|Torquemada and Helga|
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're very different in both personality and appearance: Torq is short-haired, quick, and slightly bratty, while Helga is long-haired, moves v-e-r-y slowly, and is 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've now basically semi-retired (we say "semi" because Bob still intends to bring them into the store from time to time). 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.
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. You'll still see Jack's picture around the store, whether it's under the glass at our front desk or in our stained glass window.
|Bugs and Lamont|
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; Bugs is still slightly shy but a happy little housecat now, but sadly Lamont passed away from cancer around 1998.