Tuesday, when I arrived at the library, there was a cat in the building. A huge grey and white cat, patrolling the upper floor. I confirmed with one of our Circ Staffers that indeed, though it would be cool, cats were not supposed to be in the library. He was not a "seeing eye cat" of some kind. I went over to the cat, who was delighted to be picked up. He had on a tag that said "I'm an outdoor cat, and I know my way home." It also said his name was Max, and it had a phone number.
So I put Max outside, and thanked him for visiting. Max waited a moment or two, and then when a patron came through the automatic sliding doors, he followed right on in. Fearless. We debated whether to call the number on the tag, since obviously his owner knew that Max was a wanderer, and that Max would be more than able to get himself home when he wanted to leave. Someone had the brilliant idea of escorting Max out the side of the building where the doors are not automatic sliders. That was fine with Max. He lounged in a sunbeam, next to a window for awhile. The kids, of course, LOVED that there was a cat in and near the library.
Several hours passed, and then, there was Max. Downstairs now, weaving among the folks using our stand up terminals. I scooped him up again, and introduced him to our director, who is in favor of a library cat. I finally called the number on his tag, and got a voicemail box that said, "If you are calling about Max the Super Friendly Cat, his human is out of town. You can call this other number to talk to a human that knows about Max. Again, if Max has wandered into your life, call this number. If you actually wanted to talk to me, leave a message." That cracked me up. We let Max roam in the back staff area until his temporary human came and picked him up. Then I missed him the rest of the day. But I understand he has other folks to visit.
Library cats are the best.