On any given day at LifeLine Animal Project you will find their office bustling with activity, from rescuing homeless pets and addressing the needs of companion animals in the community to accepting appointments for their low cost spay and neuter clinics. There's also a fair amount of bathing, climbing on chairs and desks, and napping near the window.
The latter activities are not the staff at rest or play but LifeLine's office cats going about their day.
Not all the cats up for adoption at LifeLine are housed in the organization's cage-free Kitty Motel or are being tended to in foster homes. Some live in the staff's Avondale Estates office.
Clarence the cross-eyed cat, Ting Tang, who has three legs, Mystery the beautiful black cat, Marsha the rotund multi-colored cat and Bailey, an orange cat considered the "queen" of the office, all live there together and keep the staff and visitors company as they go about their work.
"Some cats live in the office because they've been with us a while or because they need a calmer environment or just because we want to keep an eye of them for health reasons," said Mickie Blair, the cat adoption counselor at LifeLine.
When an office cat is adopted, as two were earlier this year, then another appropriate cat candidate is moved in to join the mix.
It makes for a lively environment when rescuers have to step over a play wrestling match between best buddies Clarence and Ting Tang, or when Mystery demands to sit in someone's lap as they work.
Bailey will occasionally rifle through paperwork or weave through people's ankles when they sit down at a desk.
All the office cats were rescued from dire situations or impending euthanasia and have been cared for and rehabilitated by LifeLine.
Marsha, teasingly called "Marsh-a-mallow" because of her roundness, is the newest addition. Bailey has lived in the office the longest.
Mystery, says Blair, is 5-years old and the perfect lap cat. She was previously in a foster home and did very well there and is ready now for a new home and owners.
Ting Tang is a small black cat who was rescued from a dumpster in DeKalb county. She was injured from abuse or an accident and had nerve damage that made using her back legs impossible. Slated for euthanasia at animal control, LifeLine saved her life. Rehabilitating this tiny year-old cat took a lot of work, including amputating one leg and her care continues daily.
"She's worth it," insisted Blair, "She's got so much spunk. Ting Tang does not let her physical problems slow her down one bit. She runs around. She plays and tries to climb the cat tower. She does wear diapers sometimes but she's pretty talented at getting them off."
Clarence, a 3-year old tabby, came from the DeKalb County shelter. He has feline immunodeficiency virus but is very active and healthy.
"It's not a death sentence," insists Blair, "With proper care, most cats who are FIV+ live long, healthy lives."
Clarence also has one slightly crossed eye, probably due to a Siamese cat relative in his family tree. His best friend is Ting Tang and they spend many afternoons engaged in rough and tumble cat play.
All of the cats are up for adoption or foster and are spayed or neutered and have had all their vaccinations.
For more information on Bailey, Mystery, Marsha, Ting Tang or Clarence or to find how you can have your own office cat to keep you company, contact firstname.lastname@example.org