Tag Archives: Animal Planet

Tails and Tales

Jack’s weekly guest blog –

Kittens! Kittens everywhere!!

They’re in my lap, under my feet, knocking over books and chasing each other all round the shop. Then they all, as one, keel over and go to sleep in a sweet little puddle of cuddling. Until it all starts again!

jack and nikeI’m the curmudgeon of course – “no more, this is the last one, we’re a bookstore not an animal shelter!”

But then one of them sneaks onto my lap or curls up on my shoulder – and purrs – – –

It’s hard to believe these little fluffballs would have been killed if we hadn’t taken them in. It’s harder to think about the ones we didn’t have room for. Wendy’s proud of having recruited two new foster families this month, so her rescue got up to about 2 in 5 kittens getting pulled from the shelter before the inevitable happened.

Kerouac, Ferlenghetti, and Nike being very Manx!

Kerouac, Ferlenghetti, and Nike being very Manx!

We honestly would love to keep them all, but the current crop just have to find homes. Poor Valkitty is grumpy as all get out about these pesky youngsters invading her space and, besides, we can’t take any more until we find homes for these five.

There’s Nike “Bad Ass” The Moth

Nike the wonder kitten

Nike the wonder kitten


and Kerouac

                                                                                                                        and Joan Baezjoan posing

not to mention Winston Moneybags, who is already neutered

Winston sleepingK, F and JB are siblings: F is a cuddler, K a soccer player, and JB a preener who likes to sit about striking poses. Nike is a benevolent dictator, lap sitter and “carry me about” kitten; and Winston was dumped in the ATM room of a local bank and likes to lie on the backs of chairs or in windowsills.

So come on folks! Fill your home with fuzzy love and laughter – and doing the kitten shuffle. A free kitten with every book purchased!


Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, small town USA, Uncategorized


Jack’s weekly guest post – he often refers to the US and UK as

I’m not a superstitious person as a rule, although I come from a country that’s full of Things One Must Not Do. This list includes: not walking under ladders (I used to be a house-painter and did that all the time); not walking on the cracks in the sidewalk (very Stephen King, that one); throwing spilled salt over the left shoulder (that’s where the Devil hides). There are also proactive things one SHOULD do to attract good luck.

FuryWhich brings me neatly to cats: specifically the black kind!

Most superstitions are the same wherever you are, but oddly enough the superstitions about black cats are exactly opposite on each side of the Atlantic. Here in the States, black cats are unlucky, whereas in Scotland they are considered very lucky indeed. Over there people will go out of their way to have a black cat ‘cross their path’. And it is considered good luck to pet one.

Did you know that American rescues and animal shelters dread getting black animals in because they are so hard to re-home? Quoting from Animal House (a great FB site for animal lovers, by the way): According to an article by Joy Montgomery, it is believed to be due to a combination of the animals “size, unclear facial features, dimly lit kennels, the genericness of black pets and/or the negative portrayal of black pets in books, movies and other popular media”. No matter the reason, the reality is heartbreaking.

We have three adorable black kittens (about ten weeks old) running around the bookstore right now waiting for their forever homes. Plus a big (ten-pounder) adult black tom–a shy, quiet gentle giant of a baby boy, equally hopeful of finding his Shangri-La. His name is Inky (Ha!). Here he is in his shelter picture, poor baby.black cat

And of course we’ve had Valkittie – the bookstore manager–since she was four weeks old. Almost entirely black, with just a tiny white bikini and toe ring, she has brought us nothing but good luck.

So we’ve given Valkittie (who by the way is Scottish and has no truck with this bad luck nonsense) the job of making the other four naturalized Scots. That way they will always be lucky black cats, and their forever homes will be doubly blessed from taking them in.

valkyttie suspicionShe is taking her duties seriously.

Wherever they go, they will bring laughter; these kittens are total goofballs. Just yesterday we put a toy in their room that has a ball in a tracked groove, the kind of thing one picks up at any pet store for $10. One sat on the toy’s central disc while the other two shoved the balls with their paws, spinning him in circles.

Goofballs. Good luck goofballs. Come see for yourself, and let’s have no more of this “black cats bad” silliness. Thank you!


Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Scotland, Uncategorized