Tuesday 1 November 2016

Shop Cats of New York - A Review

Before I start my review ...

I feel like I've been ignoring this blog for too long.  Sadly, I have been woefully neglectful about posting my book reviews.  Things just got busy … there was a great trip to go on and now I’m trying to get a small business off the ground and ready to go for January 2017.

But, last year I participated in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) which spurred me on to posting every day for the month of November.  I managed to succeed in doing it last year so hopefully I can be equally motivated this year.  If you like a challenge you can find out more about NaBloPoMo and/or sign up at, whom I'd like to thank for hosting it again.

So here I go …

SHOP CATS OF NEW YORK by Tamar Arslanian

If you’ve ever been pleasantly surprised (or slightly startled) by a kitty face peering at you from the shelves while you’re shopping then you are personally familiar with the premise of this book.

The first time I came across cats in a store was while shopping in Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar in Stratford, Ontario.  I was quite surprised to see a kitty face peering at me from a shelf while I was browsing their very eclectic merchandise.  I haven’t been in the store for quite some time so I don’t know if it still has cats, but I hope so.  Then Dewey, the library cat, came to my attention.  Lately I have befriended a cat that lives in a centre for seniors in my home town, which kindly allows my TOPS group to hold our meetings in their board room.  I learned there is a cat living on each floor and they are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.  Bumper, often comes to visit during our meetings so we have adopted him as out group mascot.

Despite the fear of allergies or people just not enjoying the company of cats – shrug – a concept I just can’t fathom, cats have taken up residence in any number of unusual places.  Some places just seem to go hand in hand with cats, book stores (especially used books stores), antique shops and of course pet stores.  These are all represented as is the Cat Café (obviously!) and veterinary offices.  Some of the cat friendly shops that surprised me?  Jewellery stores – I’ve worked in a jewellery store and paw prints on the display cases sounds like a nightmare … pass me the Windex.  Flower Shops – I know my kitties love to chew flowers and plants and some foliage is dangerous to kitties.  A few others included (there are so many in the book) are a copy shop, a hotel, a shoe store, a record store and a distillery.

The idea for this book was born out of the popularity of the author’s blog which tries to dispel the the stigma of a 30+, single woman living with a cat in NYC being a "crazy cat lady".

The photographs in the book are lovely and each venue tells the story of how the cat(s) came to be living there.  Some welcome customers with a meow or a soft purr while others do it with a swipe, some lounge gracefully and others earn their keep by catching a mouse or two, but they all bring smiles.  So, if you ever see a cat on a store shelf, relax - they probably belong there.

If you are a cat lover or know someone who is, this book would make a beautiful addition to the bookshelf.

I found this interesting piece of "shop cat" trivia online:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her blog)

Tamar Arslanian started her blog I HAVE CAT, Single in the City (New York City) with Cats in her late 30s desperate to change the perception of the “crazy cat lady” stereotype. She knew there must be other stylish cat parents out there who didn’t wear “Hang In There” t-shirts, have 6” tall cat towers in their living rooms and still knew how to carry on a normal conversation. As these things happen, one cat became two, then came the fosters, and finally her third cat – a foster fail!

Raised pet-less, she only discovered her love of felines as an adult thanks to an ex-boyfriend.  Guys came and went but the cat(s) remained and with them spurred new thinking about life, food and even men of the 2-legged variety.
Tamar’s blog reads like “Sex and the Kitty” and has brought together thousands of like-minded people from around the globe. If you want to pitch a guest post, have a story idea or just want to say “hi,” Tamar can be reached at


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