Last week, I said goodbye to a long-time colleague of the finest caliber. Yes, my friends, Typo the Office Cat has retired. No longer will his fuzzy orange face welcome all visitors — young and old, cat lovers and haters alike — to The Citizen office.
Typo’s many friends can go see him at his new home as an office kitty at Maple Hill Animal Hospital in Platte City. He’s also up for adoption, should anyone be interested in giving him a quiet existence for his golden years.
Unfortunately, the fast-paced life of lounging around on file cabinets and making copies of his tail became too much for the little guy. That, and over the last few months, he has developed a skin allergy to something in the office.
So with a heavy heart, it was decided it was time for Typo to move on. (My cat would eat him for lunch. Otherwise, he’d be sunning himself at my house right now, believe you me.)
Typo’s tenure at The Citizen predates me, and that’s saying something, since last summer I marked 10 years at this fine publication. When I first started, I was delighted by the concept of an office cat, and for the most part, remained delighted until the day he left.
Office cats at newspapers were not a new concept.
I worked for several years at the Townsend Communications family of newspapers. The Liberty Tribune office was part-time home to Bogie, the Liberty Square cat so infamous he was once featured in The Kansas City Star. When Bogie died in 2006, a memorial in his honor was placed at the Clay County Courthouse.
Unfortunately, since Typo predates me, I had to do some digging to locate the origins of Our Kitty of Platte City — meaning I texted Lee Stubbs. As the former owner of The Citizen, Lee is also the de facto former owner of Typo, but he always maintained that he belonged to the office — especially to me and advertising manager Pam Ulitschan, since we spent countless hours fussing over him, giving him meds and performing minor oral surgery on him when one of his canine teeth fell out … on her desk. Don’t worry, we won’t talk about that experience anymore.
As it turns out, Typo came to us from none other than Platte County public relations guru Sher Wilde. He was a young kitty then, back in 2002 … or maybe it was 2003?
No one seems to know for sure.
Anyway, Typo came to deliver us from a great enemy to newsprint — mice. The Citizen’s former Main Street location was apparently a hot spot for mice, but once Typo came along, I never saw one. Saw being the operative word in that sentence, since sometimes you heard them, and sometimes Typo would scramble to the top of the morgue, pop loose a tile in the drop ceiling, and give chase.
There’s nothing quite as horrifying and fascinating as listening to a cat thunder around over your head, wondering when he’s going to hit a weak tile. I only witnessed that once, and yes, he did land on his feet.
Typo also had a habit of waiting until you opened a file cabinet drawer and turned your back. A couple hours later, when we noticed he was missing and started calling his name, we’d hear the meowing from inside the cabinet.
Despite his quirks, and shedding, he was a great companion on long nights working on special sections or on deadline. So, in this Christmas season, I wish Typo a happy retirement, and if he’s lucky, maybe one of you reading this will be able to give him a deserving forever home.
Jeanette Browning Faubion is a longtime staff member of The Citizen. She can be by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.