Featured Pet (and Pet Owner!)

"Big Kitties" lives with Ryan Butler and his partner of nearly ten years. Ryan is an in-house counsel member of Replacements, Ltd's legal department. Ryan still remembers the day he adopted Big Kitties from the Maryland SPCA, in Baltimore, Maryland, more than 12 years ago. "I walked into a large room, with its wall lined with cages containing dozens of kittens. It seemed as if every kitten in Baltimore was in that room. All of them were jumping around and climbing to the tops of the cages. Then I noticed this one kitten who stood out because she was calmly sitting in the middle of all the fuss, just looking at me. I immediately pointed at her and said, ‘I want to adopt that kitten.’"

Little did Ryan know, the reason Big Kitties was so calm was because she was sick at the time – only a day after getting her home she rapidly began to show signs of an upper respiratory infection. "She wouldn't eat because her nose was blocked. The vet explained to me that cats would not eat food if they couldn't smell it. She was at risk of starving to death if she didn’t get better," Ryan said. Ryan would spend the next two weeks hand feeding Big Kitties and administering medication to nurse her back to good health.

"After two weeks, it was as if she had never been sick, and I couldn't have been happier to see her jumping around," Ryan said. Big Kitties has been happy and in excellent health ever since.

Big Kitties has moved with Ryan from Maryland to Washington, DC and now, to North Carolina. Big Kitties’ favorite activities include sleeping, chasing cat toys, bird watching, exploring, eating cat treats, and more sleeping. Big Kitties’ favorite place to sleep is on any pile of neatly folded laundry which, of course, she assumes must have been placed there just for her to sleep on! She also enjoys curiously exploring any places she can get into, including closets, drawers, basements, and boxes. "It's not uncommon for me to open a drawer on my dresser and for Big Kitties to pounce out," says Ryan. "She loves to explore and is always interested in things."

Big Kitties also serves as an alarm system. If someone she is unfamiliar with approaches the house, she will growl out of concern. However, she is hardly an attack cat; her next move is to run and hide in the best place she can find! Once she gets to know the new people, she will always become friendly and welcoming. But don't try to pick her up – the only person who is allowed to do that is Ryan, sometimes.

When asked what he liked most about the Replacements, Ltd. pet-friendly policy, Ryan said, "Although I don't bring Big Kitties to work, it's a lot of fun to walk around the office and visit with other people's pets. There are always lots of fun and different breeds of dogs (and sometimes cats) to visit with." Asked about Replacements, Ltd. in general, Ryan said, "This month marks my first year working here, and I can honestly say that Replacements, Ltd. is the best place I've ever worked. The people who work here are amazing. The company’s commitment to diversity and our community are what attracted me to work here. Most of the people who work here have been here for more than ten years. People don't stay somewhere that long if they don't enjoy what they do and the people they work with. I'm happy to be part of that family."

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