Friday, April 27, 2018

The Garden Cat Imposters

 This week we celebrated Administrative Professionals' Day. We love all our administrative staff - they support our team, keep everything running, and make sure the bills are paid and the lights stay on. They hold a ton of important jobs - everything from human resources to finance to marketing to development and so much more. Everyone works incredibly hard to support our mission.

But there are a few of our administrative staff who go above and beyond for a very specific group of animals.

Who invited you here? We're pretty sure it wasn't us.
It all started with two cats. A few years ago, we began our Garden Cat Adoption program. We decided we needed something special for the unsocial kitties - the ones who subscribe to the "look, don't touch" philosophy and want a pretty specific "will work for food" arrangement. We set up the Marilyn and Fred Anderson Community Cat Garden outside our President's office. The garden is fenced in with tons of hidey spots and lots of kitties who are adopted by stable owners, business owners, and others looking for an awesome pest control solution.

Standing guard in the garden is very important and I do it very well.
Almost immediately upon creation of the garden, two garden cats snuck their way into Carol Novello's (our president) office and started hanging out there. They became known as "Carol's Ferals" and the name stuck.

These treats are mine. Hands off, people.

Not long after that, Carol's Executive Assistant, Lorrie, took a special interest in the garden cats. She spent her breaks in the garden, throwing out tasty treats. Eventually, a few of the cats gave up their old way of life and started to approach her. Some even let her touch them, leading us to believe that some of these "garden cats" were just fakers, pretending to be shy and unsocial while hiding a mountain of friendly goodness that they only unleashed in return for food.

Lorrie and a garden-cat-faker.

 Lorrie eventually roped in other members of our admin staff to be part of Team Garden Cat - pretty soon, our entire Human Resources team began spending time in the garden with the cats, especially HR staff member Karen. Our Director of Human Resources, Yvonne, even began bringing some of the friendliest ones into her office for a few hours during the workday to give them extra love.

This is my office now.

One such cat was Bruce Lee, a cat who quickly stole the hearts (and chair) of Yvonne and the rest of the admin staff. Every morning, HR staff member Michelle would let Bruce Lee in from the garden and into Yvonne's office, where he would spend much of the day before wandering back to the garden in the evening. 

 I have decided to be king of the indoor land. Now let me inside.

Bruce Lee spent so much time being socialized by our staff that he ended up being adopted - as an indoor cat!

 Hooman, bring us the treats.

What started as a spark has grown into a full-fledged revolution. Some of the garden cats now demand attention and treats from Lorrie and Karen. These imposters wait at the door, not-so-patiently staring at anyone who walks by, willing them to bring treats.

Keep those treats comin', Karen.

 Our admin staff is pretty awesome. In addition to all their regular duties, they now serve as official garden cat socializers. In honor of Administrative Professionals' Day, we want to thank them for being rockstars and giving so much effort to the "undercats" (get it? undercats?).

If you're interested in your own garden cat (imposter or not!) ask about our garden cat program!