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Jun 02 2020 - 08:00 PM
Gottesman Cats

As a follow up of my previous post exploring why libraries are such perfect environments for cats and why so many librarians around the world adore them, I asked some of our librarians at Gottesman Libraries to talk about their cats, what they love about them, and what they love about their jobs. Get to know our team and add some new titles to your reading and movie lists on the way! Do you have a beloved pet at home you want to share with us? Please post about them in the comments!

Emily Reo

What are your cats' names?

Felix and Buffy

What is the story behind their names? 

We couldn't decide on a name for Felix, so we thought it would be funny to name him after our close friend Felix Walworth. Cat Felix's full name is Felix Walworth II. Buffy is an all black halloween miracle/nightmare so I named her after one of the all time greatest heroines, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Giles and Buffy in the library, photo courtesy of

In Buffy The Vampire Slayer, high school librarian Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) leads a double life as Buffy's Watcher, serving as her mentor, trainer and guardian. A former Oxford University student, Giles researches spells and curses to help Buffy defeat supernatural evil.

How did you meet your pets? 

My first adoption was a kitten named Charlie, and within a month we decided he needed a friend (or we just wanted more cats). That's when we adopted baby Felix. Unfortunately, Charlie died at about 1 year old from FIP, and Felix became noticeably anxious after he was gone. About 9 months after Charlie passed we adopted Buffy, and Felix became much happier once he had a friend again.

If Felix and Buffy could read, what do you think their favorite books would be? 

Felix: The Metaphysics by Aristotle 

Buffy: Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi

Aristotle's School by Gustav Adolph Spangenberg. Photo courtesy of

Aristotle founded The Peripatetic School of Philosophy in 334 BC at The Lyceum, a public arena used for exercising, education and large conferences. The philosopher acquired an expanse of books for his own library, which is detailed in Konstantinos Staikos' 'The Library of Aristotle: The Most Important Collection of Books Ever Formed' (2016).

What literary or fictional characters are your pets most like? 

Felix: A porg from Star Wars, Chip Potts from Beauty and the Beast

Buffy: Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service, The Joker

Name some of your favorite qualities about your pets' personalities:

Felix: Gentle, loving, brilliant

Buffy: Cuddly, loyal, derpy

What do you love most about owning a pet? 

They are soft squishy living beings that love me and want to hug and be near me.

What do you love most about working at a library? 

I get to work alongside great people and have endless access to new information and knowledge.

Kiki's Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki). Photo courtesy of Studio Ghibli

Read more about Emily on the Library blog

Joseph Edwards

Oliver. Photo courtesy of Joseph Edwards

What is your pet's name?


What is the story behind their name?

He was orphaned in a barn when he was only a few weeks old so we named him after Oliver Twist.

Oliver Twist and Mr. Bumble illustrated by Charles Edmund Brock, photo courtesy of

Charles Dickens' classic novel 'Oliver Twist' (1838) details the horrific reality for orphaned children and the lower class in nineteenth century England, inspired by actual events from his own life. Dickens' exposure of society's cruelty towards the poor and the inhumane treatment of children in orphanages created awareness and led to social change and firmer child labor laws.

How did you meet your pet?

I asked for an Xbox for Christmas but was surprised when I got a cat instead! I always wanted a cat but my mom said we couldn't have one because she was allergic.

If Oliver could read, what do you think his favorite book would be?

War and Peace.

What literary or fictional character is your pet most like?


Photo courtesy of

Bruce Wayne, popularly known as Batman, dedicates his life to fighting crime after witnessing the death of his parents. The very first Batman comic, The Golden Age, was published by Detective Comics in 1939.

Name some of your favorite qualities about your pet's personality:

His sociability, his refined tastes, and his free spirit.

What do you love most about owning a pet?

I love that they're always there for you.

What do you love most about working at a library?

I love the quiet atmosphere and access to library materials.

Read more about Joe on the Library blog

Rachel Altvater

Marcel, photo courtesy of Rachel.

What is your pet's name?


What is the story behind their name?

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On; "He was little and he made me smile" - my mom (he's not little anymore).

How did you meet Marcel?

A client at the vet where my mom works found this little black and white cat walking in the street. He came up to her so she brought him over, and he climbed into my mom's lap and put his arms on her like he was giving her a hug.

If Marcel could read, what do you think his favorite book would be?

Harold and the Purple Crayon, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

What literary or fictional character is Marcel most like?

The Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1st edition). Illustrated by W.W. Denslow. Image source: Library of Congress.

In L. Frank Baum's iconic novel 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', The Cowardly Lion grapples with living up to the expectation to be fierce, brave and valiant. Riddled with anxiety and doubt, Cowardly Lion embodies the utmost self-fulfilling prophecy as he overcomes his fear to assist Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, and the Tin Man on their adventure, proving that he is in fact very courageous when it comes to protecting his friends. It has been theorized that the inspiration behind The Cowardly Lion's character was William Jennings Bryan, satirically criticizing the politician's loud and vocal manner with little actual impact or 'bite'.

Name some of your favorite qualities about your pet's personality:

He loves to dance, he's hilarious, and he's handsome.

Genevive, photo courtesy of Rachel.

What is your pet's name?


What is the story behind their name?

"If she's going to be Marcel's sibling, she needs a French name." - My mom

How did you meet Genevive?

Another one from the practice! She was born under a porch in Brooklyn. Genevive was the last one left after her four brothers and sisters were adopted, and Marcel needed someone to play with. She fell asleep in my arms and the rest is history.

If Genevive could read, what do you think her favorite book would be?

Probably Slouching Towards Bethlehem, but she's hard to pin down.

What literary character is Genevive most like?

Jordan Baker from The Great Gatsby.

Edith Cummings, photo courtesy of History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff.

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby (1925), Jordan Baker symbolizes the women of the Jazz Age. A professional golfer and socialite, Jordan's sarcastic, aloof, and collected demeanor contrasts with emotional and impulsive protagonists Gatsby and Daisy. Her character challenges the stereotype that women are overly sentimental and sensitive, and represents a new era of women defying their traditional roles as homemakers. Baker's character was inspired by Edith "The Fairway Flapper" Cummings, one of the first well-known female golfers. An acquaintance of Fitzgerald's through a mutual friend, Cummings was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in August 1924.

Name some of your favorite qualities about your pet's personality:

I'm one of the three people who she'll allow to pet her, she likes listening to music and watching hockey, and she's just so little!

What do you love most about having a pet? 

They never fail to bring a smile to my face, but in such different ways. I can see the gears turning in Marcel's head when he looks at me, calculating how to jump on my shoulders. Genevive sticks her face in Marcel's to insist that he lick the top of her head (then he tries to play-fight with her, and then she complains). They're always unapologetically themselves.

Marcel (left) and Genevieve (right). Photo courtesy of Rachel.

What do you love most about working at a library?

The people! We've got so many amazing people on our team, and it's always so exciting to help patrons find what they need. We could be handing over the missing piece in someone's research. It's an awesome feeling!

Read more about Rachel on the Library blog

Jennifer Govan

Sky with his papier--mâché kitty, photo courtesy of Jennifer.

What is your pet's name?


What is the story behind their name? 

Sky is the name our blue point Siamese came with. His name reminds us of cloudy, overcast days!

How did you meet Sky? 

We adopted him from the ASPCA when he was but 8 weeks old, due to much begging and pleading by the kids -- of course when their Dad was away! Read a related blog.

If Sky could read, what do you think his favorite book would be? 

Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble, by Judy Schachner

Autographed copy belonging to Holly, Jennifer's daughter.

What literary character is Sky most like? 

Skippyjon Jones, naturally.

Photo courtesy of

Judy Schachner's children's book series follows the adventures of Skippyjon Jones, a Siamese kitten who doesn't quite fit in with his litter because of his oversized ears. Skippyjon embraces his individuality with a secret imaginary identity as El Skipito, a sword-fighting Chihuahua who embarks on heroic quests to save the day.

Name some of your favorite qualities about your pet's personality:

Mellow and affectionate by nature, but vocal, true to form.

What do you love most about having a pet? 

Constant company, a furry friend always who's always there!

What do you love most about working at a library? 

Always on my toes, learning something new, and being with people who love working in libraries!

Read more about Jennifer on the Library blog

Simone Schloss

Ginny, photo provided by Simone

Simone loves helping library patrons find the eBooks and articles that they need. Her cat, Ginny, is named for Ginny Weasley. Ginny’s favorite books are the Harry Potter series. She hasn’t yet gotten to the end.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997), the first of seven books in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Photo courtesy of

J.K. Rowling transformed the landscape of children's and young adult literature with her hit series about Harry Potter, an orphaned preteen who discovers his true identity as a powerful wizard. Having survived an evil warlock's attack on his family as a newborn, Harry embarks on a quest to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft of Wizardry to begin his new life. With the help of friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry must fulfill his destiny in fighting the dark forces of magic once again. Almost 500 million copies in the seven-part series have been sold, making 'Harry Potter' one of the bestselling book series of all time. Controversial in its subject matter 'promoting' witchcraft and challenging themes regarding race, philosophy, religion, and death, 'Harry Potter' revolutionized the young adult literature genre and publishing industry. Known as the 'Harry Potter Effect', the series popularized reading among children and teens, bridging the worlds of literature and pop culture for decades.

She was born in a field in Greenburgh, NY (Westchester County) and was raised with her litter mates by her mother at the New Rochelle Humane Society, where Simone and her children adopted her in 2005. The runt of the litter, and the last to find a home, tiny Ginny (like her siblings) was given a cartoon name. The family considered "Ginny” to be more dignified than "Betty Boop.”

Mary GrandPre's illustration of Harry Potter (left) and Ginny Weasley (right) on the cover of 'Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban', the third book of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Photo courtesy of

J.K. Rowling inspired a generation and introduced a new narrative by creating an array of brave, brilliant, and complex lead female characters in 'Harry Potter'. Alongside respected and esteemed Professor Minerva McGonagall and the highly intelligent overachiever Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley is a prominent heroine figure throughout the series. Introduced as the baby of the boisterous Weasely family, Ginny is admired for her determination and rebellious nature as the generational curse-breaker, being the first daughter born into the Weasley family for years.

Simone and her husband say “our cat refers to us as the man and the lady, or she would if she could speak, which Ginny is working on. She is also working on growing thumbs. Her favorite hobby is drinking from the shower, which further supports our suspicion that Ginny is the better part a Maine Coon. Her other hobby is the 'chase me' game. She doesn’t like being groomed or waiting for her shower drinks. She promises to stay with us through the pandemic, although being a house cat, she’s not entirely clear on what the fuss is about. She does like all the extra attention.” Ginny is happiest when her humans sit still, which isn’t often, especially with the lady. Ginny is an active member of the #meowtoo movement.

Read more about Simone on the Library blog

Ash Moore

What is your pet's name?


What is the story behind their name? 

She's named after the Adventure Time character Marceline the Vampire Queen because she was always making this goofy face where both of her fangs are hanging out.

Marceline, image courtesy of

In Pendleton Ward's T.V. series 'Adventure Time', Marceline the Vampire Queen (Olivia Olson) is a fiercely independent yet sensitive teenage vampire, wise beyond her years at age one thousand. Estranged from her family and most of the living, she writes music and plays electric bass when she isn't helping lead characters Finn and Jake on their missions for Princess Bubblegum, a mutual acquaintance. Marceline's character balances the light hearted nature of the show with emotional depth, normalizing conversations about broken homes, depression, and feelings of social isolation for young viewers.

How did you meet Marceline?

We'd wanted a cat for a while and a friend of a friend was fostering a litter of black kittens. We were sent a video of them playing where one was climbing a door and then this fluffy little gremlin kitten just came and slapped him off. We knew then that she had to be our cat.

If Marceline could read, what do you think her favorite book would be? 

I think she'd be a fan of the Darker Shade of Magic trilogy by V. E. Schwab.  

Photo courtesy of

V.E. Schwab's fantasy young adult/adult series follows protagonist Kell, a rare breed of magician who possesses the ability to travel between the various parallel worlds of London. Working as an ambassador, Kell delivers messages and letters between the dimensions, smuggling glimpses of alternate timelines as a side hustle. When some sinister forces become threatening, Kell must use their powers to save each world and to stay alive.

What literary character is Marceline most like? 

Marce has big Amy March energy. I don't think she'd burn my handwritten manuscript per se but, she attacks the potted plants which feels right. Also she just wants things to be fun and eat all the tasty treats.

Amy & Laurie in 'Little Women' by Lousia May Alcott, from the second edition published in 1880. Illustrated by May Alcott. Photo courtesy of

'Little Women''s Amy March, the youngest of the four March sisters, is a controversial figure that tests one's thresh hold for patience and understanding. In this timeless coming of age classic about a family adjusting to sacrifice and turmoil during the Civil War, Amy struggles to find her own identity in the shadow of her older sisters. Naive and somewhat spoiled, combined with the chaos and uncertainty of a nation being torn apart, Amy is more impulsive and wild natured in comparison to her subdued, stoic and gentle sisters. Inspired by Alcott's actual sister who illustrated earlier editions (see above), the difficult relationship between sisters Jo and Amy is the ultimate depiction of sibling rivalry, jealousy, forgiveness, and growth. With this kinship Alcott challenges readers to look at things from each character's perspective, forcing us to accept the people in our lives, and ourselves, despite shortcomings and flaws. Yet even after centuries, many still struggle to forgive Amy after a brutal scene in which she destroys Jo's manuscript in an envious rage.

Name some of your favorite qualities about your pet's personality:

She's extremely affectionate. If you're laying down she will hop on you and nuzzle your face until you pet her.

She's very invested in our emotional state. When one of us is sick or having a bad day, Marce will always curl up next to whoever's ailing and stay there until they get up. She's extremely silly and constantly craves attention. She does this one particular squeaky meow that sounds like "myekhh" before looking you dead in the eye and audibly flopping on the ground when she wants attention.

What do you love most about having a pet? 

I never feel alone when Marceline is around and no matter how down I'm feeling, she's just there wanting my attention and affection. And fish. She craves the fish.

What do you love most about working at a library? 

My favorite thing about working at a library is definitely the expression stressed patrons get when you help them solve a problem. That moment of just absolute relief is a huge motivator for me.

Read more about Ash on the Library blog

Jordyn Blakely

Piper relaxing in 'her chair'. If you have the rare opportunity to sit in this chair when it is unoccupied, and you get up for one second, good luck getting another chance to sit down!

What is your pet's name?


How did Piper get her name?

She came with that name, but it's fitting for her because she's very curious and exploratory and energetic.

How did you meet Piper?

Our roommate adopted her from some friends who could no longer care for a kitten. From what we were told, her owners would have much preferred a dog, but her curious, playful attitude and outgoing demeanor are more characteristic of a dog anyway, so we used to call her "Puppy" as a nickname sometimes when she was little.

If Piper could read, what do you think their favorite book would be? 

Any books from the Curious George series by Margret & H.A. Rey.

'Curious George Visits The Library' (2001), photo courtesy of Google Books.

Margret and H.A. Rey's beloved children's book series is centered around Curious George, a small monkey who is taken from the jungle and brought to a big city after he is captured by a man in a big yellow hat. George's curiosity gets the best of him when he encounters the man to get a better look, mesmerized by the stranger's appearance. Once in the city, Curious George gets into all kinds of mischief and adventure as his exploratory nature knows no limits.

What literary or fictional character is your pet most like? 

Cher Horowitz from Clueless

Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) in 'Clueless' (1995). Image courtesy of

In Amy Heckering's 'Clueless', Cher Horowitz manipulates the people in her life to get what she wants with her good looks and charming, determined personality. Obsessed with match-making, giving people makeovers, and the do's and don'ts of fashion and romance, Cher's priveleged and idealistic bubble is burst when unexpected circumstances and events challenge her naive view of the world and herself. Based on Jane Austen's novel 'Emma', Austen describes Emma's character as "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like". This seminal film sparked a genre of coming of age movies about popularity, identity, and personal revelations, while remaining a timeless cult classic defining of its generation.

Name some of your favorite qualities about your pet's personality:

  1. She's very considerate; she isn't destructive and always gives a gentle warning when she would like to not be petted any more (we call it "The Paw"). She's very patient and polite when you give her food or when she gingerly accepts a treat, always being very cautious and delicate.
  2. Though not super physically affectionate, Piper is very easygoing and loves to be around people. She always greets people at the door and is a social butterfly whenever we have parties or friends over. She certainly has special relationships with various friends of ours, and I appreciate her open minded and diplomatic approach to new people and new experiences (except when she is introduced to any dogs, who she refuses to look in the face or acknowledge). Piper knows what she likes and doesn't feel the need to apologize for her opinions, which I respect.
  3. Piper lives very in the moment, and fully embraces what she wants at that time. Whether it's time to run laps around the house at 11:00 in the morning for whatever reason, or lay in a specific chair or box (she has phases), or sit in our backyard and enjoy feeling the breeze on her face, I aspire to be more like Piper because she truly appreciates the present moment, with no awareness of a past or a future.

This photo shows another side of Piper; playful and curious. Piper cannot resist a good box, basket, or bag to sit in or on.

What do you love most about having a pet? 

Just looking at her adorable face makes me feel so happy and calm, and being in the presence of an animal is truly a gift, to be able to experience their innocence and affection. Having a pet teaches you so much about empathy, responsibility and unconditional love. Whenever I come home or go upstairs to where she is sitting, connecting with her for a few minutes is so relaxing and uplifting. She's really sweet and soft and smells really nice; my favorite thing is putting my face on her fur and hearing her purr, or playing tag with her or accompanying her in the yard, where she loves to sit in the grass and feel the sun. It's just very grounding, a pet reminds you of the simple joys in life, you know?

What do you love most about working at a library?

I love organizing books by their call numbers and seeing all the stamped dates in the back of them from all the times they've been checked out. I like to imagine each book's journey through so many different hands over the years and how that book affected each person who borrowed it. It's very satisfying to see everything in its right place. I especially love helping a patron find a book or material they need and seeing the relief on their face, or helping someone navigate the stacks and understand the layout of the library, then seeing them return to the library time and time again, becoming more familiar and comfortable there each time. I also really like the people I work with; they are all very unique, smart, and considerate, cultivating an environment where your individuality is valued yet you are always learning something new.

Read more about Jordyn on the Library blog

Posted in: Learning at the Library|By: Jordyn Blakely|365 Reads