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Casper, the Rexroad's cat, has been a fixture at The Bookworm for 16 years.

CARBONDALE — The heart and soul of a recently shuttered independent bookstore has died.

The Bookworm's resident cat, Casper, 15, died Monday afternoon, according to Bookworm owners Carl and Kelly Rexroad via a Facebook post.

“It is with great sadness that we must tell all of you that Casper passed away yesterday afternoon,” the post said. “He was the star and heart of The Bookworm for over 15 years.”

Casper could regularly be seen wandering through the shelves of the bookstore, which closed this past Saturday as the Rexroads retire. When Casper wasn't greeting new customers, he could be seen sprawled out and taking a nap while those around him browsed the shelves of local literature.

“Our hearts are broken and he will be missed every day,” the post said. “We are thankful that he found his way to our parking lot when he was just six weeks old and immediately made himself at home in the bookstore.”

Not only was Casper a popular fixture at the bookstore, he also had his own Facebook page to keep customers informed about Bookworm news. That page was LazyBookwormCat Casper.

dustin.duncan@thesouthern.com

618-351-5074

on twitter: @zd2000

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Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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