This is our very first blog post, and because of that, we decided to post about one of the very first things you see when you come to our clinic, — “KP”

Everyday our clients and their pets are greeted by our clinic cat, a female, domestic shorthair, grey tabby. To say “greeted” might be an overstatement. Typically she can be found lounging on the counter, or hiding behind a computer, only occasionally consenting to be petted. Some of these petting encounters end, unfortunately, in bites… (we tried to warn you!) While she’s not the friendliest cat, we all love her, and so do our clients. Everyone is always curious to know more about her, so I’m taking this opportunity to answer some of the questions we are asked, such as, “What is her name? What does she do here? Is she pregnant? Why does she walk so oddly? Where does she stay when you’re closed? Can I pet her?”

First off though, a little history… she was brought into the clinic when she was just a kitten back in 2011. She was found inside the hood of someone’s car, and as they couldn’t keep her, they brought her to the clinic hoping we could find her a good home. Since we had recently had to rehome our previous clinic cat (he kept ripping into, and eating from, all the prescription diet food bags), we decided to let her stay with us. To be honest, she was a much nicer kitten than she is a cat! She grew from a playful and affectionate kitten, into a rather surly cat. She’s pretty typical of cats, however, wanting attention on her terms only. She lives here exclusively, and has full run of the clinic, though she prefers staying up front.

She goes by the affectionate name of KP. This is not, as we are often asked, short for ‘kitchen patrol’ (though if we had a kitchen here, that would probably be her favorite spot). KP is short for Kitty Purry. She was thus named by a previous employee, Alex Phan, who thought the play on words to sound like Katy Perry was a fitting name for her fluffy cuteness. However, any of you who know KP, know that she is not a purry kitty, so her name was shortened to a couple of different variations, with KP eventually coming out on top. Not that she responds to her name; instead she mainly just ignores everyone unless they have food.

KP is the official Bon Air Animal Hospital greeter, but she also does many other essential jobs around the office. She knocks things off counters, walks across keyboards, lays on charts as we try to refile them, and steals dog treats from the container on the counter — basically making sure everyone stays on their toes. Any time there are demonstrations to be done on how to administer topical medication, she’s (un)happy to oblige. If we need to demonstrate how to pill a cat, she’s even (un)happier to oblige. She has even helped save another kitty’s life when he needed a blood transfusion. Not to mention, she excels at bug and spider hunting, which are incredibly important tasks. She is truly a vital member of our staff, and doesn’t get nearly enough recognition for her hard work!

Often when people come in, one of the things they’ll ask is if KP is pregnant, or if she has had kittens in the past. The answer to both of these questions is no. She just has a little extra weight that hangs down in a fold from her belly. She likes treats. A lot. The other question we often get involves the way she walks. She has an odd stiff-legged gait in the rear, which some people are concerned comes from an injury or pain. We have done x-rays and very thorough exams on her, but it is simply the way she walks. She’s never had an injury and is not in any pain. But she appreciates all the concerned people who ask about her!

So, now the answer to the question we get most often regarding KP. Can I pet her? Well, you can try, but at your own risk. She may be in a great mood and happy for the extra attention. Or, she may just bite you for no apparent reason. She’s a funny cat, like most cats actually. Regardless of her flaws, we love KP! She has become part of the family here at BAAH. We may joke about trading her for cute baby kittens or giving her away, but we would never want to part with our dear KP. Who else would we feed all our cat treats too?