Pillow-Cat Books, NYC’s First Animal-Centric Bookshop, Opens in the East Village · The Wildest

Skip to main content

Curl Up with a Book and a Kitten at Pillow-Cat Books

The East Village indie bookshop curates animal-centric publications from Beatrix Potter and Louis Wain to avant-garde manga zines and black-and-white photo tomes.

by Avery Felman
January 12, 2022
Tan bunny sits on a bookshelf
The letter "W" from the Wildest logo

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

Sign up for product updates, offers, and learn more about The Wildest, and other Mars Petcare brands. Must be over 16 years to sign up. See our privacy statement to find out how we collect and use your data, to contact us with privacy questions or to exercise your personal data rights.

Nestled in the heart of the East Village, Pillow-Cat Books rubs shoulders with neighborhood staples Veselka and the Angelika Theatre, embodying the best of an iconic area which is sadly becoming rapidly commercialized. New York’s “first animal-focused bookshop” takes pride in its whimsical contribution to an otherwise dwindling community of local artists.

Pillow-Cat Books is a family affair. Owner Cleo Le-Tan has always had an affinity for animals, growing up with them in France. She recently rescued a kitten, appropriately named Pillow, who takes her job as shop mascot very seriously, sunbathing on the window sill and cat-napping in the display case. Le-Tan’s sister, Olympia, is the head of visual merchandising, but you may know her as the designer of her eponymous line of velvet flats embroidered with cat faces and handbags fashioned after literary classics — one even features artwork from the original Cats Broadway Playbill.

cat on a zebra print chair

Literary classics also line the avocado-green shelves at Pillow-Cat Books, from Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit tales to Charlotte’s Web to Aesop’s Fables. Make no mistake, this is not a children’s bookstore, at least not exclusively — the only shop rule is that an animal feature in a book. So you’ll also find more scientific, artistic, and avant-garde titles including a 101-year-old copy of Louis Wain’s illustrated Annuals of anthropomorphic cats, black-and-white photo tomes by Hungarian animal photography pioneer YLLA, Japanese manga magazines, adult short stories by myriad international authors, dog training manuals, and tongue-in-cheek offerings such as The Life & Death of Fritz the Cat — the main character of which is described as a “horny, hip-talking feline.”

The animal theme extends to the decor. Faux fur rugs shaped like tigers and panda bears (for sale), and zebra-printed chairs offer cozy spots to curl up on and flip through old favorites and new finds, perhaps alongside the likes of Sevingys and Skarsgards. Only one question remains: Can I bring my dog? Yes!

cat in the book store window

Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is a writer and producer. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her reading, practicing her Greek on Duolingo, and delving into the Sex and the City discourse. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their cat, Chicken, who rules with an iron fist.

Related articles