The Feline Captains of Industry
As a pet lover, how do you feel when you enter a business to find a happy cat waiting to greet you? Wonderful and welcomed, right? As it turns out, company kitties delight all kinds of customers at all sorts of businesses. And some of these workplace pets even have their own jobs. Here are two cats who really earn their keep.
Serena, founder and CCO (chief cat officer) of Catio Spaces
Photo Credit: Catio Spaces
Serena is an orange tabby with an important job: lounging around while modeling the catios she inspired her mom, Catio Spaces owner Cynthia Chomos, to design. Serena doesn't mind the work, as she gets to enjoy the outdoors safely and bask in her favorite pastime — sun worshipping.
Chomos' office is in her home. "Serena wakes up at 5:30 and we play, she eats and then she goes outside and literally follows the sun throughout the day, moving when the sun hits a different point in the catios," Chomos says.
Serena has four custom-designed catios, which encompass the porch and garden.
Chomos found Serena nearly three years ago when she was grieving the loss of her 22-year-old cat. "I had a vivid dream of a sweet, female, orange tabby kitten with a white flame on her forehead and pink nose," Chomos says. About a month later, she searched for, found and adopted the kitten of her (actual) dreams. Then, Serena inspired Chomos to follow her career dreams as well.
As a Feng Shui consultant with an interest in design and the desire to allow Serena to safely enjoy the outdoors, Chomos launched her custom catio design company. Serena isn't just the muse for the business; she also models the catios for prospective clients and is the model for Catio Spaces photoshoots.
"She's even been featured in a Humane Society publication," says Chomos. "She's a wonderful inspiration for people who want their cats to be safe outdoors."
Klyde, Hotelier and CCG (chief cat greeter) at Southampton Inn
Crowds of tourists wandering in and out of a cat's home might make some a little skittish, but not Klyde. The 12-year-old rescue serves as the chief cat greeter at the Southampton Inn in Southampton, New York.
Klyde took over duties for his feline predecessor, Bear, who went to live with Dede Gotthelf, the hotel's owner, about three years ago.
"When Bear retired, we were going to go animal-free for the few people who were allergic, but there was such a demand for another cat by our guests that we decided to adopt another," says Gotthelf.
It took Klyde about a day after joining the staff to let everyone know who was boss. Klyde shares an office with the front desk manager, and starts his rounds early, making sure the "New York Times" is delivered before greeting the morning desk staff. He continues to supervise them throughout the day from his napping spot under the front desk.
"So many people want to see him that we had to put up a rope to keep people from coming behind the desk," says Gotthelf.
A constant observer of the business, Klyde really understands the different activities the humans are up to at the hotel. "He once went into the library when an author was doing a talk," says Gotthelf. "When she asked if anyone had any questions, Klyde piped right up with a loud, 'Meow.'"
The hotel's restaurant is even named Café Klyde, after the CCG.
Klyde seems to like all the human guests but has some reservations about visiting dogs, birds and an iguana that stays at the pet-friendly hotel each year. But of course, Klyde is always perfectly hospitable to everyone, as any professional hotelier would be.
Want to find pet-friendly businesses where your best friend is welcome? Check out our Pet Places map!
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