As many of you know, I love the premise of the shop cat. Most writers I know have cats in their writing rooms/offices. Maybe that’s because most of my writer friends are also cat people. In fact you may not know this, but there’s a whole organization for cat writers. It’s called Cat Writers Association (CWA).
Sure there are times when I close a cat out of my office, but it’s rare. I have to say it’s a little more often since Olivia came to live with us. She’s three months old and is still learning the rules around here—like do not pounce on my keyboard. When Lily was still with us, I had to shut her out of my office at lunchtime if I wanted to eat in peace and without a kitty paw or face in my food. On a pretty day, I’d eat on the deck with her watching from the window.
But cats have important jobs in an office environment. They can bring a calm to the staff. They can be an inspiration (as my cats are for my Klepto Cat Mysteries). They’re great paperweights. And if you need someone to shuffle papers for you or if you want a quick game of hide and seek with your pen, bring in a cat.
With newscasters doing their job from home during the pandemic, you’ll sometimes see a cat make an unexpected appearance on the screen. It happens randomly when the interview is being held out of doors, as well. I saw a clip recently where a very small kitten approached a news team. The reporters and cameramen were on a story and here comes a kitten crying out loudly for attention. Cute. Most of you have probably met “Betty” the cat that interrupted a weather report. She became a star weathercat there in Indiana after that first unexpected appearance. Here’s a link to her story: https://people.com/pets/indiana-cat-essential-fixture-weather-broadcasts/
Not all cats are star material. Some have less prestigious jobs in libraries, bookstores, pet stores, feed stores, nurseries, veterinarian offices, and many other places of business. They’ve been employed in warehouses for rodent control and in business offices for the mental health of fellow employees.
Here’s a facebook page for a bookstore cat. The posts are old, but it’s kind of interesting, nonetheless. https://www.facebook.com/PageTheBookstoreCat. For those of you who are interested in the whereabouts of other shop cats, visit http://www.shopcat.com. They currently list 470 shop cats from all over the US and a few from other countries. Check out those working in your state.