Baker and Taylor were a pair of Scottish Folds who lived in a library in Minden, Nevada in the 1980s and 1990s. When library book wholesaler Baker & Taylor took them on as company mascots and released their first poster to libraries across the country, no one knew it was the beginning of worldwide fame for the cats, years before Facebook and Instagram.
The library was Baker and Taylor’s home, and they rarely left. So they made themselves comfortable, doing what cats do while welcoming a parade of people into the library every day. Baker’s job title was Official Greeter, though he had a tendency to fall asleep on the job more often than not.
Taylor was a quieter cat who liked to hang out with the staff and help supervise from his pink donut cat bed conveniently placed on author Jan Louch’s desk.
The cats took turns sitting on top of the library computers back in the day when the nice toasty monitors were the size of a microwave oven.
Two thousand miles away from Minden in Gahanna, Ohio, second-grade teacher Leslie Kramm launched the Baker and Taylor Fan Club in 1990 to help her students with their lessons. They sent letters, drawings, and even ornaments for the library’s Christmas tree. Jan wrote back to the children — often as the cats — and the correspondence continued for eight years.
The Baker & Taylor Company continued to use the cats in ads, on shopping bags, even coffee mugs. The cats never let their fame go to their heads, even when tourists and librarians would show up at the library just to meet the cats.
When Baker died in 1994, people from all over the world sent sympathy cards and donated books to the library, and the library staff sent a signed notecard to thank them.
When Taylor died in 1997, Jan wrote the last letter to the fan club in his voice, thanking them for being his friend and telling them how much he had missed Baker and that he was looking forward to seeing him again. She later admitted that it was one of the hardest things she’d ever done.
In the end, Baker and Taylor made many people happy, even if they never met in person. Both were very happy cats: They loved the people and the staff and everyone loved them back. And today, the Baker & Taylor company still uses a couple of Scottish Folds as their mascots.