Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Left Bank Books' Cat in Residence, Spike, Disrupts Feminist Reading

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 12:05 PM

click to enlarge Spike in a quieter moment. - HARLAN MCCARTHY
  • Spike in a quieter moment.
If you've ever spent time at Left Bank Books — or even just walked by with a particularly alert breed of terrier (ahem) — you are likely familiar with Spike, the bookstore's in-house cat.

That's because Spike is the kind of feline who brooks no nonsense. He naps where he wants to nap. He goes where he wants to go. He will not come no matter how much your needy two-year-old calls him (again, ahem). He rules the roost, and while Kris Kleindienst and Jarek Steele may be nominally the shop's co-owners, Spike is really the cat in charge — even if you're a critically acclaimed author. And even if you've flown in from New York for the express purpose of sharing your new book.

Author Morgan Jerkins learned that lesson last night. Jerkins was at Left Bank to promote This Will Be My Undoing, which, in the words of her website, weaves "incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today." But instead, Spike gave her a crash course in the interspecies ubiquity of the patriarchy. Quelle horreur!

We'll turn to Twitter for Jerkins' first-hand telling.

The evening got off to a great start:

Then she started her reading. And that's when the cantankerous black cat made his presence known:

At first, Jerkins seemed amused.

But then she got to thinking. And at heart, what was Spike's interruption but one more dude needing to make it all about him?

As Jerkins writes, "It doesn't matter the species the male is in — homo sapiens, felis silvestris — he's always gonna try to center himself for five seconds."

Oh, Spike. You couldn't give cede the floor for one hour? Is it always all about you??

(Maybe don't answer that. Male or not, Spike is a cat.)

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 8, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation