The Heartwarming Tale of Bookstore Cats: From Barnes and Noble to Loki and Kinsey
In the tropical town of Kailua-Kona, nestled on the beautiful island of Hawaii, there's a unique story that has woven itself into the fabric of a charming local bookstore. Kona Stories, a beloved independent bookstore, has not only been a hub for book lovers but also a sanctuary for a special quartet of feline companions.
It all began back in 2006 when the store's owners, Brenda and Joy, decided that every bookstore should have cats. They visited the humane society and adopted two tiny kittens, affectionately named Barnes and Noble. These two adorable furballs quickly became a fixture in the store, enchanting visitors and forging an everlasting bond with the community.
When Kona Stories relocated to the Keauhou Shopping Center in 2010, Barnes found a new home where he could explore the great outdoors, but Noble remained a faithful member of the bookstore's family. Alongside Noble came Shadow, a feral cat who'd ventured into the bookstore one day, seeking shelter and solace. Little did Shadow know that she was about to embark on a journey of a lifetime.
Shadow's story began with a surprising twist. Brenda was working on the shop's lanai one day when she heard a
faint, almost inaudible sound that tugged at her heartstrings - the unmistakable mewing of newborn kittens. Shadow had brought her three precious babies to the bookstore, seeking safety and comfort. With utmost care and diligence, Brenda and Joy ensured that this new family was safe and secure.
After six weeks, the kittens found loving homes, and Shadow made a transformation of her own. She traded the life of a feral cat for the comfort and leisure of the bookstore, working tirelessly on her waistline while keeping a watchful eye on the comings and goings of the bookstore.
Years passed, and the bookstore witnessed its share of joy and loss. Noble and Chloe's tale began in the summer of 2016. After Shadow's passing, Noble mourned deeply for her sister. She roamed the bookstore, searching for her lost sibling, her mournful cries echoing through the aisles. The owners contemplated introducing a new feline friend, but it was no simple decision, as Noble was territorial and selective when it came to other animals.
On a visit to Petco, Brenda came across an adult cat from the humane society's adoption program. At first, she considered a kitten, but this particular cat had left an indelible mark on her. A return visit with Joy sealed the deal, and on August 6, 2016, Chloe found her new home at Kona Stories.
Chloe took a few days to find her name, but she quickly adapted to the plush lifestyle of the bookstore. She reveled in the attention from customers, and even the playful pestering from children failed to deter her.
Noble and Chloe's initial interactions were rocky, but they eventually became fast friends. Noble's loyal fans, both local and visiting, continued to adore her, with stories of patrons coming back to visit her years later. Noble was more than just a cat; she was a beloved figure in the community.
As Noble aged, she continued to manage her furry friends, training them in her own feline ways. Chloe proved to be a challenge, especially with her outdoor bathroom habits, but Noble's patience and scolding eventually paid off.
Noble passed away peacefully in her favorite box on June 17, 2019, leaving a void in the hearts of her human companions and the bookstore's visitors. She had been cherished and well-cared-for throughout her life.
But life goes on, and so did the story of Kona Stories. In September 2019, the bookstore welcomed two new furry companions, Loki and Kinsey, into its family. These kittens brought with them an entirely new chapter of warmth and charm.
After months of grieving Noble's passing, Brenda stumbled upon a litter of adorable kittens available for adoption.
Joy had instructed not to adopt any new cats while she was away, but the irresistible charm of these kittens led to a swift change of heart.
A naming contest ensued, with a plethora of suggestions pouring in. After a month of deliberation, Loki, the troublemaker, was named after the shape-shifting trickster from Norse mythology, while Kinsey, the great detective, was named after the renowned investigator in Sue Grafton's "alphabet mysteries."
Loki and Kinsey quickly adapted to the life of bookstore cats, with their photos soon dominating the store's Instagram account. These two siblings were not just adored; they were spoiled with attention, with customers frequently stopping by to say hello.
Their bond as littermates was evident in everything they did, from exploring the outdoor courtyard to eating, sleeping, and playing together throughout the day. Their first few months were a challenge as they looked almost identical, but as they approached their first year, their distinct characteristics became more apparent.
While Kinsey flaunted her short hair with rich undertones of brown, Loki sported long, fluffy fur and an irresistibly cute face. Both were naturally good-natured and showed boundless affection to their adoring customers. Their patience with children and tolerance of constant attention made them beloved figures in the community.
Until one day! On August 2nd Loki went missing. The community joined together in his search; posting fliers, sharing on social media, AdvoCATS volunteers looked for him daily at the feeding stations but for 11 long weeks he was not to be found. After 84 days of his unusual disappearance, a tourist contacted the store through FB messenger with an undeniable photo of Loki. He was malnourished and afraid of humans but alive. A despite, persistent mission ensued to bring him back to the store. After 4 days of coaxing he remembered and allowed us to catch him and bring him home. Today, he is back home thriving in his pampered bookstore.
Kona Stories remained committed to supporting local nonprofit organizations that helped find homes for all the fur-friends in need on Hawaii Island. They continued to encourage donations to organizations such as AdvoCATS Hawaii and KARES Hawaii.