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Employees Give Cisco Cats a “Paw Up” In Life

- November 23, 2015 - 13 Comments

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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13 Comments

  1. There is a bengal cat that greets me whenever I enter or leave Building 19. He seems very tame and people oriented, so I'm figuring that it once had a home and is looking for another one. I already have three cats but my wife and I are open to taking in a fourth. Who do I need to see about possibly relocating this cat to our home and getting the necessary medical checks? Our home has a cat fence to keep cats in the yard and house. Thanks. Tony Pinkham apinkham@cisco.com

  2. Thank you for all the warm responses. We love what we do, and though in a perfect world there would be no need for us, the fact is, these cats need human help. We help them, but they give us so much more in return.

    Thanks to the Cisco Cat Club. Very heart warming article.

  3. Cisco appear in my cat blog a few times: https://honestcatworker.wordpress.com/

    This is all very reminiscent of my days at The Iams Company. Every employee was passionate about dog and cat health and safety. Every Friday was bring your pet to work day--dogs and cats only. We had a cat that actually lived on the second floor and got more attention than a newborn baby. My wife and I have a stray of our own, Pete. He is the most vocal and social pet I have ever owned. Keep up the great work Cisco Cat Club; you're doing the right thing.

  4. I love hearing this about Cisco! As a Cisco remote worker in Texas we do similar work with feral cats on our street. Several kittens have found new homes on our street and in our neighborhood and we try to catch and release the parents after having them spay and neutered. This all started when I found my 2 cats as babies under my air conditioner unit outside my home. - Thanks to Cisco Employees for all you do!!!

  5. Working for a group of people who give back is very appealing. Nice work Cisco Cat Club! And I would like to applaud your efforts, which have been taken to just another level. There's a reason the cats are coming to Cisco - they love the Internet. Watch how they're now communicating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx6aG-Kj22M

  6. As a cat lover and owner myself this article warmed my heart! I love that our furry Cisco family members have such wonderful people taking care of them - thank you for all that you do!

    What an amazing effort - way to go team! I'm happy to hear many of these cats & kittens find Fur-ever Cisco homes too! :)

  7. Jennifer and every Cisco Cat Club member: Quite simply - thank you VERY much for caring for our furry Cisco family members!

  8. Thank you for all that you do for these cats. I miss being a part of the cat club but enjoyed it during my time at Cisco. It brightened my day reading this article and knowing the Cisco cats and kittens are well taken care of by this amazing group of people!

  9. Thanks to the Cisco Cat Club for everything they do!

  10. I really appreciate what all of you do for these cats and kittens. I've enjoyed being a part of the cat club in the past and hope to secure authorization to join this special, caring family. You give so much of yourselves, even financially. I've watched these cats go right up to some of the feeders and climb up on their laps. The cats are really personable and have been able to learn how to trust. Kudos & Hugs to all of you! :) ♡

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