Milwaukee Edition

Feline Workforce

Why a Job is the Cat’s Meow

kuban_girl/Shutterstock.com

Some cats started their careers in barns with minimal job opportunities. With updated skills, they now boost office morale, encourage reading, promote products and provide therapy. Community cats even work in private security.

In the Office

Millennials, now comprising a third of this country’s stressed-out labor force, according to the Pew Research Center and American Psychological Association, are among those that can benefit from having a cat around. Lowered blood pressure is one result, according to research by psychologist Karen Allen, Ph.D., conducted at the University at Buffalo. Even when comfort breaks are hard to schedule, insistent cats cannot be ignored.

“Pompous Albert, a rejected show cat, works at SafeWise, in Salt Lake City,” relates Sage Singleton, who handles Albert’s Instagram account. “He boosts morale, reduces stress and provides entertainment.”

Carlos, a former rescue kitten, greets employees at PetNovations, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, each morning. He’s the star of the corporate Instagram account and blog, and promotes the company’s eco-friendly Cat Genie litterless cat box.

Smith’s Ace Hardware and Housewares, in Princeton, New Jersey, has Dusty patrol its 18,000-square-foot facility, often escorting customers along the aisles.

At St. Augustine Health Ministries, in Cleveland, the furry receptionist is Oreo. This black-and-white stray claimed the job by installing herself at the front desk to welcome guests and visit with residents that miss having their own pet.

Therapists

At the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco, Duke Ellington Morris visits with patients while nurses check vital signs; he’s part of an animal-assisted therapy program through the city’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

With the help of his humans, Jessica and Eric Hagan, of Pennsylvania’s Wolf Creek Township, Draven was certified through a local Love on a Leash chapter that qualifies pet-provided therapy animals. He showed My Cat From Hell host Jackson Galaxy his hospital routine for a segment called “My Cat From Heaven.” Draven regularly visits the Grove City Medical Center, in Pine Township, local nursing homes and service groups.

Literacy Aids

“At 18, Cleo, my small, gray cat, retired from therapy visits and missed the attention,” says Michelle Cardosi, a retail clerk in Silt, Colorado. “Kids reading to her at the school library provided a solution that satisfied everyone.”

FotoYakov/Shutterstock.comIn 2010, the public library in White Settlement, Texas, adopted Browser to remedy a rodent problem. Five years later, the city council cited pending renovations and a potential impact on allergies in backing a motion to oust Browser. Supporters, pointing out that the cat brought children through the doors, successfully petitioned to keep the four-legged employee.

Private Security

Less socially developed feral felines can provide needed services. The Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats rescues such cats from Los Angeles shelters. Each is vetted, spayed/neutered and microchipped. “When they’re adopted out in threes, community cats are more likely to stay on the job,” notes founder and headmistress Shawn Simons.

“In Southern California, working cats are employed as assistants to brewmasters at the Monkish Brewery to protect the grain and hops and at Saluti Cellars as vintner support in charge of gopher population control,” says Simons. “More traditionally, cats at the Portuguese Bend Riding Club barn discourage mice and make friends with horses and riders.”

The school’s Working Cat Program partners with area recycling centers, golf courses, warehouses and industrial parks that could otherwise lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually due to vermin-related structural damage, including gnawed wiring and other potential fire hazards. “Businesses get an all-natural, safe and effective way to control pests and cats live life naturally,” says Simons.

Working cats of many stripes are becoming increasingly common. For a business, it’s a money-saver; for a cat, it’s a lifesaver.


Connect with freelance writer Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@mindspring.com.


This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Life Coach Intertwines Multiple Skill Sets to Help People Achieve Goals

Keridak Silk specializes in helping people resolve issues with love or family relationships, as well as building confidence in all aspects of life.

Facebook Party Introduces the Facilitators of Dragon Egg Academy

All day on Saturday, February 9, people can learn via Facebook about the new Dragon Egg Academy, an online course program covering classes on topics such as divination, intuition, energy work, elementals, dragons and more.

Dare to Be Aware Fair Celebrates 12 Years Promoting Wellness

The 12th annual Dare to Be Aware Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 at the Sister Joel Read Conference Center, at Alverno College.

Plastic-Free MKE Raising Awareness of Plastic Pollution

Plastic-Free MKE, a volunteer group dedicated to reducing single-use plastic in the Milwaukee area, holds meetings on the first Monday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Urban Ecology Center’s Riverside Park location.

Wellness Practitioners Present Self-Care Seminar

Emily Yenor, owner of 1212 Bodyworks, along with Kelly Kolodzinski, owner of Renew Holistic Wellness, will be hosting an interactive and engaging seminar about the importance of self-care entitled Love Yourself.

Personal Discovery Awaits at the Body Mind Spirit Expo

Now in its 31st year, Body Mind Spirit Expo has become the largest alternative health and metaphysical expo in the United States.

Letter from Publisher

Ethical financial planning and socially conscious investing is a primary theme of our February issue, presented in our Green Living article, “Investing for Good."

Food for Thought

Dr. Sarah Axtell, naturopathic doctor and owner of Lakeside Natural Medicine, will lead Food for Thought–Nutrition and Brain Workshop, aimed at helping people enhance memory and focus, eliminate brain fog and improve mood, from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Tosa Yoga.

Reiki to Facilitate Forgiveness

Reiki is growing in popularity as people are seeking out complementary therapies for their health.

Bug Apocalypse

The number of invertebrates and insects such as moths, butterflies and bees has dropped worldwide by 45 percent in the last 35 years, raising alarm about the global ecosystem.

Fish Revival

Following the removal two years ago of an obsolete dam, shad have returned to New Jersey’s Millstone River for the first time since 1845.

Horse Sense

The wild horse herds on North Carolina’s Outer Banks survived Hurricane Florence by huddling on high ground, hiding in maritime forests, and possibly by swimming.

Add your comment: