Announcing Our Innovative New ‘Cat’alog Lending Service

By Michelle S. RSS Tue, April 1, 2014

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.




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On behalf of creature lovers everywhere I must protest this program's appalling lack of diversity. Where are the dogs, turtles, horses, vegetarian lions, miniature dinosaurs and fish that we, the people of Philadelphia, yearn for. You will be hearing from our lawyers. Thank you Kay Lord NewWishKey III (call me Trippy)
Kay Wisniewski - Chestnut Hill
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Got me!
Lori - Philadelphia
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I'd rather check out people.
Sarah - New York
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Great story idea! Happy AFD!
Luisa C. - Villanova
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Thanks for the laugh!
Tanya - Philadelphia
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I will have to chime in with Kay here - if this cat pilot project goes well, I hope you will consider adding miniature dinosaurs to the collection. I feel they would be a great asset to the system, and since they are cold-blooded, you probably won't have to wait until the heated drop boxes are completed. ;)
Carolyn - Mount Airy
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I looked at every one of the cats & loved every one. Of course my "Boo Boo" took the show. :-)
Gwen H. - CEN
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

and friend of Siobhan's! I'm a little concerned - aren't you going to "vet" the borrowers in any way? Who knows what sort of pet-o-phile might want to check out a sweet kitty?!
Anne - Newburgh NY
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

This is fantastic, thanks!
Gladly - Bryn Mawr
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools, right? The Eagles just got rid of Vick, you don't need another controversy in your fair city! April Fools!
Jody Hamilton - New Hampshire
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Aw! Can I still get a copy of "Catsarefurry Tales" by Chaucer?
Nancy - Valley Forge
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I love this. I have three cats or I would check them out! What a great way to help people and cats.
Denise Spillane - Dallas TX
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wonderful - almost got me!
Eileen - Grahamstown, South Africa
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Welp! I fell for it book, line, and slinker! Before I turned the page and got the April Fools, I was thinking: "what a clever idea to help out the kitty adoption biz".........
Marjorie - Dallas, TX
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Great job Free Library! My only concern is what will you do to top this next April's Fools day?
Jeannie - Philadelphia
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Love the photos and so relieved that you aren't really loaning cats. Can't tell who would get them - might not be cat-friendly. Looking forward to next year's trick ;-)
Dana - Philadelphia
Friday, April 11, 2014

What a great resource. I'm glad I found it on
Biff - USA
Friday, May 23, 2014