UPDATED: Search still on for Chilliwack’s celebrity cat Martin

Martin could have been adopted out to a family who doesn't realize his past life as a store cat and calendar model

Martin the cat

Martin the cat

Call it the ‘case of the missing video store cat.’

When The Book Man owner Amber Price drove by the Menzies Street Video Tonite location and noticed it shuttered permanently, she immediately wondered where Martin had gone.

Martin, in case you’ve never met him, was the Video Tonite resident cat for many years. The portly tabby cat sat at the front door, paced the aisles, and greeted customers willingly. In recent years, as the video store diversified to include the Starlight Cafe, Martin became a whipped cream aficionado. When a coffee drink was being made, he’d run for leftover cream.

When not prowling the movie aisle and lapping up cream, Martin was also a feline celebrity. He posed numerous times for many photographers as part of The Book Man’s pet project, a cat calendar that benefits Ena’s Community Cats. Price works closely with that organization’s founder, Ena Vermerris, and is a cat lover herself.

Another locally famous cat is in that calendar, The Book Man’s own Nietzsche.

For Price, nothing could make more sense than for The Book Man to adopt Martin, so he could join Nietzsche and remain a store cat. This way, the children and cat lovers who adored Martin at the video store could continue visiting him at the used book store.

And that led to some impromptu “kitty sleuthing.”

“Who knew this was how I was going to be spending my day?” Price said on Monday. She put the word out on social media, along with some beautiful pictures she had on file of Martin, from his modeling days.

She sifted through tips and rumours, made calls and fielded them. And it seems she has learned his fate. He was adopted out many months ago to someone through the help of Chilliwack SPCA.

But that’s as much as they can confirm.

In an email to Price, the SPCA noted that they could not share other people’s private information, and that they carefully screen any potential adoption applicants.

“You can be sure he has gone to a good home,” the SPCA said, adding that it would be unfair to ask the new owners to surrender him.

“Imagine how an adopter would feel if asked to give up an animal he/she or perhaps an entire family has grown to love; and Martin himself will be adjusted and settled by now,” the SPCA added. “Would it be fair to him to disrupt his new life and expect him to adjust to another new situation?”

They suggested The Book Man adopted another cat from the shelter.

“While in some ways, I completely understand, and agree, Martin was no ordinary cat,” Price said. “He did not just belong to one person. In a way, he belonged to everyone who ever visited the video store, and was a member of our community.”

She said it’s likely the new owners have no idea that Martin is local cat celebrity, and has delighted thousands of people over the years from his post at the video store.

She said she’s disappointed the SPCA wouldn’t at least ask the new adoptive family and is feeling “a deep sense of loss knowing that he will never again be appreciated and loved by his fans.”

“I do not have peace about this whatsoever,” she added.

She had been hoping that Nietzsche and Martin would become good friends.

Nietzsche is “very chill” with other cats, and has been curious and friendly with virtually all the animals that have visited the downtown Chilliwack store.

If anyone has information on Martin’s whereabouts, Price is hoping to hear more and can be contacted at The Bookman, at 604-792-4595.





Just Posted

Folks look through some of the items for sale during the Voice of Hope giant garage sale at 7350 Barrow Rd. in Chilliwack on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Giant garage sale today in Chilliwack supports Kenyan widows, orphans

Funds go to Chilliwack-based Voice of Hope charity to improve quality of life for impoverished Kenyans

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Most Read