Cat Therapy-A Novel Idea

Padric & Eddy sunning themselves in the front store window. Photo courtesy of

Having a pet in your home is common. Having a cat in a store however, is a bit less heard of. A Novel Idea Bookstore isn’t just home to books. Meet Padric and Eddy, cats that reside within the store located in downtown Lincoln. They are inspiration for the new logo for the bookstore that can be found on bookmarks, gift cards, notecards, and of course, the store sign. Eddy is large and spotted while Padric has a white star on his back. Eddy’s fur can be spotted from far away but until they get used to you, catching up to Padric might be the only way to see that star. While used to humans, it takes awhile for their shyness to go away.

While I’ve encountered them running away from me despite how often I visit the store, I have seen both cats just sit while my friends pet them. The only way I can usually get by with petting them is when they sleep. It’s not that hard to catch either Padric or Eddy off guard though, as most cats do, both sleep most of their days away. They sleep above the stairs, on the windowsills or any place they are able to hide.

Eddy and Padric weren’t the first cats to live in the bookstore. A beloved cat by the name of Silas lived there first. Silas passed away in 2009 at the age of 14, bringing sorrow to many people, not just the employees of A Novel Idea. Owner Cinnamon Dokken and In-store Manager Katherine Bergstrom received sympathy mail from all over the country (and several foreign companies) about the loss of their cat. They were also overwhelmed with offers of more cats.

Padric helping to sort the books. Photo courtesy of

The urge to rescue a cat couldn’t be avoided, so Dokken and Bergstrom decided to have a contest to help decide where to adopt their new pet. For a month, customers of Lincoln Capital Humane Society and The Cat House ‘voted’ by donating money to the animal rescue of their choice. When the results came in, $1,500 was raised for for Capitol Humane Society, while The Cat House brought in $3,500. Dokken and Bergstrom donated all monies to the respective organization, then ventured to winner-The Cat House-in search of their new resident cat.

At The Cat House, Eddy stood out above the other cats, shining in the spotlight of human attention. After admiring many cats, they came back to Eddy. While they played with Eddy the second time, Padric came out from his curled up napping space to join the crowd. Doken took a liking to Eddy, and Bergstrom to Padric, so both were adopted.

That is the story of how these loveable cats came to greet people who walk through the door of Novel Idea or walk past the windows where cat beds, cat toys and most likely, either cat rests.

Lauren Walkling, a junior Anthropology major at UNL, is a regular at A Novel Idea who goes for both the cats and the books. When asked about Eddy and Padric, Walking replied,

“They help relax you and make the store more fun to go to. They bring in more customers and give publicity to the store; helps people find new books they may not have found otherwise.”

Padric & Eddy playing around the stacks of books. Photo courtesy of

While Silas will be forever missed, it is nice to find that Novel Idea still has its windows and the employees still have their hearts open for these friendly felines. Padric and Eddy have as much love from customers as Silas used to, and provide that relaxing atmosphere as only animals can do. Cat Therapy has been used as a way to relax people. while books help open imaginations and take people to far off places to find solace. A Novel Idea is wonderful Cat Therapy to those who miss their pets or are stressed. The cats bring in customers who can find a variety of used books – many you wouldn’t find otherwise. The cats can help you feel less stressed while the books you find can take you to a different world. Even if you have the luck I encounter where both cats scamper off when you attempt to pet them, it is still fun to try and catch them. Whether you miss your pets, have an itch to find a new book, or just need to unwind – stop by A Novel Idea Bookstore. Padric and Eddy will be there, most likely sleeping.

A Novel Idea Bookstore
118 N. 14th Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 1pm-5pm
(402) 475 – 8663


About: Brandi Bengtson

I am a senior at UNL with a major in English and a minor in Communication Studies. Writing is my passion and I have novels that are works in progress that I will one day publish. Outside of writing, I love finding new places to shop, eat, or study. I love UNL and the friends I’ve made.