One could patronize Central Library for 20 years and have no idea that dozens and dozens of stout and adventurous felines are hiding in the bushes, in the trees, in the cracks and crevices, napping, hunting, blinking out at you, the well-heeled and the homeless alike.

The grounds belong to neither the Library, nor the cafe adjacent to it, but rather, to US Bank Tower. The cafe rents the grounds out frequently for private parties and receptions. (Making it a challenge to feed them or schedule TNR trapping, nevermind attempting to catch ferals and “tame” them.) Neither the Library nor the cafe feed or care for these darlings in any way – turning a blind eye because the cats cull the rodents and keep pigeons at bay…

Almost all of the Library Cats are solid black or classic tuxedo; we know from experience that if they were to be trapped and brought to a shelter, it’s likely that none would make it out alive. We believe the majority of the adults have been spayed or neutered, as they are ear-tipped, and at least a couple of kind souls have taken it upon themselves to feed them, albeit irregularly. A great tragedy in all of this: Los Angeles’ temperate weather guarantees year-round kittens – there will always, always be kittens.

Yet many mysteries surround the Library Cats. How long have they been there? How many are there? Where do they sleep? Who feeds them? Who fixed them? And what – what about the kittens? And so on and so forth.