Violet and Matilda couldn’t help you with a Google search or direct you to the fiction section, but they’re two of the most popular contributors to the Mystic & Noank Library – so popular they were besieged with dozens of gifts when they arrived.
Violet and Matilda, newly adopted, are cat rescues with the Stonington Animal Care and Control Organization; both were inseparable and used to the human interaction of previous owners. Before joining the library in March 2021, Violet and Matilda had predecessors named Mito and Emily who lived on the library’s second floor.
Emily was adopted by the library staff in 1989 and blessed the patrons of her new home for 17 years until her old age.
“Emily and Mito were years ago before our new bailouts,” said Chris Bradley, the library’s manager, in an interview. “Although Emily’s stay was the longest in terms of years and memories, Mito was short due to health problems and old age, but that didn’t stop him from making occasional visits.”
Mito was demoted to ambassador who now visits the newly discovered cats from time to time.
Located on the second floor of the library with an extended play area, Violet and Matilda are now in charge day and night.
Roberta Donahue, Children’s Librarian, led the community’s efforts to have the cats neutered by Stonington Veterinary Hospital at a significantly lower cost. Local guests in the community continued to help by bringing treats and playing with Violet and Matilda if they decide to leave the second floor.
“I was surprised to see that the community has still maintained that fondness for cats, especially during the pandemic we have now,” Bradley said. “Every single person who learned about the library’s purchase of these pets was delighted and wanted to participate. They keep our feed and litter boxes full practically every week; You won’t even miss a period without being scratched behind the ears or petted by locals who come in to read a book. “
Events with cats are yet to be created as Directors have yet to approve indoor activities. Concerts and book clubs continue to survive through zoom meetings or outdoor shows, the cats have since become patrons of the digital club sessions.
“Our cats have grown very fond of our Zoom meetings,” said Bradley. “They always seem interested in HR matters during the pandemic … we can’t have a good book club online without one of the sisters showing up to greet the audience.”
Matthew Rascoe is an intern with the Times and a student at Mitchell College.