Cats Adopted By Office Have One Unsuspected Impact On The Workers

Anyone who works for a living knows it’s not always easy to summon the energy to carry out the duties you’re paid for. Long hours sitting at a desk can be draining even for the most energetic among us. That’s why it’s so important for companies to do things that lift the spirits of their employees and boost office morale.

Well, one Ohio transportation company tried some out-of-the-box thinking to inspire its workers. Management wasn’t sure how receptive employees would be to the plan until the day they finally unveiled it — and the results weren’t quite what they expected.

Some companies throw parties for company morale, or give out monetary bonuses or fun gifts. These are all tried-and-true methods for raising productivity while keeping employees happy. One company tried something a little different.

The finance wing of one Ohio-based transportation company, however, discussed a much wilder idea. Old-fashioned gifts and celebrations were all well and good, but executives wanted to do something unique to show their staff how appreciative they were.

So, the bosses decided to adopt two tiny kittens, one light orange and the other striped with brown. These weren’t just any ordinary felines, so the execs had to give them some particularly interesting names…

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Management decided the cats would be called Debit and Credit. These monikers may seem rather unorthodox, but for kitties living in the finance wing of a company, they’re fitting! Of course, employees were worried if the kittens could get along.

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The little guys became quick friends with one another. During the evening, when the rest of the employees went home, they stayed in the office overnight. However, people made sure to visit them on weekends.

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Clearly, they’re plain adorable. However, beyond their inherent cuteness, Debit and Credit serve some particularly special purposes for that office’s culture that most people wouldn’t suspect.

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The kittens carry a whole load of psychological benefits. When they crawl past your desk and brush against your leg, you’re getting way more out of those actions than it first appears on the surface.

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According to psychologist Lotte Spijkerman, office pets “reduce stress and increase productivity, mainly because they interact with you of their own accord and, when they pop over to your work station, it’s a good reminder that you might need to take a break.”

However, despite all the clear benefits that office cuties such as Debit and Credit may bestow on a workplace, there’s also one major potential drawback that could get in the way of this seemingly perfect arrangement.

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This obstacle is the fact that so many Americans are allergic to these cuddly creatures. Cat allergies are twice as common as aversions to canines and can be truly debilitating for the individual affected. This company, however, found a workaround.

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“My building is small — there are only 6 of us. One of them is allergic, but she doesn’t care. The others stay in another building,” one employee revealed. It seems like things couldn’t have turned out more perfectly. Still, there were other issues.

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The primary objective was not only to make the human occupants of the office happy; the cats’ well-being was also a priority. Clearly, Debit and Credit needed certain amenities to have a good life as well.

The lucky kittens received many toys to play with, cozy sweatshirts to cuddle up in, their very own beds, and a whole slew of other treats provided especially for them.

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If Debit and Credit ever get bored of horsing around inside the office, they can always go look out the window and stare at the trees or passing birds. It’s truly a win-win situation.

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The pair was so undeniably cute that the office decided they needed to make an Instagram for them, so the entire world could see just how precious Debit and Credit truly were.

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One video in particular got a whole lot of attention, racking up thousands of views online. The clip showed the two kittens fighting over and playing with a cardboard box bigger than both of them combined.

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While they were in awe of the adorable setup, people on the internet couldn’t help but wonder how in the world employees got any work done. It seemed like having two bundles of cuteness around all the time would make concentrating difficult, to say the least.

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“This is adorable. I wouldn’t get any work done,” one commentator remarked. In response, an employee confirmed that “it’s so hard not to play and snuggle [all day long].” Sounds like a good problem to have.

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The trend of introducing animals into the office environment is only growing. Workplaces across the country are catching on to this bold new idea for increasing productivity and happiness. Animals are making their way into a lot of different environments, even the most stressful ones.

When you plan a vacation that requires serious traveling, there are plenty of stressors. Packing can be brutal, getting time off work is sometimes tough, but neither of these are as bad as dealing with a super busy airport.

Of course, after the chaos of checking luggage, finding your terminal, and weaving through the bustling human labyrinth, you find yourself soaring peacefully through the blue sky. However, that peaceful feeling doesn’t ring true for every passenger.

While some people love gazing out the window at the pillowy clouds around them, others are just plain terrified something will go wrong. Even though thousands of flights a day make it to their destination safely, these concerns are understandable.

When plane crashes occur, they’re serious. You’re in the sky, after all, so a plummet down to Earth usually results in serious injuries, if not deaths. But, airplane travel is technically the safest way to get from one place to another.

Think about it… traveling by subway or car might seem safer, but subways are always whizzing past each other and dozens of other drivers are around you on the highway. When you’re in the clouds, it’s literally blue skies.

The people who work at airports are well aware some passengers are terrified of the whole ordeal. Instead of just bushing it off like it’s not their problem, many places have enacted ways to get those nervous heart rates down.

Introducing service animals to airports was an enormous help to anyone panicking at the terminal. Imagine sitting there, playing out tons of awful scenarios in your head, when suddenly, an adorable dog wagging his tail comes right up to you!

Instead of thinking about your impending doom, you’re petting a fluffball who’s so happy to see you the stress melts away. Many airports around the world have been on-boarding these canine companions to ease exactly this type of internal tension.

One of the busiest airports in the United Staes is San Francisco International Airport, and when you have a lot of people coming and going at all times, that also means you have a lot of fear passing through the doors. That’s where the Wag Brigade comes in to help.

The airport’s Wag Brigade is the group of people and dogs whose job it is to walk through the building and approach anyone looking intimidated about their journey.

All of the animals wear little jackets that say “Pet Me!” so people know they can approach them without fear of aggressive behavior. Now, nearly all of the animals are dogs, but the brigade has another employee helping, and she’s a pleasant surprise to everyone.

She’s a spotted Juliana pig named LiLou! Just like her canine cohorts, LiLou travels with her trained handler and helps panicky travelers calm down before they take off.

LiLou’s owner, Tatyana Danilova, loves the fact that her little porker is put to great use at the airport. The San Francisco SPCA was working for a while to expand the types of animals on the Wag Brigade, and once they met Lilou, they were sold.

As you can imagine, LiLou gets tons of attention during her once-a-month workday. People, of course, love the dogs that roam the airport, but a pig wearing a skirt who also does tricks?! That’s something else.

Right on LiLou’s Wag Brigade trading card, it lists all the tricks Tatyana taught her to perform, including greeting people with her snout or a little hooved wave and even putting on live musical performances!

That’s right! If you think you’ve seen it all, guess again. LiLou has a favorite toy piano traveling with her around the airport. She loves to rub her hooves on it, playing songs for eager audiences.

Adults love getting nuzzled by LiLou, but sometimes she intimidates children; most of them have never seen a pig in real life. But, once they spend more than a couple of minutes with her, they always end up enjoying her company.

Although Tatyana and LiLou only visit the airport once a month, she hopes the shifts become more frequent. “It brings positive emotions to me seeing that we can do something good for the community and bring more smiles in some unconventional way,” she’s said.

LiLou even has her own Instagram account so people can check out awesome photos of her wearing different costumes and posing like a model! She’s the first certified pig in the San Francisco’s Animal Assisted Therapy Program, but other states have their own species, too.

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has miniature horses who calmly mosey around with their handlers. One definite way to calm nerves is to “horse” around with nervous travelers to take their minds off the flight.

Maybe the San Francisco International Airport will one day expand the animals to miniature horses also, but until they do, they have a loyal squad of dogs and one dedicated pig working hard to ensure everyone travels with a strong peace of mind. Kind people are helping the travel process, too.

Shaina Murry was just one of hundreds of people waiting for her American Airlines flight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Eager to return home to her husband and tired from her travels, she hurriedly found her gate and sat down. Then, she noticed something unusual.

Shaina Murry / Facebook

A man lay sprawled out on the airport floor. “It was clear something was wrong,” Shaina recalled later in a post on Facebook. “I just didn’t know what.” So, she rushed over to find out.

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Shaina asked the man, whose name was Will, a few questions. She never shared exactly what he told her, but after their conversation, she knew there was something she needed to do: call for medical assistance.

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Then, Will shared something else with her. Over and over again, he told her he was “afraid he was going to miss his flight while waiting for the airport medical team to come assist him,” Shaina wrote. That’s when she realized exactly what was going on…

Will was autistic, Shaina determined, and the overwhelming stress of traveling alone had made him very uncomfortable. This realization “triggered me to switch gears,” she wrote.

Shaina Murry / Facebook

Most other people would have left Will waiting for the medical team, but not Shaina. Instead, she assured her new airport pal that all was well: she’d make sure he boarded his plane before takeoff—and she didn’t stop there.

Together, the duo called Will’s mom “to let her know he wasn’t feeling well and seeing the medical team at Dallas Airport,” Shaina said. Will’s mother explained that her son was indeed autistic, confirming Shaina’s hunch.

When the medical team arrived, Will, Shaina, and the staff at American Airlines discussed the best way to make sure Will was in good condition to continue with his flight. Unfortunately, they were concerned about his health—and his ability to remain in such a cramped space.

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“The medical team said he needed to eat and have something to drink,” Shaina wrote, “and they were worried he would get sick again and didn’t know if he should fly.” Did this mean Will would miss his flight?

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If your typical stressed-out, in-a-hurry traveler had been the one to first talk to Will, he might’ve ended up grounded. Shaina, however, was no ordinary traveler—and she wanted to make sure Will was safe. Although she was tired and eager to see her husband, Shaina was prepared to do whatever it took to get Will home safe.

“I worked with American Airlines and the medical team at Dallas,” Shaina said, “and told [them] I would change my flight, grab some lunch with him, and make sure he got on his flight okay.”

In response, American Airlines helped out by facilitating Shaina’s flight transfer free of charge. “American didn’t charge me a dime for the flight change,” she wrote. The airline took another above-and-beyond action, too…

Brad Loper / Dallas Morning News

Shaina added that American Airlines “even called me when [Will] and I were eating lunch together to let me know his gate changed.” Everyone with the power to help came together to make sure one frightened Will made his flight!

Finally, after a meal and pleasant conversation, Shaina walked Will to his gate. American Airlines took over from there, and the gate clerk “made sure he boarded safely to go see his Mom for Christmas.”

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Just as Shaina (pictured with her husband here) promised, Will made his flight! Later, she beautifully reflected on her hectic day at the airport. “Today was not at all what I pictured it to be,” she wrote. “It has turned out so much better…”

Shaina Murry / Facebook

Her account of the day continued: “I had an amazing lunch with a wonderful young man from Louisville, Kentucky. While I don’t know him well, I know he has a heart of gold and a wonderful mother and sister, who he loves very much.”

There’s no denying it: airports are stressful. They’re loud, crowded, and at times they feel like a labyrinth no map can navigate you through. But Shaina sacrificed her easy traveling experience and spent more time in the chaos for a stranger. That’s pretty amazing!

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Of course, Shaina couldn’t have done it alone, and she acknowledged everyone who played a big role in getting Will on his flight. “American Airlines handled the situation with such professionalism and care,” she wrote. “The medical team [was] also just as amazing.”

Most importantly: Shaina acknowledged a truth everyone could stand to hear. “Every once and awhile we all need a little help. Regardless of disability, age, or social status. Thanks for making my day Will!”

Shaina Murry / Facebook

Although Shaina wouldn’t likely ever see Will again, the day she spent with him might have changed her whole life—and his. It just goes to show you that a little kindness and sacrifice can go a long way!

Shaina Murry / Facebook

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