Gwenievere, the Biblio Cat: A Memorial
All of us at Already Used Books have experienced a incredible loss, the passing on of our Biblio-cat, Gwenievere, on January 23rd, 2011. A sweet and amiable feline with a great deal of character and panache, she added a component to our book store that will be greatly missed. Frequently seen strolling amongst the aisles or sunning in one of her favorite spots, customers could always look forward to their interactions with her. For sixteen years she has been a much appreciated part of our lives, and for the past three years, the lives of our customers. She will be remembered always for her positive demeanor and friendliness.
For four months Gwenie battled for life after being diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure (CRF), an illness that affects thousands of cats each year. This is a progressive illness that slowly wears down kidney function killing the kidney's nephrons, a vital component of a functioning kidney. Eventually, CRF causes the kidneys to shut-down and toxins and waste build up in the body's systems of an effected cat.
Gwenie put up a good fight with our help with daily treatments that included additional fluids, vitamins, and potassium to offset the effects of the renal failure. Sociable to the end, she heroically pressed on in fighting the symptoms that plagued her, and she still brought a smile to customers' faces throughout her time with CRF.
Cat owners who have older cats should watch for symptoms of irritation, lethargic movement, vomiting and excessive urination, key symptoms of the illness, if caught in time the effects of the illness can be slowed. For more information on CRF, Feline CRF Information Center is an incredible website devoted to cats in renal failure, and the site was extremely helpful in understanding and treating Gwenie's CRF.
Pictures of our New Bibliocats in Training: Bert and Ernie
We adopted them in April from King Street Cats located at 25 Dove Street, Alexandria.
Bert is the fellow with the orange muzzle and feet; Ernie is the fellow with the white muzzle and feet. They are orange Mackerel tabbies who are about three years old.
Gwenievere, the Biblio Cat
Position: Key staff, bookstore cat, chief greeter, and "general manager".
Why do we consider the cat part of the key staff and "general manager"?
Gwenievere greets customers except when she is sleeping on the job, serves as a surrogate cat for the customers who cannot have a cat where they live, and on occasions she provides her "input" into our decision process. Almost all of our customers interact with her, and they have remarked that all good used bookstores have to have a resident bibliocat.
Occasionally, we have had sales people who stop by selling their various wares, and if Gwenievere does not "take" to them, we tend to take her reaction to the person into account. One time, she really put up a fit over a guy trying to sell us on black top coating. Something about the guy did not set well with her. The guy was pushing for us to make the decision at that moment, so we decided that Gwenievere's reaction was something to consider when we told the guy that we were not interested.
Besides helping with the management of the bookstore, Gwenievere greets customers, and then guides customers through the bookcases and makes frequent recommendations. When she is not working with customers, she likes nothing better than to curl up on top or inside of one of her "boxes" or in her favorite corner with a warm blanket.
Born and raised in Alexandria. Part Manx, part Maine Coon, part Siamese, and part alley cat. Lived and fought with her sisters and brothers until moving into the bookstore to take her present position.
Gwenievere always has a meow for book lovers!
Some of Gwenievere's favorite links:
King Street Cats, 25 Dove Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Pet Sage, 2391 South Dove Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
(One of Gwenie's favorite place to buy cat food!)