Peering through the windows of a Chilliwack book store, one will find various items for sale – books, bookmarks, puzzles, pillows… and now cats.
The Book Man just launched its cat adoption window, a community space where folks can see and visit adoptable cats located right in the downtown 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 adopt-a-cat project started few months ago and it officially launched on April 5. They’ve built a room inside the store along a portion of the front window with lettering across the top reading ‘How much is that kitty in the window?’
The room is about the size of a powder room with climbing structures, a cat bed, a hidden litter box and a little kitty door.
It will be the temporary home to one adoptable cat at a time. During the day, the cat will roam the book store and visit with customers, and at night, it will stay in the cat room where folks can see it through the ground-to-ceiling window.
How is The Book Man able to adopt out cats?
They’re actually the foster home to the cats which are adopted out by two cat rescue organizations in Chilliwack. The cats belong to ABC Cat Rescue and FCM Community Cat Trappers.
The Book Man fosters one cat at a time (or a pair of bonded cats) in its store for at least two weeks. During that time, folks can come in and meet the feline and if they’re interested in adopting, they can fill out an application form which is sent to the rescue organization.
The first cat to grace the new space is an orange-and-white, long-haired cat named Butters. He’s just shy of 15 pounds and is approximately six to seven years old.
The cat adoption window has already been a huge hit. Since the store’s Facebook post about it on April 5, more than 500 people shared the announcement and word of the project had reached nearly 74,000 folks in a week and a half.
Nose prints dot the outside of the window from people who have been trying to get a closer look at Butters. Within 24 hours, there was already an application put in for Butters and three more applications for him came in the first week.
Price points out there are two major benefits to this project. First, it’s a deduction to have a cat in the store as the business can write it off as a mascot.
“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.”
She adds that shelters like the SPCA and Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven are in the rural parts of Chilliwack, so people who don’t drive can’t easily get to them. Additionally, folks who can’t have pets in their building, now have a new cat every few weeks to meet and pet.
The idea came after Brittany Gidon with ABC Cat Rescue tried to open a cat café in Chilliwack.
“She got pretty far along the journey and then it didn’t work out,” Price said.
Price felt badly that the project fell through, so she decided to build the cat window in her book store in honour of Gidon’s idea.
The adoption information for each cat will be on the window, alongside a QR code with all of their info as well. Adoption fees are $150, and all of the cats will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and properly health checked.
“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.
The Book Man is located at 45939 Wellington Ave. For more, call 604-792-4595.
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