This law firm took inclusivity in the workplace to the next level by hiring a stray Siamese cat.
Leon is a homeless cat roaming the streets of Brasilia, Brazil. Life wasn’t looking too good for him until he managed to sneak into the Order of Attorneys of Brazil building in the country’s capital.
Employees took Leon in and let him stay in the reception area. People then started complaining about the cat, but instead of letting him out to the streets again, the law firm made a pretty interesting decision: hire Leon as a lawyer!
That was the board’s solution to avoid future complaints. They even gave Leon his own employee badge. Sometimes he even wears a uniform to work!
The world got to know about Leon when Dr. Jeanette Laredo posted his story on a public Facebook group.
“After a heavy rain, this little guy here seeking shelter from the storm went inside the OAB building (the Brazilian equivalent of American Bar Association) and decided to stay.”
“Unfortunately, some people started to file some complaints about the fact that at the reception desk there was a stray cat hanging around and trying to make friends with the newcomers.”
According to Bored Panda, the people who complained about Leon were concerned about stepping on him as he was just a kitten when he first came to the building. He has since grown up, so that’s not a problem anymore.
“In February it rains a lot in the state of Amapá (Amazonia), so he arrived at OAB fleeing from the rain and thunder, a spokesperson for Leon said. “For a week, he was fed and protected in a box. Until he got hired.”
“[They said] that there was no space for him because it is a serious institution. So the President [of the OAB] determined the hiring and gave him an employee badge.”
Now, Leon is a valued employee who is in charge of welcoming newcomers and bringing smiles to visitors and his co-workers. Those who didn’t like him before now appreciate his presence and have fun with him, too.
Leon’s favorite place is the President’s sofa, and he loves to play with his toys. This employee is regularly fed cat food and loves receiving scratches every day.
Aside from bringing cheer to the workplace, Leon has inspired the OAB to launch an animal rights institute named “Instituto Dr. Leon.”
“Two months ago Leon was neutered and is already fully recovered,” they said. “But veterinarians say he had a problem with his vocal cords as a result of suffering as a baby. He hardly meows, but we keep taking care of him. This motivated us to create the institute to help abused and abandoned animals.”
Unfortunately, the Instituto Dr. Leon can’t house all animals, so it will fund the NGOs in town instead. In doing so, they hope to be an example for Brazil to follow.
The OAB has also created an Instagram page for Leon, where he has amassed over 115,000 followers so far.
Another feline enjoying the perks of being an employee is this cat in Richmond, Australia.
Elwood, an orange-white tabby feline, was hired by the Epworth Hospital’s security team. The cat is a constant presence around the hospital’s main entrance, where he likes to relax most of the time.
Like Leon, Elwood was given his own employee badge; it even has its own call code on the back!
While he may not look as strong as the other guards, Elwood’s strength is his charm, which is more than enough to discourage troublemakers.
These workplaces are lucky to have these adorable cats. We can only imagine how fun it must be to have a fluffy co-worker like them!