Thursday, December 1 2022

Looking through the windows of a Chilliwack bookstore, one will find various items for sale – books, bookmarks, puzzles, pillows…and now cats.

The Book Man has just launched its Cat Adoption Window, a community space where people can view and visit adoptable cats located in the store in downtown Chilliwack.

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

The cat adoption project started a few months ago and it was officially launched on April 5th. They built a room inside the store along part of the front window with letters at the top reading ‘How much is that cat in the window?’

The room is about the size of a wet room with climbing structures, a cat bed, a hidden litter box and a small cat door.

This will be the temporary home for one adoptable cat at a time. During the day, the cat will roam the bookstore and visit customers, and at night, it will stay in the cat room where people can see it through the floor-to-ceiling window.

How can The Book Man adopt cats?

They are actually the foster home for cats that are adopted by two cat rescue organizations in Chilliwack. The cats belong to ABC Cat Rescue and FCM Community Cat Trappers.

The Book Man welcomes one cat at a time (or a pair of linked cats) into his store for at least two weeks. During this time, people can come and meet the feline and if they are 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 weighs just under 15 pounds and is around six to seven years old.

The first cat to grace The Book Man’s new cat adoption window is an orange and white long-haired cat named Butters. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The cat adoption window has already been a huge success. Since the store’s Facebook post about it on April 5, more than 500 people have shared the announcement and news of the project has reached nearly 74,000 people within a week and a half.

Nose prints dot the outside of the window of people who tried to get a closer look at Butters. Within 24 hours there was already an application for Butters and three more applications for him arrived in the first week.

Price points out that this project has two major advantages. First of all, it’s a deduction to have a cat in the store because the company may consider it a mascot.

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

She adds that shelters like the SPCA and Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven are in rural areas of Chilliwack, so people who don’t drive can’t easily get there. Plus, people 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 cafe in Chilliwack.

“She went pretty far the whole way through and then it just didn’t work out,” Price said.

Price felt bad that the project failed, so she decided to build the cat window in her bookstore in honor of Gidon’s idea.

Adoption information for each cat will be on the window, alongside a QR code with all of their information as well. The adoption fee is $150 and all cats will be neutered, vaccinated and properly checked.

“I love the community side. It’s always been that way with the bookstore cat that they belong to everyone. But now, literally, they can be yours,” Price said.

The Book Man is located at 45939 Wellington Ave. For more information, call 604-792-4595.

Amber Price, owner of The Book Man, gives Butters some cat attention in the store's newly built cat adoption room on Thursday, April 14, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Amber Price, owner of The Book Man, gives Butters some cat attention in the store’s newly built cat adoption room on Thursday, April 14, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

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