year-old rescued Jindo
Does she come to shows? “At her age, she’s not really a fan of crowds,” says Julie Kim, who owns Littlefield with Scott Koshnoodi. She and Scott typically walk Scully down to the venue for sound checks and bring her home before doors.
Scully’s favorite music genre? Easy listening and shoegaze. “She doesn’t like dance music so much or anything with a lot of bass.”

Realty Collective on Columbia Street
The Office Pets: Wally, and “The Other Dog,” a very recent addition who has yet to be named (Didi and Dottie are the main contenders). Both are Realty Collective owner Victoria Hagman’s rescued dachshunds.
What Wally does at work: Sits on people’s laps, unplugs power cords, barks at everyone who walks in the door. Then naps.
Is he a good real estate agent? “He’s very good at showing apartments. He thinks it’s hysterical to run back and forth around a vacant apartment.”
Weird coincidence: A dachshund was on the list of the things you had to bring to Littlefield’s July 4 scavenger hunt last year. Victoria won.

Spoonbill and Sugartown Books on Bedford Avenue
Felines in Residence
:  Hays, pictured, and Rainer (that’s as in Rainer Maria Rilke), a tabby who declined the photo op. Both kitties are 11 years old and came to the bookstore via the BARC shelter.
Personality quirks: While Rainer tends to keep to himself, Hays treats the store as his personal lounge, moving from sunny spot to sunny spot. Don’t expect a big reaction to affection; Hays is used to lots of attention and remains pretty aloof when petted. Also, according to one employee, “He has a bit of a pushy side when he’s hungry.”
Catnip of choice: He’s no kitten, but Hays attacks cardboard like one. Recently he’s developed an obsession with getting into and hiding in boxes, or even just rolling around in pile of cardboard scraps and flattened boxes.

Academy Records Annex in Williamsburg
Store Pet: Tigger, a two-year-old tabby from BARC.
Turn offs: Dogs. Tigger takes cat contempt for the canine world to a whole new level. He’s a big, aggressive cat and he really, really hates dogs. He doesn’t just blink haughtily and hiss when they come in the store — he’s been known to launch an attack.
Turn ons: Blogging. Tigger has a Livejournal page where he airs his grievances and fantasizes about being allowed out of the store on a pigeon killing expedition. What a twenty-first century cat.

Text by Nicole, Annaliese, Kristin Jones and Leila Sales. Photos by Liz Vidyarthi.

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