Benny the Cat is the Library’s Newest Edition

Stray cat enjoys life amongst the books.

Aug 24, 2023
Benny the Cat is the Library’s Newest Edition | Stray cat enjoys life amongst the books.

Benny looks like any adorable 3-month-old kitten but he has an important role to fill. This gray haired and green- eyed bundle of playful energy is the newest edition at the Swanton Public Library in Ohio, reported WTOL News. And he is creating quite a following.

From the streets to the library
Benny’s story is one of coming from the mean streets to a life of pets and pampering. The tuxedo kitten was found on the streets after he was thrown out of a truck. He was rescued and brought to the Wood County Humane Society where he was able to recover from his injuries.

Benny was adopted by Anna Burwell, the adult services coordinator for Swanton Public Library and she started to bring him to work. Benny thrived at the library and took on the role of protector and well, just being adorable. Of course, he goes home for the night and does not actually live in the library.

“The kids love him," Burwell told WTOL. “People tend to react really well to animals.”

Benny spends his days making his way around the library, zooming through the empty bottom shelves and herding the children into Storytime. In just a few weeks, he has made a purrfect impression on the community.

“We've had a couple of people come up to the desk and ask for him,” Burwell said.

Given the positive reaction to Benny, the library is considering certifying him as a therapy cat, reported The Messenger. That’s because he is a good listener and makes the children feel comfortable.

Library cats go way back
Library cats have been around for a long time. In fact, cats were kept in libraries during the middle ages to keep rats from eating the parchment scrolls, according to Mental Floss. And they have been an integral part of library life around the world ever since.

In 1745, cats were invited into the royal palace by Russian Empress Elisabeth to control rodents in the library. The descendants of these cats still live in what is now the Hermitage museum.

The most famous library cat was Dewey Readmore books, who lived in the Spencer Public Library in Iowa. He was discovered in the library’s drop box when he was only 8-weeks-old in 1988 and lived there for almost 20 years.

While library cats are not without controversy because of  allergies and some have had to be rehomed, the tradition of library cats is alive and well with Benny, the newest edition of the Swanson library.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.