A bookstore where felines roam free on “cat catwalks” has delighted the internet, with the owner hilariously putting up signs warning of falling animals.
A video of the pets sauntering high above people’s heads on custom walkways was shared to TikTok account @cupboardmakerbooksstore, where it was revealed Cupboard Maker Books store has a trio of permanent residents.
Jason Haring, who has owned the Pennsylvania store with his wife, Michelle, for the last 24 years, told Newsweek the stars of the clip were Mouse, Zak, and Annika, which he dubbed Prince Fluffytail, Queen Annika and Count Zakula.
He said the cats enjoy strolling along the more-than-200 feet of catwalks, which Haring built himself over the better part of a decade.
“We added the Yellow Brick Road stretch leading them to the Emerald City when we were shut down at the beginning of Covid in 2020,” Haring added.
He claimed the cats “love playing around up there,” explaining they can have as many as five felines in the store, as they also foster animals to be adopted alongside the permanent residents.
“When you’re in the bookstore and you look up at the catwalks, we have photos of the 190 + cats that we’ve adopted out running down along the edges of the Catwalk.
“People often ask how we can foster and fall in love with so many cats and then watch them get adopted. Because doing so saves their lives. Every time we find a furever home for one of our fosters, it makes space for our next Castaway Critter,” Haring said.
But he assured: “They have a separate kitten room where we keep their litterboxes. That way when people come in the store, they only smell books.”
The clip has proved a hit online, with the video amassing 1.7 million views since being posted on Wednesday, and it seems the store has an in-person fanbase too.
Haring said: “People travel from hours (and sometimes many states) away to visit our ‘Cat Bookstore.’ For people who love books and / or cats, it’s a little slice of heaven.
“Some people only come for the cats. Some people just for the books. But most of our visitors come for both.”
The video shares a yellow sign which says “beware falling cats,” which has been met with hilarity online.
But Haring assured: “We’ve never had a direct hit. (We have had a couple close calls though). They go up on the catwalks and horse around and some times knock each other off.”
The cats’ lofty adventures have attracted numerous comments online, as Calamity Cate wrote: “If I get taken out by a falling cat then that’s just the way I go.”
Krysta raved: “Those are the cutest librarians ever!”
Trekkie the Great reckoned: “I guess I’m going to Pennsylvania now.”
KirbyCakes commented: “Imagine a cat fell on you at a book store. I would be scared and blessed at the same time.”
Cizzy Boga asked: “How much is the rent? I am moving in and never leaving.”
While LenKyr added: “Are you guys hiring? Sounds like heaven! Books and cats….”
Haring explained their Instagram account, @cupboardmakerbooks, shares the cats’ adventures online as well, as he added: “One of them (and occasionally 2 or 3 of them) go out on adventures on Thursdays to park, businesses, and other interesting places .”
And the trio are even lucky enough to have their own cat cars, with Zak’s Fiat 500 arriving later this month, alongside Annika’s similar ride, and Mouse’s Jeep Renegade.
Haring explained: “Their cat cars are less expensive than bill boards and exponentially more effective.”
Castaway Critters has volunteers in Dauphin, Cumberland, Lebanon, Perry, Lancaster and York, with the website explaining its mission: “Save the lives of and provide new beginnings for lost, sick and abandoned companion animals through rescue, rehabilitation, adoptions and spay/ neutral programs.”
After being set up 20 years ago, Castaway Critters assisted more than 13,000 animals, the website said.