Editors note: It’s no secret there are hard working dogs and cats. But while some are tending to traditional animal jobs, like herding cattle or mousing in barns, others are going to work with their owners and are performing “people” jobs at local stores and offices. In fact, some, like this feline, named Francis, claims his own website listing as a member of the staff serving St. Mary’s Parish in Ardmore.

Name and occupation:

Francis is a 2-year-old black and white cat, who oversees operations in the office of St. Mary’s Parish. He was born and orphaned on church property, where he was found and bottle fed by Ann Stolfa who works in the church office. He was named after Pope Francis, a move that assured his employment as office cat, even though the pastor, Father Tom Dowdell is not a huge fan of felines. 

Francis doesn’t hold Father Tom’s opinions against him, preferring to ignore the possibility there could be anyone who is less than impressed with his awe-inspiring skills and talents. And, while he has yet to convince Father Tom to allow him to attend Mass and perhaps sing in the choir, even though he is a lifelong member of the parish, Francis  demonstrated he has a spiritual and reverent side several weeks ago when he participated in the annual Blessing of the Animals.

Special talents:

When he’s not napping, Francis is the official office greeter. Those who come through the door must pass his inspection. He alerts office staff to questionable callers by growling. Those who rank as acceptable to enter are examined for signs of pet ownership. He is especially good at identifying and greeting those office visitors who are allergic to cats  by showing them extra love and affection. Francis is also extremely inquisitive and security-minded and will examine the contents of purses, camera bags or other receptacles left unguarded for any contraband, such as undeclared treats or toys.

A neat-freak, Francis sees his main job as patrolling office desks in search of clutter, which he will  then swat into submission onto the floor. He also makes sure office staff are tending to business. If he detects slacking, he attacks the ankles of the offender. Other duties include bug chasing and using the windows to stare down squirrels running on church grounds, less they consider moving into his office territory. 

In his free time he can entertain visitors with all kinds of theatrics and acrobatics moves. Of course he will allow visitors to pet and admire his fine feline qualities upon request. 

What makes Francis perfect for his people job/s?

Like his co-worker, Ann, Francis is devoted to keeping the office running smoothly. However, he will always take time out to visit with his parishioner friends and members of his fan club who frequently drop by and sometimes even bring treats and toys. 

While on the job, Francis is devoted to his duties, but when it’s quitting time and Ann tells him it’s time to go, he doesn’t have to be told twice to get in his carrier for the drive home. Actually, when Francis got the job as office cat, the idea was he would stay on the premises 24/7. Turns out, Francis has a tinge of scaredy cat in him, or maybe he just gets lonesome because, “He would cry when I left at night, so I just started taking him home with me,” Ann said.

If you have or know of a dog or cat that works a people job let us know. Send an email to yournews@ardmoreite.com with the animal’s name, the name of the owner and where the special dog or cat works and contact information.