He’s still got his fans — across Chicago, and as far away as France. He has his books: two works of fiction inspired by his storied career and larger-than-life personality, “The Secret Life of Hodge, the Bookstore Cat” and “Hodge Sings Again.” He’s got his press clippings, including a 2011 Chicago Reader article in which his store, Selected Works, was declared the city’s “best bookstore with a cat.” And now he has national recognition as the only Chicago feline featured in the new book “Bookstore Cats.” What Hodge, a seal-gray charmer with a finely sculpted head and a commanding green-eyed gaze, doesn’t have, alas, is the job that started it all. Hodge was laid off June 30, when the South Loop used-book and sheet-music emporium where he had presided for 10 years closed its doors due to declining business. “The whole culture is shifting to digital media, so people don’t want real books so much anymore, and even those that do would more likely shop online than take the trouble of going to a bookstore,” said Selected Works owner Keith Peterson, who started the store in 1984 at its former location in Wrigleyville. “I was becoming this weird niche thing that appealed to a smaller number of people who really wanted a book-browsing experience.” That’s a familiar tale, according to “Bookstore Cats” author Brandon Schultz. “It does seem that a lot of the stores that have been around a long time are closing down,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s because the business model is outdated and doesn’t find ways to keep up with Amazon and be competitive, or if it’s just not possible to be competitive anymore.” Hodge, whose store had 14-foot ceilings with ladders to climb and giant picture windows looking out over Grant Park, has taken his demotion to house cat with surprising good humor, still chasing his tiny rubber bouncy balls at lightning speed, still picking them up in his mouth and returning them to Peterson, who obediently throws them again. “He’ll do this until he’s panting,” Peterson, 66, said during an impromptu demonstration. Hodge has even decided to accommodate his diminutive roommate, Ma’at, a timid gray tabby whose claim to dominance rests, presumably, on her 11