Categories: working cats

Equal rights for this hospital cat

Elwood has been hanging around an Epworth healthcare center (hospital?) in Richmond, Australia. They don’t know where Elwood came from. He looks well fed and healthy which indicates that he has an owner but the story does not tell us who their owner is and whether they have come forward.

Elwood – a loved hospital cat given employee rights. Photos: CHANTEL TROLLIP and ESTHER WILLIAMS.

Someone at the hospital decided that Elwood deserved equal rights to those of humans in respect of their status as a hired employee of the hospital. To reflect that lofty status, the personnel department gave him his own ID badge which is identical to the ones given to human staff right down to the call codes on the back, said Chantel Trollip who works at the hospital herself.

Chantel was greeted like other employees by Elwood. She met him about a year ago, hanging around more often than usual. She said that he is at the hospital almost every day and if she doesn’t see him her co-workers do.

Normally he is at the front door waiting for some petting or in the bushes nearby snoozing and soaking up the sun. He is one of those cats who is very confident with strangers. He is at ease at the hospital meeting people. He appears to be regarded as another employee and his ID badges cements that role.

Officially he is on the security team. I think that’s a pretty good job or a cat. We don’t know who sorted out the ID badge for him. It would be nice to know because that person needs a pat on the back or a bit of petting him or herself. I think Elwood be asking for a salary and a pension soon. That really would be something but hard to get passed the personnel department.

Personally, I love the idea of giving cats equal rights to humans. It shows a lot of respect for them which is a great starting point in our relationship with companion animals or indeed any animal for that matter. It is a great barrier to people to allow animals the rights that they deserve, which is why I love the story.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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