They say cats have nine lives. Maybe that explains why The Calico Cat Book and Gift Shoppe in downtown Saline never really died despite its December 2008 “Retirement Store Closing Sale.” At that time, everything in the store was priced for liquidation and going out of business. Even the light fixtures were up for sale.

“We’re ready to retire and spend more time with our grandchildren,” co-owner Marcia Duncan said back in the fall of 2008. After nearly thirty-five years in the small book and gifts business, she and her husband, James, were discouraged by the economic downturn and too weary to compete with big-box stores and Internet shopping. “We really didn’t expect to be here,” said Duncan on a sunny April afternoon, as one of her longtime employees unpacked new merchandise.

But loyal customers came out of the woodwork and pleaded with the Duncans to stick it out. After the going-out-of-business sale, the Duncans still had far too much merchandise on their hands. James was ready to give it all to charity, but not Marcia–the outpouring of support got to her. “This is my love,” she says, smiling and standing behind the store’s counter. “I just couldn’t close. And now, it feels like we’re two kids starting over again.”

As for retiring and spending more time with her grandchildren, Duncan admits that her daughter was at first devastated to hear that she had changed her mind. “I have such a wonderful staff,” says Duncan. “I told my daughter I’d be there any time she needed me.”

The Calico Cat Book and Gift Shoppe, 109 W. Michigan. 944-2242. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Sun.

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Jet’s Pizza moved from one end of Michigan Avenue to the other. Franchise owners Monica and Jeff Van Overmeer welcomed the opportunity to rent space in the relatively new Oaks shopping center. The first eatery to open in the plaza, nestled between Mod Squad Hair Salon and Probility Physical Therapy, Jet’s is closer to the high school now. “We cater concessions for school sporting events in Saline and deliver pizza once a week to the high school,” says Monica Van Overmeer.

The new Jet’s location offers a variety of specialty pizzas, build-your-own pizzas, salads, subs, and more for takeout and delivery. There are also a dozen seats for customers who want to eat in.

Jet’s Pizza, 978 E. Michigan. 429-9700. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. noon-10 p.m.

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After an expansion just two years ago, Saline’s elite downtown bike shop, Cadence Cycle, closed in June. Known for its high-end bikes and triathlete supplies, the store first opened back in 2006 on West Michigan, moved up the street a year later to East Michigan, and then expanded a year after that–its owners reporting high-volume sales from the store’s online business as one of the reasons they could renovate and expand the shop. But the website is now down, the shop is empty, and neither owner could be reached for comment.

Three new eateries are planned downtown once the new owners of the long-vacant Kelly’s and Saline Cafe get their liquor license approved by the state. That may take anywhere from three to six months. In the meantime, new owners Peter and Laurie Toarmina, along with Peter’s two sisters and their husbands, Mary and Len Sheko and Rosemarie and Ron Tolson, are sprucing up the place.

“We’ve dismantled the bar, and we’re redoing the countertops, the bar tops, and putting in new lighting,” says Peter Toarmina, who with Laurie also owns Mickey’s Dairy Twist farther west on Michigan. He says they’ll install a display oven, so that customers can watch their pizzas cook, and offer a full menu with Italian dishes.

The bar will share the restaurant’s kitchen, and the new owners also plan to open an ice cream parlor–but that doesn’t mean they plan to close their existing one: “My wife will still be making twenty flavors of homemade hard ice cream down at Mickey’s Twist,” Peter promises. No name has been picked yet for any of the establishments.