It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Spike, Left Bank Books’ beloved, and internationally known, bookstore cat. He crossed the rainbow bridge on the morning of December 21, 2018 after being diagnosed with an untreatable cancer. He was thirteen years old. He was preceded in death by Jamaica, who reigned as store cat from 1992-2005, and Captain Nemo, who reigned from 1980-1992. Spike is sorely missed by the staff he supervised and his adoring public, who number in the hundreds, if not thousands.
Spike began his tenure at Left Bank Books as a newly rescued kitten from a dumpster in the adjacent alley. He quickly adapted to his new home and self-defined duties, which included a lot of presiding: on the busiest of days, he could often be found greeting customers at the door, lounging underfoot in heavy traffic, or planted squarely on the only open spot on the front counter. He attended and occasionally disrupted author events. He never forgot a face. He was not fond of dogs and merely tolerated small children, two groups who were often his most enthusiastic fans.
Spike is the June bookstore cat in Baker and Taylor’s 2019 book industry calendar and was the 2012 Book Expo American Bookstore Cat of the Year. His daily goings on are chronicled on his Instagram page, @spike_at_leftbankbooks.
Persons wishing to acknowledge Spike are asked to make a donation to The Animal House, a no-kill cat rescue shelter, and can post remembrances at on Instagram at @spike_at_leftbankbooks, on Facebook at facebook.com/leftbankbooks.stl, and online at goo.gl/forms/2Ho1e3SO7nMCzr6j2.
A eulogy of sorts, written by Left Bank Books co-owner Jarek Steele, who was Spike’s wing man, can be read at isitlevel.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/spike-2005-2018.
What’s in the trunk of your car? Jay, until my demands for moar Fancy Feast have been met. Also some dead mice, bound and gagged and ready to be swimming with the fishes.
What’s your favorite memory? Beating up Dewey
Who would play you in a movie? James Cagney (runner-up: Lee Marvin à la Cat Ballou)
Using only one word, describe yourself. Magnificent
Theme song to your life: "You Don't Own Me"
What's your favorite smell? Shoes. No, wait: Fancy Feast. OMG-shoes-full-of-Fancy-Feast!
If you had a super power, what would it be? The ability to leap 7 bookshelves in a single bound (in order to reach the cat treats)
What do you think your job is at Left Bank Books? Nightshift manager and inventory security.
"A new classic" --Spike
I met this guy. He liked me.