She lived in an ancient used bookstore in downtown Long Beach, CA
This store was huge, dark and crowded with 10' tall, make-shift wooden shelves. Some made from planks, some made from crates, some made from, seemingly, whatever wood was found around. I couldn't even tell you what the walls were made of, they were all covered top to bottom with shelves. The whole place was stocked very heavily with books. Some of the aisles weren't more than 2' wide. The store had been around for so long that if you digged deeply enough you could find some real treasures!
When I first met Penny, I was browsing through the Mystery section. I glanced up from the 1st edition Arthur Conan Doyle (pre Sir) that I was looking at and saw her staring at me from about 5yards away. Quietly sitting in the middle of the aisle, just watching. I said, "hi, kitty". She had no response. A couple of minutes later, she was still sitting there watching me, I turned in the opposite direction, went a few aisles down to browse some more. My decisions made, I turned to head for the cashier. But, at the end of that aisle sat Penny. Just watching me. "Oh! Hi, kitty!" Nothing. I turned the other way not wanting her to think I was approaching her and took the long route to the register. By the time my transaction was complete, there was Penny! Approaching me from on top of the counter. She layed down right in front of me looking for a bit of petting to which I, of course, obliged.
The store closed in October. Seems the city feels you can never have enough ugly condos sitting over-priced and empty.
I miss that place. And I miss Penny who now lives in the home of the ex-store owner.