Thank you Lyn and Sonya. Btw, Paula, looking after the office cats is a good way of describing the situation. We also have guinea pigs and I look after them as well. They are a bit more complicated as they eat fresh veg and need cleaning out. The only dogs are those brought in by visitors, which is quite funny as the cats sit on the filing cabinets and look down on the dogs that have no idea they are being watched. Another thing about our office cats is that they do not like any disruption or disturbance at all, for example the cleaners going round with vacuum cleaners or the bins being emptied. Although they like being stroked (a lot), I think because they have seen people come and go, they do not like sitting on laps or being picked up.
Sue P, thanks for your coments on getting a cat. I have colleagues who keep trying to encourage me to get one, but I have so far resisted. Kizzie and Tiggie are both 16-year-old girls. Kizzie was bought as a kitten with a little white cat that was run over in the car park. Apparently, white cats can be deaf, but they did not know at the time. Tiggie was bought from another litter and they are very different. Kizzie is a sweet little tortoise shell cat with white feet, that long-term staff tell me has always been a lovely cat. Tiggie is a silver tabby (therefore striped and hence the full name Tigger) with a permanent scowl and a tendency to bite or scratch. Whereas Kizzie likes human company for its own sake, Tiggy keeps her distance. Kizzie will spend almost the whole day with me, purrs all the time and lays on my computer keyboard when I am trying to work. Tiggie comes into the office and just stands or sits staring into space. She will take a little bit of stroking, but only so much. I understand cats that bite and scratch have an anxiety from when they were kittens, and probably were not weaned properly. Those of us who like cats, including the manager, love Tiggy but she is difficult to understand.
I was going to make this a separate post, but Tiggy likes milk. We all believed that cats should not be given milk because it is bad for them. However, Tiggy walks stiffly and was given some medicine, which the vet told us to put into milk. Since then she has developed a taste for it and certainly badgers me for a saucer or two. I am a believer that a little of what you fancy does you good, so I do give her some occasionally. James Bowen, in his famous Bob the Street Cat books, describes how he bought special cat milk for his little companion. I would be interested on views on giving cats milk here at Purrs.