West Seattle “Shop Cats”: Meet Presta and Schrader

Last Monday night, in our first West Seattle “Shop Cat” story, you met Seth from West Seattle Nursery. Tonight, we head about a mile south on California SW:

By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Meet Presta and Schrader at Aaron’s Bicycle Repair – the award-winning cats:

Look in the picture windows filled with bicycles at Aaron’s shop in Morgan Junction and you may find a pair of bright green eyes looking back at you. Presta and Schrader, the feline brothers who live at the shop, regularly perch themselves on a bike saddle in the front window to take the measure of the world outside.

Gray-and-white Presta and his black-and-white brother Schrader came to be Shop Cats back in 2001, when Aaron’s was located next to another business dealing with a rodent problem. Owner Aaron Goss recalls a day after the store’s neighbor was fumigated, the bike shop had mice literally running and jumping all over the store. It was time for feline action. The cats were given to Aaron by a friend in Oregon, and have grown up in the shop; one of their littermates lives with Aaron’s sister.

Aaron recalls that when the cats and his son were approximately the same age, the very tolerant animals would let his son sit on them for short periods of time. That they’re so tolerant of children now is frankly a bit surprising. However, as shop manager Mike notes, “(The cats) have their own customer base (including children) who come to visit them.” Indeed, the cats come when called and love to be petted and fawned over.

Their favorite bike repair is handlebar taping. As the sticky tape is rolled around the handlebar, the paper backing peels off in a long strip and begins to dangle toward the floor. When this starts, Aaron tells his customer, “The cats will be here in a second.” And they are. They love to play with, chew on, and eat the paper strips. They especially like “the Italian stuff,” says Aaron. He adds: “They’re connoisseurs.” Aaron also points out he tries not to let them actually eat the tape, as it would make them sick.

Their unique names come from air-valve brands used on bicycle tires: Presta and Schrader Valves. On display at the counter are photos of the cats, with an example of each of their namesake valves. Bicycle cats through and through, Schrader even helped the shop win an award from Brooks brand saddles. The second photo in this story was sent in along with the tag line “Even our cats love Brooks Saddles.” The shop won the 2008 Outstanding Brooks Dealer Award.

You can see more images of Presta and Schrader on the shop’s website: rideyourbike.com. If you’re in the neighborhood, you may also see one of these “coworkers” sitting in a sunny front window—testing the bike saddles.

More “shop cats” to come – and at least one “shop dog” too! Want to make sure we know about your shop mascot? E-mail us – editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

6 Replies to "West Seattle "Shop Cats": Meet Presta and Schrader"

  • Sue April 7, 2009 (7:12 am)

    I love these shop cat features! And while I knew of Presta and Schrader, I didn’t know their names, so this is cool – my husband goes there all the time for bike repair, and he was surprised when I offered to tag along, until he realized I could care less about bikes but wanted to pet the cats. :)

  • Lucile 2 April 7, 2009 (8:58 am)

    LOVE the cat features!

  • EmmyJane April 7, 2009 (9:25 am)

    I’ll officially be making a visit to the bike shop this week! Good story!

  • AJP April 7, 2009 (9:47 am)

    Yeah, Presta and Schrader–great names. These were the cats who wouldn’t leave me alone in that store. I swear cats KNOW who is allergic to them and purposefully seek them out. I’ve been at friends houses where the cats won’t leave me alone, despite lots of other laps and hands willing to take them in. So I have to leave.

  • GenHillOne April 7, 2009 (10:49 am)

    I like Schrader’s Superman pose :)

  • West Seattle Nursery moms April 7, 2009 (4:59 pm)

    So cute! West Seattle Shop Cats unite!

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