There's a Book About the Cute, Friendly Cats That Hang in Local Distilleries
Author Brad Thomas Parsons profiles the unsung heroes of the craft beverage industry.
Hoodie of Newburgh posing with her copy.
Photo by Paul Halayko; Illustration copyright 2017 Julia Kuo
When Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters and Amaro, first learned of "working cats" – cats that historically kept ships and stores mouse-free – he was fascinated; when he learned about distillery cats, he knew there was a story to write.
As the craft beverage industry boomed, Parsons noticed that several producers gave their cats a presence on social media. Of course, the felines were still keeping pests at bay, but they also started to play a role in the business.
"They're friendly, they're cute, they're fun to hang out with, and they're a familiar face," says Parsons. "People were coming to see the cats specifically. Instagram had a lot to do with that."
Each profile in the 112-page book recounts a cat's history – most are adopted or rescued – and highlights their distinguishing characteristics, such as any favorite snacks, toys, or hobbies, as well as lifetime mouse K-Os and any notable features or superpowers (e.g. "ability to melt hearts of so-called people who don't like cats").
Included in the chapters are "employees" of Albany Distilling Company, Newburgh Brewing Company, Olde York Farm Distillery & Cooperage, Orange County Distillery, and Rushing Duck Brewing Company.
For Parsons, the book combines two of his favorite things: spirits and cats. In keeping, Distillery Cats also includes cocktail recipes, all of which pair excellently with a fellow feline.