As anyone who has been to our store (and thus anyone receiving this newsletter) probably knows, we have a tradition at Earth Lore of keeping a cat in each store. While we aren’t the only shop ever to do this, it is unusual enough to warrant a wide variety of questions on the subject. Since this IS the ‘Great Earth Lore FAQ’, it is only fitting to dedicate this installment to the most popular members of our staff, the cats.
Q: What are the cats’ names? How old are they? What kinds of cats are they?
A: Actually, in a previous issue, I misrepresented the ages of the cats. So let this serve as an official correction. Angus, the Livonia cat, most resembles a ‘Bombay’ breed, and is just over 8 years old. Leo, the Plymouth cat, is a ‘Tuxedo’ cat, and is a little more that 2 years old. Neither of them is a pure bred cat, and (despite many people’s ideas to the contrary) neither is actually a black cat. Angus appears that way, but actually has very dark tiger striping.
Q: How do you train your cats not to go out the door?
A: Everyone who works here is a cat owner, so between us there is a great amount of experience with felines. Without going into too much detail, we start training them from the day they get here to avoid the door by using a squirt gun. We prop the door open, then watch closely as the cat becomes curious about the outside. When they get too close, we spray them with a little water to condition them to believe that it’s always raining near the door, and to therefore stay away. Eventually the behavior matures into a simple understanding not to go out the door. Leo is so well trained that we can leave the door open all day long and he will never set a paw beyond the door sill. We’re also trying to teach him to use the toilet in the bathroom, but that’s a slow process.
Q: Where did the cats come from?
A: Ah, that is something of a story. Without writing a page for each cat, we will make a long story short and say that both cats are street rescues. I personally picked Angus up off of Telegraph road as a kitten after he had been hit by a car. Leo was found with his brother, Bailey, under a dumpster in our employee Ben’s apartment parking lot. Bailey still lives with Ben. Both cats required much care and nursing to get them back to health, but the effort is always worth it.
Q: Will you find the cat so I can see/pet him?
A: No. The stores are the only homes the cats know, and it’s not fair to them for us to impose our will on them for anyone’s entertainment. If they are feeling social, they will come out and say ‘hi’.
Q: How are the cats cared for?
A: Both cats are given Eukanuba, the best cat food we can buy, and bottled water. Neither is declawed, though they don’t tend to use their claws even when playing. They are taken to the vet regularly and have all of their necessary shots. Angus has some kidney problems, but we mix in some special food for him to keep the problem from progressing. They get plenty of love and attention during the day, and stay at their respective stores at night.
Q: So, nobody takes them home at night? Aren’t they lonely?
A: These cats get ten times the amount of attention and affection during the day than my own (very spoiled) cats get at home at any time. I can’t imagine that they are starved for attention – we tend to believe that the cats are happy to have the peace and quiet once everyone leaves.
Q: How much for the cat?
A: Our cats are priceless.
Hope this laid some more common questions to rest. Thanks for reading!