photo courtesy of shopcat.com
Fup, the resident cat at Powell's Technical Books, passed away on October 25. She was 19 years old. She continued to greet her admiring public to the end, when her health failed and there was no choice but to put her to sleep. Her lifelong veterinarian made the trip out to the store to perform the task and Fup died peacefully at home with several of her longtime co-workers present.
Fup was born on or about June 30, 1988. She was adopted as a kitten by the Technical Store's first manager, so her exact birthdate is unknown and she was always quite coy about that. As for the origin of her name, legend has it that the manager's sister had a cat named Puff, so he sort of spelled that backwards. There was also a book titled Fup by Jim Dodge, published in 1983, which may have played into it as well.
When Powell's Technical Books moved to its present address in November 1990, Fup made the move as well. After clearing the building of any remaining mice, she claimed the store as her own. She showed little interest in the outside world, except to watch birds and falling leaves outside the window. She didn't care for toys, either — Fup took her position quite seriously. Except for the summer of 1997, when she was moved to an employee's apartment for about six weeks while the store was being remodeled, her rule was uninterrupted.
In her youth, Fup would sometimes climb ladders and hide at the top of book fixtures to look down upon the humans in her domain. Over the years, Fup acquired a well-earned reputation for biting employees who intruded on her time for more than about 30 seconds. However, she would always be sitting in front of the office to greet whoever came to open the store in the morning, demanding her serving of canned food for breakfast. She was more patient with visitors; Fup played the celebrity game well. She received many gifts and cards and emails from fans, which she appreciated.
In her later years, she mellowed out quite a bit and even became friendlier towards her co-workers, especially if they shared their lunches. Her favorite foods were canned tuna, chicken (especially Tandoori), and pulled pork. Cold cuts were also welcome.
There will not be a service; however, a memorial to be placed somewhere in the store is planned for a future date. Tributes can left in the comments section below.
In lieu of cards or flowers, we respectfully request you make a gift donation to the Oregon Humane Society in Fup's name.
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Ron Silberstein is the Assistant Manager of Powell's Technical Books.
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