Meet Cute

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Get to know some of Savannah’s most adorable employees

 Photography by JEREMIAH HULL

E. SHAVER, BOOKSELLER // Mr. Eliot, Bartleby, Skimbleshanks and Morticia 

AN ENCHANTING NEIGHBORHOOD bookshop run by cats would make for a pretty good novella. And at E. Shaver, Bookseller, it’s happening in real time. According to Annie Childress, the shop’s operation and events manager, each cat has its own special role in making things hum (or perhaps purr). “Mr. Eliot is our head of public relations,” Childress explains with a wink. “He is Instagram famous, and that only goes to his head most of the time.” His littermate Bartleby, a Creamsicle-hued fellow, is the floor manager. “If not for Bartleby’s keen eye and judgement, the store would not function to the high level that it does,” Childress says. Skimbleshanks — a tortie female whom Childress describes as the shop’s “most paranormally in tune” — is the back-room supervisor, but also has a knack for keeping children company (Childress says she’s deeply patient with kids, though less so with adults). Kitten Morticia, the newest member of the team, is the resident office cat. “She loves to lounge around in the sunshine,” Childress says, “and on top of the invoice you are trying to process.” 


CAT OWNERS OFTEN share that a cat finds you — and not the other way around. Such is the case at Terracotta, where Amelia has made her home for the last 15 years. “She was given to us by a customer who came upon her in Telfair Square,” explains owner Christine Nussbaum. “My store manager at the time talked me into keeping her at the shop, because she couldn’t have pets at her apartment.” Nussbaum admits she was reluctant at first — “We went through some challenging times during adolescence with her causing havoc in the shop at night” — but Amelia has grown into a mellow cat with a calming presence, adored by staff and shoppers alike. “At night, she’s often sought out by customer who know of her or just discovered her when she struts in the window displays,” Nussbaum says. “We can’t imagine this place without her.” 


SEABOLT REAL ESTATE is a family business, right down to the pets. Boudreaux, the agency’s designated “top dog” wasn’t Seabolt’s first dog — that honor belonged to a beloved pup named Andy, technically Boudreaux’s uncle. But Boudreaux’s owner, associate broker Shannan Hunt, says Boudreaux, a Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, has taken on his role as top dog with aplomb and clearly enjoys the views (and cushy confines) from Seabolt’s Oglethorpe Avenue office. “Although he’s still a bit wild, he’s the biggest sweetheart and loves getting treats and hugs from his Seabolt family,” Hunt says. “Boudreaux is a true delight.”


“PIGEON IS ACTUALLY the inspiration for our brand of dog treats and the name of our shop,” says Daniel Cannon, “so it only made sense that she gets to hang out here.” Cannon, who owns the dog and the shop along with Erica Deeb (the pair also own Savannah Pet Sitters), adopted Pigeon after she was paralyzed in a car accident and left at a veterinarian’s office. “We got her some good physical therapy, a heavy-duty wheelchair, and we haven’t looked back since,” Cannon says. With her good nature and unique mode of transportation, Pigeon makes a lasting impression at Cannon and Deeb’s downtown shop. “Many out-of-town visitors come in to pick up something for their dogs back home,” Cannon says. “They’re excited to meet a new dog on vacation, and everyone is always interested in hearing her story.” 


Gaston C. Conley, right, with fiance Ard James and dogs Waylon, left, and Birdie, right

BIRDIE AND WAYLON fit seamlessly into Gaston Crue Lifestyle & Interiors’ refined appearance. “People often recognize the connection of pointers, also known as ‘bird dogs,’ to the nature-inspired aesthetic of the store,” says owner Gaston Crue Conley (the shop’s inventory includes furnishings and custom upholstery in tones of ivory and chocolate not unlike Birdie’s and Waylon’s coats). In fact, the dogs coordinate so perfectly and are so well-behaved that Conley says they often go unnoticed — but never for too long. “They’ve established their own fan club,” he says with a laugh. “A great shop dog makes every visit that much more welcoming, and I could not imagine a day in the office without them.”