The Grain Designs Mascots

by Patrick Bresnahan

The last blog post I wrote was a candid introduction to the members of the Grain Designs team. Upon further review however, I realized I forgot a few key members and I think it’s about time they get the credit they deserve.  These guys are seemingly tireless workers with boundless energy. Often, you would swear that they in fact never leave the shop, as they are always the first ones there in the morning and still there when we leave. While their daily tasks are a bit unconventional, they are an essential component of our day-to-day operations. Their daily tasks typically include climbing scaffolding, inspecting empty boxes, chasing their tails, and catching mice.  The Grain Designs Mascots; Yes, I am talking about the Grain Designs cats.

The Dirty Old Coot, AKA Jessica

Jessica can be thought of as the Matriarch of the Grain Designs cats. She is the oldest and it is rare that any of the other cats cross her. She rules the food dish with an iron fist and is often unwilling to share any human attention with her fellow felines. Jessica is often covered in dust and at this point is just like that elderly person we all know that no longer gives a crap what you or anybody else thinks about them.

Walter Jr. AKA Walt

The best way to describe Walt would be to say that she is incredibly skittish. (And yes, I did say she. We named all of the cats before we found out they were all in fact female.) Walt doesn’t let many people get close to her.

I have managed to gain her trust over the course of two years but for the most part none of the other Grain Designs members can get any closer than about ten feet before she takes cover under a wood pile. As a matter of fact, she is so skittish that the sound of a mouse fart will send Walt sprinting for cover as though a nuclear bomb had just been set off. So if you come in to the shop and Walt doesn’t give you any love, don’t take it personally.

Butthole AKA Butt

I saved the best for last. Butt is one cool cat. Now before jumping to conclusions about animal cruelty, or Grain Designs being insensitive for naming a cat butthole, there is some backstory and the name is well deserved.  When we first moved out to the shop, the cats already ‘ruled the roost’ especially Butt.  She is the most friendly of the group but Grant quickly noticed that whenever the cat was approached she was quick to turn around, toss up her tail, and give you a full exposure before further interaction.  They hadn’t been named before; she earned it, and continues to embrace her name.

Butt is usually the one hanging around with us humans the most. Often she can be found showing off her tail chasing skills in the middle of the shop floor or batting around a piece of scrap wood. She is one of the few cats that will let you hold her like a baby and give her a good belly rub. Yes, Butt is pretty much the unanimous shop favorite.

I grew up in a house where animals were essentially treated as human beings. And I’m pretty sure my mom loves her animals more than she loves me, although I can’t really blame her given how I turned out. Needless to say, I have always been an animal lover and when I came to Grain Designs it was a goal of mine to convince the other guys that cats aren’t all that bad. Phil and Grant have come to my side of aisle fairly easily.  Blain on the other hand has proven to be a difficult convert. Blain grew up on a farm, so the idea of a cat being a pet is a bit foreign to him.  Seemingly every month there is an argument as to whether we should get the cats cat food or if they should be required to hunt for their mouse and bird fare.  In his mind, that $15 a month that the company spends on Meow Mix is the only thing keeping Grain Designs from being a Fortune 500 company. Still, I think I am getting through to him and if you are ever in the area, feel free to stop out at the shop and visit the Grain Designs cats. Also, don’t forget to tell Blain how much you enjoyed them.