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Delhiwale: The cat in the bookstore

A stray cat has made a bookstore in Jor Bagh her house. The owner and visitors are now settling around her

delhi Updated: Feb 26, 2018 10:16 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Dilliwale,Delhi bookshop
Meowni at a bookstore in Jor Bagh.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Any number of Who’s Who notables wind up sooner or later at The Book Shop. We recently spotted Bangalore-based historian Ramachandra Guha picking up books in this carefully stocked establishment in Jor Bagh.

But not only the rich and famous who are drawn to the well-known book haven in central Delhi. A few months ago, a stray cat suddenly turned up and decided to settle in.

And no wonder, considering she gets fed regularly by the store’s personnel. She has become so spoiled that she won’t let the shop open up in the morning before being served a bowl of milk.

Nini KD Singh, who runs the establishment, decided to christen the new tenant “Meowni”. An obvious name, she thinks, “after the cat’s meow, you see.”

Not everybody believes that sort of name suffices. Mahika Chaturvedi is the part-time staffer behind the counter who says some local Jor Bagh residents are calling the cat Clarissa. “But Clarissa sounds too elegant, like a character in a Virginia Woolf novel!”

Nobody knows anything about Meowni’s past life, but the staff are aware that she’s something of a draw among customers.

The other day two prospective customers popped around, snapped photos of the cat and immediately exited without even browsing, let alone purchasing.

Meowni, like anyone else, has her moods. She can be ill-mannered. “The other day, she leaped onto my smoked Gouda cheese,” reports Ms Singh, as though referring to a naughty grandchild.

The Book Shop has been around for a long time. It’s clear that Meowni also plans to stick around.

First Published: Feb 26, 2018 10:15 IST