New Adopt-a-Cat Program Sees Cats Being Sold at a B.C. Book Store

New Adopt-a-Cat Program Sees Cats Being Sold at a B.C. Book Store

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Looking through the windows of a Chilliwack book shop, one will find various items available for purchase including books, puzzles, bookmarks, pillows…and now, cats.

The Book Man just launched its cat adoption window, a community space where people can look at and visit adoptable felines located in the downtown area at the Chilliwack store.

“I’ve always joked that everything in the store is for sale except for the staff and the cats, and now it’s just the staff,” said Amber Price, owner of The Book Man.

The room is about the size of a powder room with climbing structures, a secret litter box, a cat bed, and a little kitty door.

Adopt a cat project began a few months ago and it officially launched on April 5th. They’ve constructed a room inside the store along with a portion of the front window with lettering across the top reading ‘How much is that kitty in the window?’.

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It will be a temporary home to just one adoptable feline at a time for now. During the day, the cat will roam the book shop and visit with clients, while in the evening hours, it will remain in the cat room where people can see it through the large window that spans from the ground to the ceiling.

But just how is the Book Man able to adopt out cats? Well, they’re actually a foster home to the felines which are adopted out by two cat rescue associations in Chilliwack. The cats belong to the ABC Cat Rescue and FCM Community Cat Trappers.

The Book Man fosters only one cat at a time, and sometimes two, if the felines are a pair of bonded cats in its store for a minimum of two weeks. During that time, people can come in and meet the cat and if they happen to take interest in adopting, they can fill out an application form which is sent to the rescue association.

The first furry feline to grace the new space is an orange and white, long haired cat named Butters. He’s right under 15 pounds and is around six to seven years old.

The cat adoption window has already been a gigantic hit. Since the store’s Facebook post about it on April 5, over 500 individuals shared the announcement and word of the project had reached about 74,000 people in only a week and a half.

Nose prints dab the outside of the window from individuals who have been attempting to draw a closer look at Butters. Less than 24 hours later, there was already an application put in to adopt Butters and three more applications for him came in the first week.

Price points out that there are two significant advantages to this project. First, it’s a deduction to have a feline in the store as the business can mark it as a mascot. She adds that shelters like the SPCA and Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven are in provincial parts of Chilliwack, so individuals who don’t drive can’t get to them easily. Also, people who can’t have pets in their houses or apartments now have a way to meet and pet cats every few weeks.

“And you give a home to a cat that doesn’t necessarily have a home. If you don’t want to commit long-term then foster it, and let your customers adopt it.”

The idea came after Brittany Gidon with ABC Cat Rescue attempted to open a feline bistro in Chilliwack. Price felt sorry that the project wasn’t successful, so she chose to construct the feline window in her book shop to pay honor of Gidon’s idea.

“She got pretty far along the journey and then it didn’t work out,” Price said.

The adoption information for each cat will be displayed on the window, next to a QR code with all of the cat’s info. Adoption fees are $150 and each of the felines will be spayed, neutered, and vaccinated with appropriate health checks.

“I love the community aspect of it. It’s always been like that with the book store cat. that they belong to everybody. But now, literally, they can belong to you,” Price said.