A cat who works from home

Krueger the cat lying on a box in the warehouse with stacks of boxes behind him
Krueger calls True Leaf Seed Company his home, and he has worked wonders for employee morale, just by being himself.
By Nicole Hamilton

Krueger has finally landed in a place where his preference to roam on his own instead of basking in the company of people isn’t just accepted — it’s celebrated. It’s not that the young cat doesn’t like occasional affection from people. He just likes human attention on his own time, which isn’t very often.

This preference didn’t go over well when Krueger was living in a home, after getting adopted from Best Friends in Utah. The family found Krueger irresistible, but their unabashed admiration for him got old quickly. After a few days, Krueger made it clear, by hissing and hiding, that he’d rather be admired from afar.

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Eventually, the family made the tough decision to bring Krueger back to Best Friends. They wanted a cat they could get close to. “He wasn’t a happy camper, and he wasn’t afraid to let us know it,” says Danielle Barnhart, Best Friends senior manager in Salt Lake City, who remembers trying to get close to Krueger when he returned, but with no luck.

Time in a quiet room all by himself helped, and he started to warm up. “He would accept pets but was still unpredictable if he felt uncomfortable,” says Danielle. “He seemed torn. He wanted to interact with us but didn’t trust us.”

After nominal success in foster homes, it was evident that Krueger required a place other than a traditional home. What he needed was a home where he could be loved and admired from a distance, plus space to roam and lots of places to hide. Now he’s found exactly that.

New cat on the team

Soon after True Leaf Seed Company opened a second warehouse at its Salt Lake City headquarters, the team looked around the 55,000-square-foot space and knew it was the perfect place for a curious cat who likes to roam. The new feline could also protect all the organic seeds and garden starter kits in the warehouse.

[Raise your glass: Rescued cat scores a sweet job in a Salt Lake City distillery]

With any luck, the cat they adopted would love the new digs as much as Taylor, who was adopted from Best Friends a couple years ago. Taylor calls the main warehouse at True Leaf her home and the team working there loves seeing her around. Never mind that she takes unlimited naps and turns down affection 99.99% of the time. Like Krueger, Taylor enjoys people just fine, but rarely wants attention or affection.

A home for a cat with energy and curiosity to spare

When the Best Friends team learned that True Leaf was ready to adopt another cat, one came to mind immediately: Krueger. As soon as the True Leaf team met him, they knew he’d make a great addition to the business. They loved his personality, and he had the most impressive mustache.

To get Krueger used to his new home, the True Leaf team set up a small, enclosed area for him in the warehouse, complete with a cat tree, scratching poles and beds. Then, after two weeks, the entire warehouse was his oyster, so to speak.

[Cushy retirement for a working cat]

Parker Garlitz, managing partner with True Leaf, says Krueger, like Taylor, is a “mixed bag” when it comes to interacting with the staff. “He’s friendly, but at the same time, standoffish. He’ll rub past your leg, but then he’s had enough of you.”

Still, both cats have managed to boost employee morale tenfold. “Everyone loves and adores these cats,” says Parker. “They’ve been a great addition to the workplace.”

This article was originally published in the January/February 2023 issue of Best Friends magazine. Want more good news? Become a member and get stories like this six times a year.

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