Cats In Quilt Shops


Quilting Contessa shares her love of cats by sharing stories of cats in quilt shops with us all to enjoy and share with everyone else.

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Cats In Quilt Shops

History tells us that cats domesticated themselves by following the farmers as they stored grain for the winter. The grain attracted rats and the rats attracted cats. Food cements the relationship. Cats worked on ships during World War II for the same reason.

Cats In Quilt Shops


Working cats have made a comeback recently. "Bodega" cats in New York City are night guards for convenience stores and delicatessens. Even Disneyland employs nearly 200 cats to clean the streets at night. We are hearing that the pandemic has created an even greater need for working cats as humans just aren't around as much as they used to be.


What services do working cats in quilt shops provide?



First off, they are greeters for customers who come to the shop. A cat napping near your workstation will lift its head and perk its ears to alert you, even if you don't hear the car pull into the parking lot. No bell needed here!


Protection is obvious as they protect against rodents, bugs, etc. that may damage the fabrics. Quilt shops with large inventories can't afford damaged goods. Varmints can't stand the smell of a cat and just by rubbing against the tables and shelves, a cat provides much protection. My cat is especially fond of chasing moths which would make her a great match for a quilt shop. Cats would also alert you to something that they don't consider right such as a leaky roof or toilet. Most cats don't like to walk in water.


Cats are the cleanest of pets. They would certainly lend a hand in a quilt shop as well. If someone has inadvertently left a bobbin, small pair of scissors, or seam ripper on a table, the cat will cheerfully knock it onto the floor.



Cats also provide customer service. They may carefully lead or herd a customer to an area of the shop that the shopper may not ordinarily enter. This can lead to impulse purchases. Imagine the shopper telling her husband that the cat thought she needed this fabric!



And, of course, cats provide cuddles. I didn't realize how important this was until I visited Quilt Fabric & More in Blessing, Texas. This shop has three cats. (Kit, Taffy, and Streak) The owner confided that one of the reasons the cats are always in her shop is that she has older customers who come to visit the cats. Older customers who live in condos, assisted living, etc. are not allowed to have pets. When they just must have a cuddle, they come to the quilt shop to pat the cat and chat. In a small town, this is a special service. When you first enter the shop, please keep in mind that hand sanitizer is toxic for cats as they will lick it off their fur.



So next time you are in a quilt shop with a cat, remember this cat may be working!


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A spool or reel that holds thread or yarn for spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, or making lace.
The lengthwise and crosswise threads (warp and weft directions) of a woven fabric.
Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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