Forget the World's Best Boss mug, and break out the catnip and tuna treats. Finding the perfect executive gift just got a little easier for employees at one Internet startup.
Catbox.ro, a Romanian company that specializes in personalized presents, has hired a cat as one of its key managers. After spending months sifting through 700 applications from cats of all breeds, Catbox decided to employ a serious-looking gray cat that was, coincidentally, named Bossulica, or "Boss," for short.
"Boss is a great boss," says Catbox spokeswoman Andreea Georgescu. "He's our drive and our inspiration."
Don't be misled into believing that Boss is just a pretty face. Sure, the Scottish Fold nailed his interview by wearing a chic suit and bow tie, but beneath that polished and genteel exterior is a stone-cold enforcer ... well, in theory. The reality is that Boss is a lover, not a fighter. He's even been caught on camera cuddling with inanimate objects, like a bench and a wall.
These quirks aside, Boss takes his new position seriously. When he's not managing communications from a swivel chair behind an imposing wooden desk (or peering down from atop a bookcase), Boss lends a discerning eye to the company's packaging aesthetics, and has a starring role in promotional commercials and the company's Facebook page. As a C-suite perk, Boss also enjoys being the subject of viral Internet memes whose popularity may eventually make Grumpy Cat, well, grumpier.
His popularity is becoming so widespread, that an impromptu visit to the local market on a lunch break recently resulted in an affectionate neck rub from one of the store's star-struck employees.
With all the publicity surrounding his new appointment, will Boss' newfound fame go to his head? After all, there's more to strategic communication than brushing against coworkers' ankles.
"He treats us well, but he doesn't cut us any slack," says Georgescu.
If the idea of having a cat — mercurial moods and all — as a boss seems odd, consider the Japanese firm that filled its entire office with cats to increase efficiency and decrease stress. Or consider it in terms of U.S. presidential candidates. Limberbutt McCubbins, a male cat from Kentucky, is a potential Democratic candidate (cat-didate?) in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. His campaign slogan? "Meow is the time."
While there's no word on McCubbins' work ethic, rumor has it that Boss indulges in frequent catnaps — but has yet to institute a company-wide policy on the matter.
"The only one allowed to sleep on the job is himself," says Georgescu, "but then again ... he's the boss."