Orlando, the cat that stalked the stacks at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland for almost 15 years, has died.

Orlando, the cat that stalked the stacks at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland for almost 15 years, has died.

"He was a working cat. He had a job, and he knew what it was," said Karen Chapman, who has co-owned the bookstore with Sheila Burns for almost 30 years. "He was a goodwill ambassador, he was a greeter."

The feline, adopted about 15 years ago by a now-retired Bloomsbury employee and her daughter, died Monday. His exact age and breed were not known, but he was named after Virginia Woolf's cat.

Orlando was more than just a pet; he was a reason to stop by the store, said regular customer Mary Anne Bergman.

"Every Friday we would go to Pangea and order salmon, and we would save Orlando a portion," said Bergman. "We would go on the children's bench and feed it to him."

Chapman recalled one time when Orlando scratched the top of a box of books and damaged a book titled "Women Who Love Dogs."

After that, "We were sure he was able to read," she said.

Bloomsbury Books invites the public to share memories of Orlando from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the store, 290 E. Main St. Donation may be made to the county animal shelter in Orlando's memory.

— Ashland Daily Tidings