Cats have been working for a living for centuries and, in ancient times, were often used to keep temples and palaces free of rodents and other vermin.
The type of work your friendly feline does in the 21st century might be different, but the basic idea is still the same: will work for food!
Therapy Cats: Guardian Angels
Often thought of as aloof and uncommunicative, if not downright hostile, cats are actually the perfect therapy animal.
Sensitive, loving, playful and considerate, they know exactly when to cuddle, when to play and when to just be there. Therapy cats are known for their amazing work with autistic children, Alzheimer’s patients, terminally ill people and drug and alcohol abusers, and there are many stories of individual cats who have changed people’s lives for good.
There was Clover the kitten who became an autistic boy’s lifelong companion when, upon seeing the cat, the boy uttered his first word ever: “cat!”, there was Bob the gruff streetcat who adopted a homeless and destitute addict and completely transformed his life, and there was Oscar, who has the almost-mystical ability to sense when patients are going to pass over and who then goes out of his way to bring comfort and love to them in their final hours.
There is just no reason not to get a therapy cat.
Seafaring Cats: I Am Sailing
Not only do cats who work on ships help to keep down the populations of stowaway rodents, they also offer companionship and entertainment to sailors on long voyages.
Cats first started accompanying humans on ships many centuries ago, and this was, in fact, the primary way that domesticated cats spread around the world.
There are plenty of stories about individual ships’ cats, and the more famous of them include Unsinkable Sam, who survived the sinking of three ships during the Second World War, Pooli, who was even given her own uniform and Tiddles, who was born on one Royal Navy aircraft carrier and who sailed more than 30,000 miles on another.
Rodent Hunters: SSDD Same System Different Day
Some enterprising cats may work different jobs, but the ancient problem of ridding places of rats and mice still exists, so it’s no surprise that many animal shelters and organizations are now instituting Working Cats Programs to address this issue.
A typical such program asks for food, water and shelter for the feral cats introduced into the area to clean up a building or area of pesky rodents.
It’s a win/win situation as the otherwise-unadoptable cats are guaranteed another chance at life, and rodent numbers are kept under control.
What isn’t generally known is that rats will depopulate an area simply because there are cats in the vicinity because the smell of cat urine disturbs them.
Also, as most, if not all of these cats aren’t people-friendly, individual cat success stories are hard to come by, and they are the silent army that works by night!