Commentary – Ray of sunshine on a dark day

Chris Clegg

One might think it would be a bad situation to have three bosses in the same office.
At the South Peace News office, we have three bosses who are totally in charge, each making its case to be the supreme leader. They are Slink Panther, Link Panther and Kitty. We have had former leaders with names like Stink Panther and Stinky Paws, who ruled for over a decade the hallowed halls of our previous office.
Yes, they are cats. We have three of them, each given good homes in the office after being abandoned by former owners.
Each cat has its own personality. It’s fun to watch their behaviour and see the little battles that occur as Slink Panther imposes his will on being the dominant cat over Link Panther. Of course, a screeching, howling cat during the night or early morning while trying to work is no cup of tea!
Slink Panther loves everyone! Upon arrival, he jumps onto the counter to greet visitors whether they want his face, tail or butt in their face or not. A purring machine he is! Customers tend not to complain and are too kind to say anything. Sometimes I have to push that mountain of fur away, especially when he decides to park his fat butt on the receipt book I am using.
Link Panther and Kitty are skittish. They tend to scatter upon arrival of strangers.
When Jeff brings his dog Grover into the office, the show begins. Link Panther and Kitty vanish, wanting no part of cementing any potential friendship with Grover. Meanwhile, Slink Panther figured out a long time ago that Grover was no threat and proceeds to go to sleep on his chair.
It is little wonder humans are attracted to pets and vice versa. Besides providing a bit of entertainment while playing with toys around the office, they provide a unique comfort. On a bad day, just listening to Slink Panther purr comforts. On a cold day, picking him up and letting him warm your cold hands is a nice way to get the circulation going.
Having pets is not for everyone. I have never had a pet at home since adulthood. I fondly remember dogs as a child. King was the first dog I remember, and we had Hound for well over a decade. Later, my sister had a dog. She gave it a name I can’t remember [I think it was Lady] but I called it Mop because it had a lot of hair. The name stuck.
Stinky Paws. Stink Panther, Stinkdemcome were all names I came up with. When we took Stinky Paws to be cremated one of the workers asked who the heck came up with that silly name. Guilty!
I am always amazed at the love small children and animals have for each other. There seems to be a natural connection between the two. Many times children will come into the office to say “Hello!” to the cats and give them a bit of attention. Slink Panther especially loves these times as he contently purrs away at the slightest affection offered him.
Having the cats around is not all roses, especially when it comes to cleaning the litter box. I don’t nickname them the “Putrid Pussycats” for nothing! Often, the stink fumigates the office with a scent that makes one run for the doors.
Still, it is a small price to pay for the enjoyment they give. I often wonder what the cats are thinking when they stare out the window. Are they planning an escape? Are they glad they have a good home? Are they just bored? Looking for the next little kid to give them some love?
No matter! It’s just nice to have them around!

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