By Joe Southern
Davis Air Conditioning and Heating in Stafford is a very masculine place with strong, burly men and lots of heavy machines and equipment.
It’s also home to a stray cat and a lot of soft hearts.
The tiny feral feline has been adopted by the staff and has become something of an office mascot. They’ve taken to calling her Lupita in honor of Lupe Gonzales, the new guy on the job who began feeding and befriending the little fuzz ball a few weeks ago.
“She was just wondering around and I started feeding her,” Gonzales said.
It’s been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The same must hold true for cats. The more Lupita got fed, the friendlier she became.
“When I go to feed her she just runs up and loves on you now,” said Heather McCain, corporate policy manager for Davis.
Gonzales said he started working for Davis about seven or eight months ago. Lupita started hanging around shortly after he started. He bought a bag of cat food that he keeps in a plastic container. A box with a pet bed was set up in a pile of discarded air conditioner casings where Lupita likes to hang out. Whenever anyone shakes the food container, Lupita comes running.
McCain said no one knows her age but they estimate she is less than a year by her small size. A few weeks ago she had a litter of kittens, but none of them survived. As responsible pet owners, the company has decided to get her spayed. They are in the process of getting that scheduled.
In the meantime, Lupita is endearing herself to everyone, albeit with hesitancy. The more food and scratches behind the ears she gets, the friendlier she becomes.
“There are a lot of cat people here, so she gets a lot of attention,” McCain said.
Dispatcher Ashleigh Langley picked up Lupita but that crossed the line of trust for now. A low growl and the extension of claws was enough warning.
McCain informed Gonzales that he would no longer have to buy food for Lupita. The company will take care of that from now on, along with picking up the tab for the spay and medical costs.
McCain said there is another benefit to having Lupita around besides the warm, friendly feelings she brings.
“We’ve always had a rodent issue here but it’s improving with her around,” she said.
Whether Lupita is hanging out in the yard, sleeping in her bed or stalking the warehouse, she will always be welcome at Davis Air Conditioning and Heating.
“This is her home,” McCain said.