Dr. Bruce's Prescription for the Perfect Work-Life Balance

Bruce’s story was written by an adopter with a severe case of "corporatitis," and chronicles the efforts of her Cat Town cat, Bruce, to help cure her. What she doesn't say is that, at the Oakland shelter, Bruce was so stressed out by being in a cage that he bit somebody. He was on bite quarantine when Cat Town decided to take a chance on him, but as soon as we got him out of his cage, he transformed into a super-snuggly boy who made friends with everyone he met.


By Brit Dionne

Dear Humans,

My name is Bruce, and I am a cat. While my fellow felines spend their days lazing around and looking cute, I am doing lifesaving work. In fact, I’m in the process of saving one life in particular: my mom’s.

Looking at her, you’d never know she suffers from a common and insidious affliction: Corporatitis. Humans develop it when they spend too much time in a corporate work environment, trapped under the harsh glow of fluorescent lights and subjected to soul-crushing daily commutes. Symptoms include stress, exhaustion, and occasional fits of crying and maniacal laughter. I couldn’t stand to see my loving human suffer this way. So, since adopting her this summer, I’ve made it my mission to counteract the effects of Corporatitis.


My treatment plan is rigorous and built around a program of aggressive snuggling. Because my mom also suffers from untreated Busybody Syndrome and has a hard time sitting still, I’ve found that full body snuggles are my most effective method. Simply petting my impossibly soft black fur isn’t always enough to calm her down. If I place myself on her lap—or even better, her chest—she’ll often submit to 20 minutes of snuggling at a time. I conduct an abbreviated snuggle session in the morning before she gets up, greet her at the door for a snuggle when she arrives home, then complete her daily treatment with dramatic purring while I sit about an inch from her face. My initial research shows that, in each case, she experiences a significant reduction in stress.

There is also a more active component to my treatment program. This is because if left unsupervised, my mom would likely stay inside all day—despite the fact that we have a lovely walled patio and a yard filled with plants. Several times a week, I have her leash me up in a harness so I can take her for a walk. It’s also a convenient way for me to check on my plant friends by meticulously sniffing each and every one. I walk my mom slowly, pausing often so she can take the time to enjoy just being outside in the sun and breeze. Time for us to just be and not do. Time to remember that she is a Human Being—not a Human Doing.


And finally, because no human is an island, I’ve rounded out my treatment program by enlisting help in the form of my dad, who is a confirmed Dog Person. However, by demonstrating that I will come when called and that I am both wildly affectionate and chill, I have inspired him to declare that I am, in fact, a dog in a cat’s body. Outcome: I have won him over unequivocally, which only improves my chances of creating overall harmony at home.

My prescription to all humans: If you are suffering on any level, I recommend you seek the care of an adorable, loving fur baby—stat!


Dr. Bruce the Cat

This story was originally submitted as part of the 2018 Petco Foundation’s Holiday Wishes Campaign and helped Cat Town earn a $50,000 grant. Now you can help us secure an addition $25,000 by voting in the People’s Choice campaign! There are TWO easy ways you can help us win! Each only takes about one minute of your time.

1. Vote! Just visit https://woobox.com/aogufx, scroll to Cat Town, and click on Bruce’s story. Make sure you’re logged into Facebook, and vote. You’ll need to share your name and email address, and can only vote for one story.

2. Share! Even if you don't have a Facebook account, perhaps you know a cat lover who would vote for us to win? We would be so grateful if you'd share this post with them.

Thanks for helping cats like Bruce make it home!