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Ashland bookstore's well-loved cat Orlando dies

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

Orlando, the Bloomsbury bookstore cat for 15 years, died Monday.