part 3 of 4

Best Place for a New-Age Cat
South Penn Cat Clinic
311 S. Pennsylvania St.

Cats whose owners follow holistic lifestyles may want to stock up on vitamin treatments and herbal remedies, too. Many of them find their way to the South Penn Cat Clinic, where Linda East has practiced holistic cat care for the past six years. East has about 2,000 feline patients who come for nutritional counseling, natural therapies and homeopathic care. Lay off those antibiotics, Socks!

Best Cat House
The Cat Care Society
5985 W. 11th Ave., Lakewood

If you're strictly into felines, the Cat Care Society has one for you. Kitties of all ages, colors, shapes and temperaments roam the rooms of this Lakewood house; the Society even holds open houses and kitten showers. The primary goal is to match each puss to the right owner, an altruistic purpose reflected in the detailed questions staffers ask when you come to inquire. Then, for $40, you get the perfect pet--spay/neuter included.

Best Cheap CDs
Best Buy
Four metro locations

Whenever you're finished sniffing about which trendy record store is better than the rest, hop in your car and go straight to Best Buy. Amid the boom boxes and office furniture, you'll find a wealth of new CDs of all persuasions, most of which clock in at under $12 each. While Best Buy might not satisfy your penchant for the esoteric, it does stock lots of oldies (useful if you're switching over from vinyl to CD) and certainly anything from the mainstream of rock, blues, country and jazz. But at last word, you could also find Anatomy of a Groove, by the avant-garde M-Base Collective, right there among the Earl Klughs and David Sanborns.

Best Album Selection
Wax Trax
626 E. 13th Ave.

How does Wax Trax do it? Volume. This long-playing local favorite stocks the widest variety of albums in the area, including local releases, domestics, imports and some items so obscure it's surprising you can buy them anywhere. And all in a Capitol Hill location that lets you keep up on the latest rock-and-roll hair colors and fashion trends.

Best Used Vinyl
Twist and Shout
724 S. Pearl St.

For those of you selling old discs, the folks at Twist and Shout pay high-end prices--which means that those of you buying old discs are more apt to find the latest stuff here than anywhere else. In addition, the clerks actually know what they're talking about--a rarity in any business.

Best Neighborhood Jazz Record Store
Twilight Jazz Discs & Tapes
2305 Champa St.

It's small and the selection is sometimes hit-or-miss, but a must-have or two always turns up at Twilight Jazz Discs & Tapes. Now three years old, Twilight joins the Hue-Man Experience, Genre Gallery, Akente Express and other culturally derived businesses in a revitalizing effort for the surrounding Curtis Park neighborhood.

Best Collection of Used Go-Go's Records
Black and Read
7821 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada

The staff at Black and Read is hard-pressed to explain the surplus of vinyl they've dedicated to the nearly forgotten Eighties girl group. We can only guess that these were pity purchases, but the oversight (er, overstock) keeps prices down, and that's all we care about. So impressed were they with the titles of some of our recent purchases, they offered to give us a Go-Go's record. Would we take it? Our lips are sealed.

Best Place to Find Old Phonograph Needles
Bosley's TV and Radio
6512 S. Broadway

For the record, locating replacement parts for old phonographs can be tougher than finding a needle in a haystack. That's why you should head straight to Bosley's. This old-time shop located in a Littleton strip mall stocks a vast array of out-of-date items, including a huge number of phonograph needles. Bring your turntable to guarantee a perfect match; if you live in the area and don't know how to dismantle your system, Bosley's will send someone out to do it. True 78-style service in a digital world.

Best Video Rentals (Current Titles)
Video City
Eight metro locations

Okay, so you won't find that obscure DeSica classic with the original English subtitles, but it's hard to beat Video City's clean, well-lighted chain outlets for courtesy and middle-of-the-road selection. The mailer-coupon deals aren't bad, either, and the kids can score their favorite video-game cassettes.

Readers' choice: Blockbuster

Best Video Rentals (Classics)
1205 E. 9th Ave.

Capitol Hill's popular Videotique isn't the biggest or widest-ranging place in town, but the staff knows its celluloid and will happily talk your ear off on the subject if you like. Hollywood musicals play well here, and if you're looking for the complete works of cult faves like John Waters or Jane Campion, you're in the right building. Members get three flicks for $5.95 weekdays, and the 99-cent specials will appeal to budgeteers.