This is an imaginative new program by the Great Plains SPCA to place shelter cats into businesses such as The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence KS. There are several things that I like about this program.
It is imaginative. It seeks new ways to save the lives of shelter cats. It is time to do this sort of thing: to think out of the box. Also, cats placed in businesses become working cats, really, and I like it when cats become really useful. It creates a pleasant balance between the domestic cat and the person and I think this is a healthy balance because in almost all cases the domestic cat is cared for by a cat guardian. Perhaps cats like to be useful.
Another benefit of this program is that, provided the business is enlightened enough, they discover that having a cat around improves work productivity and if the business is a shop or store it improves the ambience in the outlet and customers generally welcome it.
The presence of a domestic cat totally changes the feel of a place. It makes a place calm and gives it a soul. That might be a philosophical exaggeration but I think people will understand what I am getting at. One thing for sure is that the presence of a domestic cat makes people feel better.
So we can save the lives of cats and improve the lives of people under this program. This has to be a good thing.
Obviously there are things to think about and concerns about how to make it work. Some people are allergic to cats and some people don't like cats. And the cat requires maintenance. There has to be somebody on hand to look after the cat and there has to be teamwork within the business to ensure that a cat is content, happy and well looked after in his workplace. There is, therefore, some organisation to do but like all benefits to a business there has to be some input and work to achieve those benefits and this is a case in point.
The sort of businesses that particularly suit the presence of a domestic cat are bookshops and coffee shops (the cat cafe immediately comes to mind, of course). But there are also workplaces, offices, where a cat can make employees more productive. Certainly businesses that are involved with the Internet and writing code would suit the presence of a cat, in my opinion. These are semi-unstructured workplaces. They are modern thinking workplaces and therefore should be open to the possibility of having a domestic cat joining them.
I really hope that this program does well and I would like to see lots of shelter cats, some of which will be destined for euthanasia, finding their way into local businesses. It is worth remembering, I think, that this program probably suits adult cats more than young cats because adult cats are more stable and experienced therefore more able to cope with the change of environment.
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