The Book Man is selling 12-month calendars and bookmarks featuring store cat

Chilliwack cat becomes pin-up cat

The Book Man is selling 12-month calendars, featuring its bookstore cat Nietzsche, to raise funds for Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven.

Nietzsche and fame, it was only a matter of time.

The bookstore cat has a flare for dramatics just as a celebrity should. For years, he’s been haughtily sauntering around The Book Man’s stacks; getting regular massages, up to 20 a day; and expects daily rides on book carts – the faster the better.

He poses for photos, demands loving attention, and puts smiles on the faces of everyone around him. He doesn’t demand a high pay cheque, but does demand his chair, and if someone’s sitting there, he’ll just squeeze in and stretch out behind them, or sometimes plop down right on top of them.

Seriously, if Nietzsche isn’t already catting about in circles that include the high profiles of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, he soon will be.

This month, Nietzsche has taken his fame to a whole new level – as pin-up cat.

Twelve months, January to December, all Nietzsche, all the time.

According to Amber Short, manager of The Book Man, a calendar in Nietzsche’s honour was the least they could do.

“It is such a special role being in the public eye all the time,” said Short, while sitting in Nietzsche’s fur-covered chair.

“When he’s sleeping here, in just one hour, he’ll have at least 15 to 20 people interrupting his sleep. He has people petting him, massaging him, worshipping him, loving him all day.”

The life of a bookstore cat.

After three years at The Book Man, Nietzsche’s talents were discovered last year by AbeBooks.com, one of the largest, independent online marketplaces for new, used, rare and out-of-print books. His handsome peaches and cream, long, fluffy locks, and demure stare landed him a spot as featured feline in the online bookstore’s cat catalogue.

From there, his celebrity status – and Facebook status – skyrocketed.

The Book Man printed 50 limited-edition Nietzsche bookmarks – all pawtographed – to mark his newfound fame. In just three days, they were sold out.

“People are still asking about them,” said Short.

And being the savvy minded cat he is, Nietzsche took the bookmarks as opportunity to give back to his roots.

Nietzsche comes from humble beginnings. After working his way through two different homes, two different families, he found himself an orphan at the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven.

He knows first hand the tireless work and endless love put in by Safe Haven founder Ena Vermerris and her volunteers. He knows the struggles of running an organization, of taking in abandoned cats, and of maintaining an adequate budget to feed, house and care for those cats.

He wanted to give back.

After last year’s bookmarks raised $250 for Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, The Book Man commissioned artwork from the community with Nietzsche as the theme.

Nietzsche was the subject of multiple photo shoots, struck poses for water colour paintings, was in vogue for pastel portraits, and became a cat superhero in a comic book sketch – the products of which created the 12-month calendar.

All for Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven.

“Without the Animal Safe Haven, Nietzsche wouldn’t have come here,” said Short.

“The bookmarks gave us an opportunity to raise money for Safe Haven, and after the crazy response we got, we had to keep it going.”

The Nietzsche calendars are $16.99, available at The Book Man. All proceeds go to Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven.

The Book Man has also printed up four new bookmarks, 50 of each print, which will be sold for $5 each.

Nietzsche hopes to raise at least $2,700.

For more information, visit The Book Man online at www.thebookman.ca or like Nietzsche’s Facebook Fan Club at www.facebook.com/nietzschethecat.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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