[image-1]If you’ve ever been to Blue Bicycle Books, downtown Charleston’s sole indie bookseller, chances are you at least caught a glimpse of Purdy, the store’s big, tortoiseshell cat who roamed the space on silent paws — she rarely disturbed the quiet with so much as a meow, which meant that she was a champ at surprising customers by appearing out of nowhere. 

“She was really a community kitty cat,” says Blue Bicycle co-owner Lauren Sanchez. “There’s just been such an outpouring of love and support for Purdy since she died — our Facebook page was hit I think over 8,000 times.”

Purdy, who lived from 1994 until last Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, came to Charleston from Texas with the previous owners of Blue Bicycle Books, Jim and Lee Breeden (under the Breedens, the store was called Boomer’s Books). When Sanchez and his wife Lauren bought the bookstore, all agreed that Purdy would be happier remaining among the stacks rather than moving on with the Breedens. 

Although Sanchez and the rest of the staff — not to mention the customers — will miss having a cat wandering the store, he’s not headed to the animal shelter any time soon. “As of now, we’re pretty sure Purdy is a one of a kind,” says Sanchez. “I’d feel really uncomfortable thrusting another cat into a situation like this, with so many people coming through, a door opening to a busy street, kids, etc.” After all, bookstore life isn’t for every kitty. 

Check out Blue Bicycle’s Facebook page to read Sanchez’ obituary for Purdy and leave your memories of the furry staff member.