Purr-fect addition

Visitors come from all around to meet Socks, the Pinson Public Library’s cat-in-residence

By Lauren Dowdle
Photos courtesy of Pinson Public Library

There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book for a catnap, which is literally what Socks does every day, thanks to one family’s love for animals.

During the fall of 2015, Pinson city councilor Robbie Roberts’s wife and daughter were driving down Tapawingo Road and spotted kittens that had been dumped, says Allison Scanlan, director of the Pinson Public Library.

Socks will make himself at home anywhere in the library.

“The Roberts family loves cats, so they rescued all six kittens,” Scanlan says.

After caring for the cats for a few weeks, they brought them by the library, hoping to find them homes. Scanlan says the library director at the time, April Wallace, had talked about having a library cat.

“Of the kittens, Socks was the most laid-back and friendly, so we tentatively made plans for him to be our new library cat,” Scanlan says. “In January 2016, we decided to let him stay at the library for a few days to see how he felt about being there — and he’s been at the library ever since.”

While library pets have become popular across the country, Socks is the first one for the Pinson Library. Patrons got to help name the new addition during a voting contest and chose Socks, although his full name is Socrates Prints Hugo. 

“Socks won because he looks just like the illustration of ‘Socks’ from the Beverly Cleary book, and he has white feet,” Scanlan says. “Socks is short for Socrates — since he’s a highly educated cat.”

Not only is he smart, but Socks is also laid back, likes people and is always up for a good cuddle, Scanlan says. “Sometimes, if patrons stay in the library for a while, he will want to catnap on or near them,” she says.

Literally…anywhere in the library.

“Most people, especially children, are very excited to see Socks. Many people ask specifically to see him when they visit the library,” she says.

If anyone is scared of or allergic to cats, Socks will spend time in his room or Scanlan’s office during their visit. But even some who have been afraid of cats in the past have really warmed up to him.

“Socks has a lot of fans,” Scanlan says. “Some people drive from other parts of the county to use our library just to see Socks.”

She says he’s met people from Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia who were visiting the area and made a point to come see him. He even has his own Facebook page, Socks the Library Cat.

“We love being known as the cat library,” Scanlan says. “Several people have told us they were having a bad day or dealing with struggles, and spending time with Socks helps them to feel better.”


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