The Things We Do for Love: "To Work for Me, You Must Love Cats"

Photo courtesy of Edith Wagner
Edith Wagner (center) poses with Heinz and two employees, Josh and Karla. Karla is holding the other office cat, Mitzi.

Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.

A lot has changed since Edith Wagner founded her magazine business 23 years ago. What hasn’t changed is that in order to work for Wagner, employees must be willing to share their workplace with office cats.

Wagner, founder and editor of Reunions Magazine, runs her business from a work/home combination space in downtown Milwaukee. While most of her employees work remotely, several work in the office. 

“A requirement of employment is a total devotion to cats,” Wagner says with a laugh. But she’s not kidding. Since she started the business, she’s always had office cats. Her current felines, Mitzi, 9, and Heinz, 16, “have the run of the place,” Wagner says.

Throughout the day, the cats make their rounds to all the employees’ workstations and, Wagner says, “make sure everyone knows they are in charge.”

The cats aren’t shy about demanding employees’ attention. “They stand on keyboards,” Wagner says. “And both know how to turn down the light on the screen!”

But no one seems to mind. In fact, one of Wagner’s former employees was allergic to cats. “But Heinz adored him,” Wagner says. The employee felt the same about Heinz. “He would pet him and pet him and then go wash his hands,” Wagner recalls. “He even took medication.” While the employee is no longer with the company, Wagner says his departure was because of another opportunity, not the special feline attention Heinz gave him. “He really loves cats,” she adds.


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