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Being a Cisco Pet Is a “Ruff” Life, But It’s Also “Purrfect”

A day in the life of a Cisco pet consists of making cameo appearances on Webex calls with your human’s coworkers, either by vocalizing your opinions in the background or showing your furry face on camera. Getting extra belly rubs during official office “dog days” if you’re a dog, or if you’re a cat, laying on the keyboard while your human works at home to remind them that it’s important to take a break.

My cat ZuccaMeet my cat, Zucca. (It’s pronounced Zoo-ka, and it’s Italian for pumpkin, since he’s orange.) He’s a proud Cisco cat, and since I’m the social media lead for the Talent Brand Team at Cisco, (I manage the strategy for this blog and the WeAreCisco social media channels) he often makes appearances is my social feeds, and is a bigger social star than I’ll ever be.

Social media is a 24/7 gig, and Cisco allows me a flexible working schedule from home to accommodate that (and the global employees I connect with.)

He keeps me grounded, he reminds me that even when I have a challenge, there’s nothing a “cat nap” can’t cure, and always has an answer when I ask him a question. (The answer is always “meow,” but I know he’s supportive anyway.)

I’m not alone. You’ll find a lot of Cisco employees working alongside their animals.

Kati and her dog

Kati and Simba in the office.

Cisco PR Specialist Kati Dahm gets to bring her dog Simba to the office a few times a week as part of a pilot program at Cisco.

“Having my dog at work helps remind me to take breaks to walk around and refresh, which in turn helps me focus better and stay energized,” Kati said. “It’s also provided an opportunity to meet more people, as everyone likes to come up and say hi!”

Another example is Silvia Spiva, a technical writer at Cisco – she recently wrote a blog about the work/life balance that Cisco allows her helps her appreciate Cisco technology on the days that she can work remotely to take care of her human kids, AND her dog baby girl, Wolfi.

Silvia's dog Wolfi

Silvia’s “kids” include her dog Wolfi.

“Wolfi helped me focus on what was really important for me professionally,” Silvia explains. “Being a full-time remote professional would have been lonely, had I not had Wolfi’s company, because I work globabl hours, not just 8-5. My dog has been the chief digital disruptor in my life. Home is a workplace thanks to Cisco tech, but I’m glad our best collaborators are now welcome at offices, too.”

Recently, a WeAreCisco Twitter and Instagram social media contest asked employees to share why they #LoveWhereYouWork., and Molly Chamblee’s photo of her labs was one of the winners.

“At Cisco I am known on the team for having puppies and now just lazy labs,” Molly, a Cisco engagement manager says. “When I had a litter, I was often asked to show one puppy on video or all of them. In some cases, a stressful call would be interrupted by the puppy request to improve the mood and decrease stress. Having a pet bark in the background or show up on video, makes it hard for people on a call to be rude…. But a puppy makes everyone smile!”

Labs love where they work

Molly’s winning #LoveWhereYouWork #WeAreCisco photo of her labs.

Cisco humans love every extra minute with their furry friends, and not only their own. From volunteering with the Cisco Cat Club to giving back at shelters, most will tell you that “fur kids” are an important part of Cisco life.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Sadly, it's not that easy to bring the cat (well, two of them in my situation) to work as it is with dogs when not working from home. But I have to confess that working with a cat can reduce the productivity. At least one of my cats doesn't like if you move when lying on the lap ... ;-)

  2. More people than I can count have been subjected to my cat's tail parading across the screen - and have seen typos when she decides to walk across the keyboard. Darn cats are faster than a two-year-old!

    • It just gives that human touch in a conference. You suddenly relaize that the person on the other side of the screen is also just a cat or dog lover.

      • Lillith - you're right, it's just another reminder that we're more similar as human beings than we are different. So important in these times!

    • Yes! My cat likes to make a cameo by walking on the keyboard. )