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Employees Give Cisco Cats a “Paw Up” In Life

Cisco Cat

One of the Cisco Cats awaits its friends in the Cat Club.

Everyone knows that cats rule the Internet. Since Cisco’s focus is the Internet of Everything, it would make sense that when they are abandoned or lose their homes, cats would want to gravitate towards the Cisco San Jose campus (even enter the lobbies!).

Cisco cat at the lobby

Time for work! Let me in!

Employees that work in San Jose, however, knew that these cats needed a little help, and they would all be “grumpy cats” (and maybe be in mortal peril!) if left on their own.

Cisco employees always seem to jump at the chance to help those in need, even the furry ones. Thus, the Cisco Cat Club was born.

“There are some people who say that we shouldn’t do anything for the cats, but we couldn’t just turn our backs on them and do nothing!” says Jennifer Hull, “Chief Cat Club Coordinator” and Executive Assistant with Cisco Capital.

Jennifer and almost 100 other employees volunteer to help the cats as much as possible. Spay and neuter is their first priority, using humane traps (by trapping experts, and the traps are never left unsupervised.) For those that they can’t catch, or newcomers (there are a surprising number that get abandoned at Cisco, and they’re pretty smart and wily) the volunteers spend their own money to buy food and work from a feeding schedule to be sure the cats get to eat. They also all pitch in if one of the cats is injured and needs extra help.

Of course, a lot of these cats end up being re-homed. If they’re caught early enough, as kittens, they can be easily fostered and adopted (many by Cisco employees – so they stay Cisco cats forever!)

For those that have been on their own for too long and are too feral, the Cat Club makes sure they’re still taken care of, rather than sending them to a shelter to be euthanized.

“A lot of people think these abandoned cats can survive on their own,” Jennifer says. “But when they’re used to being cared for and then dumped off, they can’t.”

By the Cat Club’s rough count, over 150 cats have been spayed & neutered, and a good number of those adopted. Cisco has a program that matches employee volunteer hours with donations, so the cats get extra help. Once the Cat Club submits their hours, the Good Home Animal Society gets funds that help pay for the spay and neuter program.

Cisco Cat

Flaco is one of the Cisco Cats that Jennifer Hull adopted herself.

Even Jennifer herself has a few Cisco cats. One cat, Flaco (which means “skinny” in Spanish,) especially captured her attention (and her heart.)

“We called him ‘the greeter’,” she recalls. “Every time a feeder would come, Flaco would show up to greet us. He was an older fellow, and when we caught him, we discovered he had no teeth! That meant special feedings, but we loved him, so it was no problem. I wasn’t sure how he’d adapt to a home, but I couldn’t help it, I took him in. He had several health issues, and that, combined with his age meant that he was only with me for a year. But he was the best cat I’ve ever had!”

Jennifer’s excitement for helping these cats is contagious. Just ask new volunteer Rebecca Amato, a Business Analyst for Cisco’s IOE (Internet of Everything) Market Development Ops group.

“I just started feeding the 20+ cats that live near my work,” she says. “Jennifer explained how they really take care of the cats: wasp traps, food bowls inside of water bowls in the summer (to avoid ants from getting into the food bowls), spay and neuter, etc. The cat club goes beyond providing food and water for the cats. I am looking forward to watching the cats gather after I fill the bowls for the first time!”

Does working for a group of people who give back like this appeal to you? Join the Cisco family!

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Team Donates Blood To Support Their Cisco Family

Blood donation truck.

Folks at Cisco don’t “hijack” blood donation trucks unless there’s a very good reason. If helping a colleague cope with the loss of her father and honoring his last wishes isn’t a good reason, then we don’t know what is.

One of the members of the Digital Strategy Enablement (DSE) team recently lost their father to leukemia. Instead of flowers at his service, her father asked that people donate blood to help others.

So the DSE team jumped into action, re-routing a Stanford Blood Center truck from another location and standing in line to donate at Building 8 on the San Jose, CA campus.

  • 27 people attempted to donate (8 were denied due to recent travel, etc.)
  • 22 units of blood were donated
  • 3 people were able to give T5 double-red donations, which are extra special and earned them extra cookies and kudos

DSE Team Blood Drive

While enjoying a post-donation cookie, the DSE team spoke to another colleague from a different Cisco team whose wife also as cancer and is undergoing chemo treatment at Stanford. So the DSE team may be helping ANOTHER member of the Cisco family, as she may be a recipient of their donations, as well as other people in the community.

Giving back is so engrained in the culture at Cisco, that when employees volunteer or donate, Cisco will match their volunteer hours and donations to approved organizations. So in addition to the blood donations, the team was able to earn over $200 that will go to the Stanford Blood Center as well.

Thank you, DSE team, for proving once again that the idea of the “Cisco family” isn’t a marketing slogan, it’s just how we do things around here.

If you want to be a part of the Cisco family, you can view openings here.

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How a Mobile App Will Feed Many

Wesley_KingThis post was written by guest blogger Wesley King, a business systems analyst at Cisco

It’s that time of year again. No, not quite Christmas in July; not Thanksgiving. Forget Daylight Savings Time, Memorial Day, and Bring your Daughter to Work Day.

I’m talking about the time to give back. Here at Cisco, it’s a big deal – every single day of the year.

For me, most everything in my life is in flux – I just moved from the East Coast to the West, transitioned into being a mobile worker and volunteered outside the country for the first time. On top of all that, I took my first trip through a black hole with Interstellar.

The Impact of Change

Here on this planet, however, there is no sadder distinction between haves and have-nots than the disparate contents of our stomachs. The malnourished and the underfed need our help. Thankfully, I work for a company where both the leadership and larger employee base want to do their part in providing a great life for every one of Earth’s inhabitants.

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Cisco Employees Build Awareness about Hunger…Literally

Every year, during Cisco’s Global Hunger Relief Campaign, employee teams across our campuses design and construct “cansculptures” —  pieces of art made entirely out of canned goods (which are later donated to a local food bank), to raise awareness about hunger and our annual giving back initiative.

This year, Cisco employees in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, and at the Kanata R&D site in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, created cansculptures, while a chalkboard artist in Boxborough, Massachusetts created a Global Hunger Relief chalk wall in the cafe.

The Lawrenceville choo-choo train delivers a coal car of food for the hungry.

The Lawrenceville choo-choo train delivers a coal car of food for the hungry.

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Cisco Employees Line Up to Participate in #GivingTuesday

Forget about fighting crowds on Black Friday and maxing out your credit card on Cyber Monday. Join a movement that matters and kick off the giving season with #GivingTuesday on December 3. Just post or tweet about how you give back on any social media channel and use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

Cisco is proud to be a partner — for the second year — in #GivingTuesday, an online effort to create a national day of giving on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. We are participating in two ways — by promoting Cisco’s annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign (#CiscoHungerRelief) and by driving volunteerism at several of our sites.

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers sorts food with employee volunteers at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers sorts food with employee volunteers at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

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