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In one Nova Scotia bookstore, the cats roam free

Cats and books a successful combination for one Nova Scotia business
At a small book store in Upper Tantallon, N.S., customers are often greeted by the cats as they browse books and sip on lattes. Ashley Field has more.

Among the bookcases, heavy tomes and comfy chairs at a small store in Upper Tantallon, N.S., visitors can find an unexpected treat — a rotating cast of feline friends.

At Otis and Clementine’s Books And Coffee, customers are often greeted by the cats as they browse books and sip on lattes.

It’s the result of a fostering program that the shop’s owner, Ellen Helmke, began last year.

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She told Global News she realized she had a lot of space at the shop and decided to start taking in cats that needed to find a home.

Helmke said it’s been a success for the cats and for her business.

“People come here specifically to see the cats, and then some people just wander in to look at books and discover there are kittens,” she said.

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“Either way, the response has been really great — I mean, who doesn’t love kittens, right?”

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So far she’s helped 30 cats get adopted. Right now there are two cats at the shop — mother Abba and her baby, Wick.

Helmke says the cats, which can often found tumbling through cardboard boxes near the front of the store, become socialized and exposed to people.

Rescued cats from emptying N.L. town will soon be ready for adoption
Rescued cats from emptying N.L. town will soon be ready for adoption

That means it doesn’t normally take long for them to find a home.

“We have a hundred per cent adoption rate, which is fantastic,” said Helmke.

“I’m so happy to make my customers happy when they come in and they’re just thrilled to see a kitten they weren’t expecting… It’s amazing and makes me happy to come to work.”

The kittens are rescued through South Paw Conservation Nova Scotia.