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Working Felines: Miscellany 1
Misty, Secret Agent Cat
Department of Defense Research and Development, USA
Misty is a vital cog in the operations of an anonymous Department of Defense Research and Development facility somewhere in the south-western deserts of the United States. She vigilantly defends sensitive electronic equipment and intricate machinery from enemy attack (translation: She is a mouser/ratter). She also helps the scientists and engineers with their calculations, research and documentation by her astonishing cognitive, writing and editing skills she's adept at the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keystroke, and at attacking erstwhile graphics when they appear on the monitor. In addition, she helps to keep people at their desks by intensive lap-sitting.
Misty also aids with guarding against work-related injuries by giving employees frequent 'you-may-brush-me-now' breaks. Her assistance with presentations is internationally renowned; she considers it part of her duties to lie in the middle of the conference-room table, monitoring meetings attended by eminent scientists from all over the world. So secret is her mission that often the top echelon of staff is unaware of her presence. (There is some sort of obscure 'no pets' rule that could technically be called into force should the mood so strike them, but fortunately Misty's 'stealth' skills are more than a match for those who try to enforce this rule.) In her capacity as a research assistant, Misty once donated several strands of her fur for microscopic study. It was found to be banded with alternate silver and clear sections, to be tipped with frost and to have some sort of crystalline substance adhering to the outer edges. It was further discovered that each hair is very squiggled or zigzagged, which undoubtedly contributes to her ESP facilities!
Misty does not live at the facility, but arrives by car each workday morning in a cat carrier until the car has passed through security: then she's liberated. She hates being in the carrier, but enjoys car journeys otherwise. She began work when the hantavirus scare started (a kind of potentially deadly virus to humans but not cats, spread by rodents), as a more efficient alternative to government anti-rodent measures. When Misty is not at work defending her country, she relaxes at home with 'BalletCatter' and eleven other cats on two and a half acres, in an undisclosed location.
With acknowledgements to BalletCatter at About.com.
Chester (aka Czeslaw or Czesio) has been working at the municipal offices (Urzad Miejski) in the Polish city of Szczecin since about 1999, when he turned up there. It seems likely he had had an owner, as he was wearing a red collar, but without any identification on it such as a name or a phone number so he started his life as 'office cat'. Naturally, having him there is a big attraction for clients; in fact, somebody remarked that his is the only human face in the whole office! As a treat, Czesio adores the special kind of Polish pork sausage known as kabanos.
Many thanks to Bartlomiej for the information about Chester.
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Our featured feline at the head of the page is Socks, pictured in 2003 surveying his 'estate' in the early morning sunshine. Affectionately known as Soxy, he blossomed from a thin and hungry stray into a substantial and handsome cat who loved life and company, and his gentle ways endeared him to many friends. He is now no longer with us, but you can read more from his human companion here.
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