Last summer, a brand-new bookstore opened in Aix-en-Provence, France. From a distance, the bookshop looks like any other regular shop, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice this one is unique.
“Mon Chat Pitre“ is France’s first bookstore solely dedicated to cats. You’ll be able to pet six felines adopted from shelters while browsing the shelves for your next read. Founded by two television journalists, Solène Chavanne and Jean-Philippe Doux, Mon Chat Pitre opened in June 2021.
A cat-friendly bookstore
You may be familiar with cat cafés, which are particularly well-liked by hipsters. Now, meet the purring bookstore in Aix-en-Provence. The owners of the six cats, including Philippe Geluck, a well-known creator of The Cat in Comics, have given each puss a distinguished sponsor.
The shop is mostly silent. Occasionally, cats may dash around, but overall, Jean-Philippe notes via RTL:
“It’s actually a very calm location.”
Solene, his co-owner, describes the place as a general bookshop with one book out of three on cats because they realized that the cat is everywhere in literature.
The bookstore’s felines have already wooed some clients. Rosalyne, a visitor browsing the selection muses:
“Lets’ say I went in out of curiosity, but I went in there because there were cats. That’s good. “
Another client concurs, saying,
“I adore cats and books, so let’s say combining the two is necessarily a wonderful idea. We can see that the cats are very content here; they play and have all the necessities they need, so it’s amazing.”
The feline residents of the Aix-en-Provence bookstore, Féfé, Bernard, Plume (the store’s official mascot), Tamtam, and their siblings can enjoy some 130 square meters decorated with walkways and cozy nests. In addition, a room inaccessible to customers is dedicated to the pusses’ tranquility.
An endeavor with a message
Of course, being surrounded by cats is a tried-and-true marketing strategy, but Solène and Jean-Philippe also focus on animal welfare. Before our two booksellers adopted them, each cat in the bookstore had previously been abandoned.
Whenever consumers ask to adopt one of the bookstore’s kitties, both owners have given the same response, as Jean-Philippe says:
“We adopted a cat from a shelter like we always do when we wish to adopt. The cats we have are ambassadors, not for adoption, so if you fall in love with one of our cats, you will unavoidably fall in love with one of the thousands of cats in shelters awaiting adoption.”
As they told 30 Millions d’Amis, the owners want to avoid the compulsive “Coup de Coeur,” (an expression meaning blow to the heart) which too often leads to abandonment, a scourge that France is sadly championing.
Nevertheless, the entrepreneurs encourage customers to adopt other cats from shelters. In creating this unusual bookstore, Solène Chavanne wanted to pay tribute to all the neglected, abandoned, and mistreated four-legged companions.
Since its opening, the shop has made a splash in the news. It is now listed on the Aix-en-Province tourism office website. Cat power!