Meet Bunch of Grapes’ new kitten, Bookmark

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Bookmark is the new face in Vineyard Haven at Bunch of Grapes bookstore. — Eunki Seonwoo

A new feline in town made his mark at Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Vineyard Haven. Meet Bookmark, the kitten roaming past the books on the shelves and munching on chow near the basement stairs. 

Molly Coogan, who became the new owner of Bunch of Grapes in September, said she got Bookmark after seeing a post offering three kittens on the Facebook group Islanders Talk.

“I’d been thinking it’d be great to have a bookstore cat. So the timing was perfect and the cat was perfect, and it all worked out,” Coogan said. 

The name Bookmark was given after Coogan thought about what kind of name might fit a cat staying in a bookstore. 

“I was trying to think of a name that would be fitting for a bookstore cat that wasn’t necessarily a literary reference that might not be familiar to people. I wanted it to be a universal recognition of a bookstore name,” Coogan said. “I figured he’s kind of our marketing director right now, so bookmark and marketing all seemed to go together.” 

Big shoes to fill for the little kitten. A cat acting as a pet and mascot can be seen in independent bookstores across the country. 

“There’s sort of this idea that books and cats are sort of a cozy combination, and there’s this tradition of a lot of bookstores having cats,” Coogan said, adding that they are quite popular on social media. “They sort of take on this personality of their own, these cats, and … they kind of become famous in their own right.”

Islanders had a “very positive” reaction to Bookmark. 

“People have been coming by specifically to meet the cat. I see them remarking when he’s in his spot on the window enjoying the sun and adoration of the public,” Coogan said. 

Those people who have gone to the bookstore to meet Bookmark include two sisters, 10-year-old Izzy Nelligan and 7-year-old Nora Nelligan. Before meeting Bookmark, they had never seen a kitten before. 

“I like how he’s really playful and he’s really cute,” Izzy said

“He loves hair, watch,” Nora said, waving her hair at the kitten. Bookmark batted at Nora’s hair with his paws. “He likes eating hair.”

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