Apollo and Zeus are brothers who came to us in August 2014 when they were just eight weeks old. The kittens came from a homeless couple who were unable to care for them, and they’re very friendly and sociable. Apollo (the blonde one) loves to purr and climb ladders; Zeus (the gray tabby) may jump onto your neck unexpectedly. They are very active and playful in the mornings and evenings, but in the afternoons you may find them asleep in their bed on the front counter.
Zeus and Apollo are featured on Chronicle Books’ list of bookstore cats!
Henrietta was a little stray who started hanging around the bookstore’s parking lot in fall of 2011, when she was just a few weeks old. She was very shy, but eventually found her way into our back room and took up residence there. For months we thought she was a boy, and we named her Henry, after Henry Miller…so you can imagine our surprise when “Henry” went into heat! Unfortunately she never got used to anyone except employee Bob, so in June 2013 she went to live with Bob at home, where she now happily resides.
Zola (aka The One-Eyed Pirate Kitty) came to us on May 6, 2006, after being rescued by our fabulous writer friend Christa Faust. Zola spent the first two years of her life in a wire-mesh hamster cage, and received no veterinary care; untreated infections caused her to lose one eye and several teeth, and left her with a scar on the remaining eye and a loss of muscle tone. Amazingly enough, she not only survived, but was affectionate and friendly. Unfortunately, Zola passed away on March 26, 2011, due to complications from an uncommon disease called idiopathic chylothorax.
Torquemada (or just Torq, for short) and his sister Helga were born in a vacant lot in Hollywood shortly after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and adopted by Iliad employee Bob Johnson not long after. Since Bob lived within easy walking distance of Iliad’s back door, Torq and Helga accompanied him and soon became the official bookstore cats from 1994 to 2006. Despite being brother and sister, they were very different in both personality and appearance: Torq was short-haired, quick, and slightly bratty, while Helga was long-haired, moved v-e-r-y slowly, and was easy-going in temperament. When we moved to our new location in 2006, Torq and Helga decided they didn’t like the idea of commuting to work, and they retired to live at home with Bob. Torq and Helga achieved some fame during their tenure as Iliad’s resident feline employees, being featured in articles about the store and at Shopcat.com. Helga passed away in 2008, Torq in 2013.
Charlie was a neighborhood stray who basically adopted the store, and moved in during the early days (circa 1988). Charlie was an easygoing, laid back guy who got along great with Jack the Dog (see below), and obviously just liked being around books. Nicknamed “the Silver Bullet” for his gleaming gray coat and occasional streaks around the store, Charlie was also responsible for helping one human employee (Lisa) overcome her lifelong cat allergies. When Dan moved out of the store into his own house circa 1995, Charlie went home with him, and lived there until he died from old age in 2005.
Jack was Iliad’s first four-legged full-timer, and was there at the store from the beginning. A purebred tri-color Collie, Jack’s sweet nature and gorgeous appearance often had him being mistaken for Lassie. Jack loved to be brushed and patted on the back, and put up with Torquemada when he lived up to his name and mercilessly tortured poor Jack. Jack passed away from old age in 2000.
Bugs and Lamont were two neighborhood strays who were adopted by Dan and his wife Gloria when they lived in part of the store. Lamont was a very handsome and noble Persian blue (or at least a Persian blue lookalike) who occasionally strode through the store imperiously; Bugs was skittish, and we usually only glimpsed her outside. Both went home with Dan and Gloria when they moved circa 1995.