The Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to announce an innovative new service aimed at improving the lives of all Philadelphians, one purr at a time. Debuting today, the Free Library ‘Cat’alog will provide customers with the opportunity to check out a furry feline companion alongside the latest bestseller or historical tome.
That’s right—the Free Library is now lending cats.
All Free Library cats have been hand-selected by discerning librarians and screened for sociability, intelligence, and prime cuddliness. Participating cats represent a variety of breeds, from the classic American shorthair to the immortal Siamese. Though the Library has gone to great lengths to ensure that participating cats possess a generally pleasant demeanor, it asks customers to keep in mind and be forgiving of the fickle nature of felines.
“Me-ow! Our new ‘cat’alog is the purrfect addition to the Free Library’s many wonderful services for our customers,” said Felix Garfield, ‘Cat’alog Program Coordinator. “I hope all Philadelphians take a moment to paws their busy schedules and peruse our collection of furry friends available to check out for a cuddle along with a good book.”
Library Cats are available for loan on a first come, first served basis. Customers can search the ‘Cat’alog and place a hold on the cat they’d most prefer. Due to anticipated high demand for this new service, customers will be unable to place holds on more than one cat at a time, and they will also be unable to renew their cat beyond the initial borrowing period of three weeks. For overdue cats, the Library will fine customers one three-ounce can of Fancy Feast per day (any flavor). All Free Library cats are equipped with identification chips in the event of loss. Customers are responsible for providing food and litter for their borrowed cat. The Library is working to install heated cat carrier-drops at its 54 libraries, but for now, customers must return cats in person to any neighborhood library location.