Thorntown Library Takes in Cat Named ‘Chance’ … By Chance!

INDIANA – It was a complete case of mistaken identity that led a frail, orange cat to Karen Niemeyer. However, the Thorntown Public Library couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.

Niemeyer, who is the director of the Thorntown library, said she took in a cat after a neighbor died but came home to find him missing one afternoon.

“I put up flyers hoping someone would see him, which was something I had never done before,” she stated. “Then, a few months later, a neighbor came over to tell me he thought he found him.”

Although it wasn’t Niemeyer’s cat, this animal was in desperate need of help.

“I suspect he was someone else’s cat at some point because he had been front declawed and neutered and he just loves attention,” Niemeyer stated. “No one ever came forward though to claim him.”

And so, she took the cat and named him, Chance. Chance was brought to the vet, where he was placed on an IV for a total of eight days due to severe dehydration and given antibiotics for lesions all over his body.

During his recuperation, Niemeyer took the Chance over to the library for fear that he wouldn’t be able to defend himself against her two male cats at her home.

“That was kind of like his interview for the position,” Niemeyer stated. “We wanted to make sure he was a good fit for the environment.”

Chance enjoys a bit of cat nip given to him by one of the library patrons. (Photo: Jillian Ellison/ Journal and Courier)

Chance enjoys a bit of cat nip given to him by one of the library patrons. (Photo: Jillian Ellison/ Journal and Courier)


The Thorntown library in the past has had a cat librarian — a ginger feline whose name was Tober. Sadly, Tober died back in November just shortly before Chance was discovered. Christine Sterle, who is a library staff member, said going from having a feline in the library to none was difficult for everyone.

“I think the community definitely went through a mourning period after Tober passed of cancer,” Sterle stated. “It was really hard for me to want to stick around after hours when I knew he wasn’t there anymore.”

Even the public has shown a large amount of support for the cat, even those who suffer from allergies.

“A few people in the community are allergic, but due to the library’s spacious areas, it takes a while before they become affected by Chance’s presence,” she went on to say. “We had a custodian that was allergic to cats during Tober’s reign, but he found that by taking some basic allergy medicine that he was completely fine.”

Every library needs its own resident, library cat!