Security guards adopt stray cats at work

Reporting for duty: Conan the cat, wearing a black-and-yellow security vest, receiving attention from a cleaning services employee as security guards stand in formation outside an office building in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. — AFP

A cat wearing a black-and-yellow security vest strolls nonchalantly past security guards lined outside a local office building waiting to receive instructions for their shift.

Conan, a six-month-old stray, joined the security team of the Worldwide Corporate Centre in Manila several months ago.

He is one of the lucky moggies unofficially adopted by security guards across the city, where thousands of cats live on the street.While the cats lack the security skills of dogs – and have a tendency to sleep on the job – their cuteness and company have endeared them to bored security guards working 12-hour shifts.

Conan was rescued by a housekeeper who found him wailing in the building’s car park when he was a few weeks old.

He accidentally landed the role of security cat after his predecessor, Mingming, died, reportedly from gum disease, not in the line of duty.Grieving guards wanting another furry friend to liven up their shifts decided to appoint Conan as Mingming’s replacement.

“If Conan isn’t around then I’m not motivated,” said security guard Aljon Aquino, 30.

 Conan looking on as a man is searched before entering an office building in Manila. — AFPConan looking on as a man is searched before entering an office building in Manila. — AFP

“He takes away my stress.”

Photos of Conan wearing his vest emblazoned with “security” and lying on a desk next to a life-size cardboard picture of Mingming have been shared thousands of times on Facebook.

He is among more than a dozen strays living in the commercial and corporate building, where they are allowed to roam.

Employees pitch in to buy food for them.

Despite living his best life, Conan shows little interest in helping his human colleagues perform their security duties, such as searching bags of shoppers and workers as they enter the building.

Instead, he prefers to sleep, laze in front of the nearby Starbucks or chase balls across the tiled floor, much to the delight of passers-by.

“Sometimes people will just randomly carry him because he’s really friendly,” said Aquino, playfully poking Conan with his baton. — AFP

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