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The most famous cat in Chilliwack has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Nietzsche, the well-known ginger cat who welcomed people to The Book Man for more than 12 years, died on Monday. He was about 18 years old.
“He was a king … a king among cats,” said Amber Price, co-owner of The Book Man. “Nietzsche was always so patient and generous with others … friendly, curious. A very interactive cat that can handle the pressures of the job. “
He settled in the downtown bookstore in 2008 after being found on Trethewey Avenue by cat rescuer Ena Vermerris in 2005.
He was in and out of Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven three times in nine months. After Nietzsche had lived with an older woman for three years, who later became unwell and had to give up on him, she became an orphan again in 2008.
It was then that Vermerris of Enas Community Cats (then with Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven) introduced him to the folks at The Book Man. (He was originally called Peppin, but was given the name “Nietzsche” through a referendum by customers during a competition.)
Nietzsche, the ginger cat who worked for The Book Man, poses for a photo with Amber Price on December 15, 2016. Nietzsche died on Monday, February 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck / Chilliwack Progress file)
Nietzsche finally found his home forever – the entire bookstore belonged to him.
When customers searched the aisles for books, Nietzsche could be seen frolicking in the store. The book rows were his catwalk. The burgundy armchair was his bed.
Nietzsche became very popular after becoming the official bookstore cat.
READ MORE: Chilliwack Cat Becomes Pin-Up Cat
He has been the face of countless calendar fundraisers that The Book Man sold each year to raise money for Ena’s Community Cats. Nietzsche goods were produced in his honor, including pins, cloth bags and bookmarks, some of which he “signed” with his “Pawtograph”.
Named Best Bookstore Cat of the Year by AbeBooks.com in 2010, he has featured in magazines and even featured on the cover of Bookstore Cats, a book published by Brandon Schultz of New York in 2017.
READ MORE: Cover Boy for Nietzsche, the cat in Chilliwack
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There isn’t a single thing about Nietzsche that made him famous, but everything, Price said.
“He’s a total baby. He’s an apricot beauty, ”she said. “Nice size, nice temperament, approachable, soft. Nietzsche embodied everything you could want from a cat. “
He was a real community cat. For people who couldn’t own a cat, Nietzsche was theirs. For those who recently lost their own cat, Nietzsche was there for them.
“It belonged to everyone and he knew it,” said Price.
Nietzsche could “bring anyone to their knees” to get affection from them, Price added, be it a playful kid or a tall, muscular man wearing camouflage.
“He was a balance.”
And he remembered people too.
“Last week when I came in (to The Book Man) he came to me. He knew my voice, ”said Vermerris.
Nietzsche, the ginger cat who worked for The Book Man, poses for a photo with Ena Vermerris on December 4, 2014. Nietzsche died on Monday, February 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck / Chilliwack Progress file)
But Nietzsche’s health had worsened in the past few weeks, and Price and Vermerris knew it was time for him to leave. There were many tears at The Book Man on Monday as everyone said goodbye to the “older man,” Price said.
During nearly 13 years with The Book Man, Nietzsche helped raise more than $ 25,000 for Ena’s Community Cats through fundraising, merchandise sales, and donations.
“With that money, he changed the lives of thousands of cats,” Price said.
“I think he deserves a mural,” added Vermerris.
People can still buy Nietzsche bookmarks and pins in the store, and the money still goes to Ena’s Community Cats. The award encourages people to donate to the cause, and those looking for a cat may consider adopting one in need of a home.
“Please accept a rescue and give a cat that had no chance a chance … just like Nietzsche.”
Nietzsche, the ginger cat who worked at The Book Man, poses for a photo on December 5, 2011, promoting the first fundraiser for the cat calendar, which included all of his original art. He died on Monday, February 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck / Chilliwack Progress File)
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