Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Take Your Kitten To Work Week

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Community Development Director, Howard Schesser, is multitasking.  He is working on several city projects while kittysitting Miss PURRsonality.

On a cold spring night, a kitten was discovered in a meadow.  What on earth was a tame kitten doing there without her mother or a human searching for her?   And what happened to her siblings?

The kitten passed through a few rescue hands before literally landing on the desk of Cottage Grove's Permit Specialist Bekke whose much-loved cat had recently died.

It was obvious from the first moment Miss Purrsonality arrived that something magical happened.

Upon walking into the office one was instantly greeted with the gentle sounds of customers "oohing and awwing". What a transformation from the usual public responses when residents and contractors who think they understand the city's rules regarding property and home renovations are suddenly caught offguard upon learning that they actually don't.

It was like the Good Fairy of the North had waved her wand over the staff and customers.  Tension was gone - everyone was smiling and offering their "How to raise a healthy and happy kitten" ideas.

It was a bad thing that the kitten was cruelly abandoned to starve, but a good thing that Miss Bella Purrsonality was rescued.  She is one of the very rare lucky few!   Because of her fragile health at 3 weeks old, Bekke brought her to the office each day for 2 weeks for nursing care and customer hugs.  Bella thrived and warmed hearts as she slayed office pencils, attacking them with her youthful awkwardness and fell asleep on computer keyboards, or in laps, for warmth. Bella's upbeat attitude is "Everyone loves me!"  And everyone does! Don't you wish every child on the planet felt the same about  him/herself and/or their life?
"Miss Purrsonality's insatiable appetite to greet people at the counter made the public smile," said Bekke. "They first noticed her pet carrier beside my computer and asked why we had one.  Before they knew it this teeny-tiny kitten waddled joyfully  over to them. Her pointed two-inch tail was held eagerly in 'cat-greet' as high as it would go. Her sparkling azure blue eyes looked straight at the public putting them in a happy mood from the get go. It's true what they say, 'You can't be angry and happy at the same time!'
Our office has had a rough few weeks and having Bella gave our staff a calming distraction. When Bella became tired of her adoring public she loved taking refuge in our Community Development Director, Howard's, office.  Bella sat in a box under his computer monitor watching him until she fell asleep.  When she became strong enough she decided that was not close enough to Howard. I walked in and discovered that she'd climbed up his shirt and fallen asleep on his shoulder. Howard was so focused on his work that he barely blinked and kept on typing.

Once, I did not bring Bella to work for three days and on her return, I caught her in his office waiting for him. I wish that all offices made having pets mandatory; it is such a win-win situation. Bella lifts both ours and the public's moods." Bekke laughs and adds, "She is so darned cute, too!"
Bella is now old enough to be left home alone to enjoy the summer with her new human siblings 8-year-old Chloe and 7-year-old Gavin.   "Having the kitty in the office was a real pleasure," admits Jan Wellman, Public Works Director. "She dramatically improves office morale. It was fun watching Bella's antics.  When sleeping next to Bekke's computer, Bella looked like a little battery-operated cat, gently breathing. Bella was also the same size as Bekke's computer mouse! We sure miss Bella now that she stays home!"
All children remember the joyful moment when their parent arrives home with a puppy or kitten. Reaching out for the kitten from her mother was summer thrill for Chloe. 
NOTE: Update on Bella in Tips 'n' Tales.


To help stop the flow of unwanted and abandoned pets and their suffering Lane County's Greenhill Humane Society altered 1,350 cats last year!  Cary Lieberman, Greenhill's Executive Director said, "The PetSmart Charity grant allowed us to concentrate our spay/neuter efforts on a targeted area in Lane County.  In one year, we spayed or neutered over 800 cats from that area.  During this time, we witnessed a significant drop in the number of homeless kittens in this area.  At the same time, other areas had an increase in kitten population.  This confirms that spay/neuter programs for free-roaming cats is an effective and humane method of reducing and one day eliminating homeless cat overpopulation."
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