Everyone is trying to get into The Studio these days, including one of our neighbours. Meet Rollo, the newest member at The Studio.
Obviously he lives around here and has an owner/slave somewhere as he has a collar with, 'please don't feed me', on it. Not that he's a problem like that. So, he's not destitute or desperate, just inquisitive. He just turned up one day with an insatiable curiosity about the place, shot past the legs of anyone coming through the door and essentially made himself a feature here.
Far from being seen as a nuisance, everyone seems to appreciate having him around. They don't seem to mind him walking over their desks, poking his nose into things, or even making himself comfortable on someone's padded laptop bag.
I did have one scary moment, though, when I checked in on a workshop that was going on in one of the meeting rooms. I noticed people around the room were, in turn, reaching down under the table. Turns out they were stroking the cat. Luckily they didn't mind and he came out without me having to chase him. Very unusual for a cat.
I've heard it said that animals are good for our health. In fact when I was reading up on animals at work, it turns out that, although there are a few cons, like possibly tripping over someone's dog or being sued when someone trips over yours, there are a number of positive reasons for having animals around you at work: increased productivity, lower stress levels, greater interaction between staff, with people stating that colleagues come over to introduce themselves to the dog first, then start talking with the owner. Studies show that animals lower stress level by relaxing us (obviously not when you're chasing them around the garden). Apparently, you can rig someone up to an ECG, put an animal on their lap and watch their pulse slow down and with it their blood pressure drop.
So, now he's officially a member of The Studio team, although he doesn't have his own access card; on account of the fact that he doesn't seem to need one. If he wants in, he gets in. And very welcome he is too.
And don't forget that they simply make you feel good, at least they make me feel good, and judging by the reactions of people around the space I'm not the only one.
So, always a sound idea to have an animal around, then. Good to know.