We thought we would introduce you to some very valuable (and adored) members of our team. Meet our Critter Team! The nursery wouldn’t be the same without them. I, for one, look forward to seeing them every time I come to work. Read on to see how each of our critters contributes to the every-day-business here at the nursery.
All hail her royal majesty, Queen Minnie! Originally from Kauai Humane Society, we get the feeling she has always been in charge. She demands respect and doesn’t take guff from anyone. She is a mighty huntress of rats and birds (when she decides to participate), the overseer of all things happening at the potting table (when her eyes are open), and the tester of every two-legged creature’s balance (when she is on the ground). Watch your step- she will be on top of, beneath, behind, and to the side of your steps making the act of walking look like a circus-act gone bad. (Helpful hint to all new staff: you can make this stop by giving her just the right amount of pets, but don’t go overboard or it turns into a slapping & scratching situation.)
In her spare time, since she lives at work, you can mostly find Minnie napping, then snacking (when she has company; she doesn’t like to eat alone), then napping some more. She changes up her nap spots depending on the wind and sun because she is no dummy! She looks over-the-top adorable while doing so inciting us to rub her belly or pet her. When she isn’t napping or snacking, she can be found observing her male feline co-workers (Mo and Spooky) with disdain and playing a never-ending game of ‘Cat and Bird’ with the shama bird.
Mo (aka Hiccup aka Rocky aka Motor)
Meet Mo. Mo was adopted from the Kauai Humane Society with Spooky, another of our furry workers. It is unknown what his KHS name was, but he was promptly named Hiccup at his first home (you know, after the dragon). When he came to the nursery, he was dubbed Rocky. Neither of those names were popular with the rest of the staff and due to his constant and intense purring, he became known as Motor or Mo for short. (He answers to Mo mostly now.)
Motor Mo is in charge of small container testing. He operates by the motto, “If I fits, I sits.” and no container is too small for him to contort his body into for work’s sake. He is also in charge of gecko control, though admittedly he sometimes goes too far. His other duties include guarding the cash register, inspecting the garage doors, patrol of the irrigation equipment storage, and conducting security checks of vehicles with open windows. He is so busy that he has little time to bathe, but that doesn’t stop Spooky from snuggling with him when they are both off duty. When he does have down time aside from cuddle time with his brother, he is usually collecting and torturing geckos. Quite the hobby he has taken on at his work/home- you could call it an obsession!
Spooky (aka Shoyu aka Willie)
He’s a mystery! We are still getting to know this quirky guy. He was adopted with Mo from the Kauai Humane Society. At his first home, he was called ‘Shoyu’. Once he came to the nursery, he was called ‘Willie’. However, as you may have guessed at this point, the majority of us started to call him ‘Spooky’ because, after all, first impressions are everything! He was very scared, very shy, and hid for his first few days. But boy, were first impressions ever wrong with him! He has no shame in grabbing your hand and making you continue to pet him- even if you were finished. If he’s not ready for you to stop, he will let you know!
Spooky tends to be active in the evenings and early mornings- he is crepuscular, like a bear. (I think this is mostly due to his long, dark hair.) He is rather unavailable to help with anything during the day aside from snuggling Mo, so we can only assume he gets his duties (whatever they may be) done at night. He honestly has one of the funniest personalities. His round belly doesn’t hinder his hilarious acrobatics. Of course you’d have to be present before the sun rises to see these flips and flops he performs in the air! Spooky likes to watch the time-clock for all of us. He can watch it for hours on end. I guess somebody has to do it…
Since the time Cami was a pup she took on the tasks of sharp-object and moving-vehicle assessment. No one had to ask her- she just volunteered! She has mellowed out in her middle-age years and is not as interested in the sharp-object assessment, but noone will ever take away her passion for moving vehicles. She guards the Kubota when it isn’t parked in its “end-of-day” position in case it starts to move. She is dedicated and loyal to this task.
She, along with our other canine worker, Koa, sometimes act as security for the nursery. Among her least favorite of visitors are the UPS and FedEx guys. (What is it with dogs and mailmen?) Cami can balance work and play better than anyone else in the nursery. For example, she can fetch her ball AND keep an eye on the Kabota. She will happily gnaw on a stick while standing guard. In fact, there is no need to describe what she does in her break time because she is so good at multi-tasking. Her best buddy is three-year old Cooper (Serina & Steve’s son) and she loves when he is at work with her. She is never more well-fed than when Cooper has a snack! She also adores Roxanne (during lunch time) and Sam (when he is driving the Kubota or any of the trucks). Another note to new staff: All it takes to be Cami’s friend is a ball, a snack, and the Kabota. Also, you definitely want her to like you.
We jokingly call Koa the “Head of the Begging Committee”, but I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some truth behind that nickname. She is also a HUGE fan of Roxanne (not just during lunch time). Koa’s main responsibilities include heading the neighborhood watch and testing the water temperature in Mary’s swimming pool. No strange dogs shall enter the premise when Koa is watching! I am not sure that she is all that discriminatory on the temperature of the swimming pool but I do know that she takes this responsibility very seriously and does not ever shirk it on to someone else.
She also has assumed the position of Head of Internal Affairs where her main focus is the investigation of what the feline workers are doing throughout the day. Nobody asked her to do this; she just created her own niche. Koa is not subtle by any means while conducting these investigations and I think it helps to keep the cats on their toes! On her breaks, Koa is very creative at finding places to sleep. Full sun, in the middle of the gravel driveway? No problem! “Don’t worry, the cars will drive around me,” she says. I can tell that she has a very happy home life by the way she leaps and skips and bounds to the car at pau hana. I am told she gets lots of trips to the beach and lots of snuggle time on the couch so I try not to take it personally when she prances away from work.
Last but not least, is the Shama bird. The Shama is above all and most importantly, my ally in the ‘War on Centipedes’. Having been bitten THREE times while asleep in bed, I will not let a centipede go alive. And Shama has the same approach to those creepy, crawly, spawns of satan. She works along side us at the dirtpile, as we move pots and reveal what may be hiding beneath, as we sweep, and weed, and rake….always having an eye for any worm, insect, or multi-legged creature that may appear. She also teaches her young about these symbiotic relationships with us, making mealtime easier for her family.
In addition to her pest-control duties, Shama is responsible for sound-engineering at the nursery. She and her male counterpart sing the most beautiful songs. They communicate an array of thoughts and give their input through whistling, clicking, and warbling. When she is not working with us or taking care of her family, she enjoys teasing her feline friends in the neighborhood by flitting away just out of their reach.
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know my critter co-workers through my eyes. If anything, I am sure you are inspired to find that purrfect name for your pet and stick with it! Maybe you will even consider hiring a critter employee in the future?!
This post was written by Kauai Seascapes Employee, Dana.
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