Featured Pet (and Pet Owner!)

Our Featured Pets this month are "Sake" and "Boogie," a sister and brother pair adopted by Alice Mitchell, a supervisor in the China and Crystal Inventory department at Replacements, Ltd. When Alice's 15-year-old Siamese, "Rorri," passed away in 2009, she found herself without feline companionship for the first time in her life. "I was raised by Siamese cats, and have always had an affinity for the breed," Alice said, "but I love the look of longhaired cats and wanted young siblings. Also, I am a huge believer in rescue pets." So with these criteria in mind, Alice set out to find the longhaired Siamese-mix rescue kittens of her dreams.

The day after Memorial Day in 2010, Alice contacted a local animal shelter about two six-week-old Snowshoe kittens who were up for adoption. The kittens were so popular that they had several other applicants for adoption coming the same day, so Alice needed to come immediately to be considered. Alice said, "As I was leaving work midmorning that day, I ran into the president of our company and told him I was going to go get my kittens. He stopped me and said, 'Only on one condition: you have to bring them back here with you' – and I did!" Sake and Boogie spent their first few days at Replacements, socializing with employees and other pets, and quickly learning how to climb the carpeted cubicle walls.

According to Alice, the young kittens quickly began to develop their own unique personalities. Sake enjoyed following her canine sister, "Stevie," around the house. She learned how to fetch and sit, and even preferred dog kibble to her own food. When Stevie would go out, Sake wanted to follow her. This led to the discovery that Sake enjoyed walking on a leash and taking car rides. "Sake does not know a stranger, and is the official welcome committee for any visitors to our home," Alice said. Alice attributes this to the early socialization Sake learned at Replacements, Ltd.

"Boogie quickly settled in as more of a couch potato," Alice said. His preferred leisure activity is pilfering strings and shoelaces (often removing them directly from shoes). But most of all, he enjoys eating. "Due to his large stature, it became apparent there was some Maine Coon or Ragdoll in Boogie's heritage," Alice said. By the age of four, he grew to nearly three times his sister's size, and currently weighs in at 32 pounds. Boogie's nickname is "Professor Pink Nose" because nose color was the only way to tell the two cats apart when they were kittens. Since coming into Alice's life, Sake and Boogie have gained a younger brother named "Java," a black, longhaired rescue who keeps them on their feet with his kitten antics.

When asked what she likes most about the pet-friendly policy at Replacements, Alice said, "There are pets here I've known for 15 years that have become as much a part of my family as my coworkers. And working in the inventory area has exposed me to meeting the pets of individuals from all over the United States who come here to sell their merchandise. Many companies can boast they have the best customers, but I can attest we have best customers and also the best customers' pets! These furry-faced visitors always bring a smile to my face."

Alice added, "The pet-friendly policy at Replacements is indicative of the company's overall culture of diversity and compassion. We embrace a wide definition of family here, which includes biological, self-made, and fuzzy (or even scaly!) members. Our company's purpose is to 'connect customers with their most cherished memories'. We embody this purpose internally, too. Our owner interacts with us daily, and we know his family. He encourages community giving, values acceptance and connection, and models an environment of creating cherished memories within the workplace. I can't imagine working anyplace else!"

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