Missy is an outdoor cat. She is a tabby-and-white. She does not live far from the town hall at Tewkesbury, UK. Therefore she likes to visit the town hall sometimes. In fact she appears to spend the day there and has become part of the fabric of the building and well-known to the people who work there and it is claimed to be good for morale (I can well believe that).
However, as you might expect, there are those who are in favour of her presence and those who are against it. And this has created an argument about whether she should be banned. There are also those who think that having an argument about the presence of a moggy cat in the town hall is stupid. Is a complete waste of time to argue about it. I agree with that.
The town clerk Helen Railton-Price has said that the cat’s presence is good for morale. A councillor who wishes to remain anonymous says that the whole affair is crazy. What he or she means is that people should let things happen and stop arguing about the cat. The council has better things to do she/he says.
Supporters of Missy have pointed out that former town clerks were allowed to bring their dogs into the offices. However, regrettably, Karen Brennan the Tewkesbury Town Council Mayor has said that although she is a lovely pussycat her presence might cause a stand-off between the cat and a dog and if the cat or dog is injured who then is responsible.
She also said on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme that there are complications with respect to health and safety risk assessments, the setting off of alarms, insurance and other issues.
She has also said that offices are a place where business is to be transacted and she does not want the cat around. I presume that she means that the cat creates problems and gets in the way.
In addition there was a complaint by somebody. Although she won’t name the person, perhaps the complaint was from somebody with an allergy.
You can see that once again the presence of a cat in a workplace creates polarised opinions. I sense that the general opinion is that Missy’s presence is welcome by the majority. It is not as if this cat is a working cat who lives at the offices. She is a wandering cat who lives elsewhere and simply likes to visit the offices. In my opinion this cuts out a lot of the potential problems because it does not require anyone at the officers to look after the cat.
My general opinion is that office cats are good for work. There are countless stories on the Internet and on this website which is supports that statement. The same by the way goes for dogs. Companion animals generally tend to create a more efficient workplace despite the potential complications which can be easily overcome where there is a will to do so.