Cats and Bookstores

Mason, David. “Reflections on Scouting.” CNQ 78 (Winter): 40-52.

Concerning the “tiny bookshop run by the Crippled Civilians on Jarvis Street, familiarly known to the regulars as ‘The Crips,’ but now renamed more politically correctly Goodwill Services” circa 1967:

There was an ugly, fat cat in the shop, Mr. Fraser’s special favourite. It was horribly spoiled and cranky. It slept wherever it cared to, almost always, it seemed, stretched out over books you wanted to look at, and if you attempted to move it you could get clawed or badly bitten. Even worse if you riled the cat enough he might just piss on the books to teach you a lesson, ruining some pretty good books over the years. The whole place stunk of cat urine but it would be a fatal error if you had the temerity to complain to Mr. Fraser about the cat’s behaviour. Out you would go, banned for life. I saw this a few times when people unaware of Mr. Fraser’s affection for the cat spoke up about the stink. (44)

Published by Cameron Anstee

Cameron Anstee lives and writes in Ottawa ON where he runs Apt. 9 Press and is pursuing a PhD in English Literature at the University of Ottawa.

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