Recent Hire, Elwood the Cat Makes a Purrfect Addition

Security cat brings love and smiles to an Australian hospital.

Sep 16, 2020

(Evangelos Dimoutsos / Shutterstock.com)

Epworth Healthcare is proud to announce a new hire. When visitors approach the hospital’s Erin Street entrance, they are greeted by a very sweet, friendly, and inquisitive security guard. His name is Elwood and if he is feeling rather friendly, he won’t smile. Rather, he will purr.

Elwood is a proud security cat at Epworth Healthcare in Melbourne, Australia, as reported in The Dodo. And he wears an ID tag with his name and photo to prove it. A dedicated worker, Elwood trained for a few years before he was even hired. He showed up every day, keenly observing people arriving and leaving the hospital.

His name tag, complete with hospital call codes on the backside, makes Elwood’s presence that much more official. Every day he greets patients and hospital staff, always keeping an eye on who is coming and going.

Elwood takes his job seriously and does not linger for too long when greeting people. Hospital employee Chantal Trollip told The Dodo, “He enjoys a good pat but likes to keep things short and move around a fair bit. He is on the security team after all, has to make sure everyone coming and going gets checked.”

Aside from being recently added to the hospital security team, Elwood’s most important job is providing love, affection, and making people smile. Hospitals, especially during these times, tend to be hectic and stressful. Patients entering the hospital may often feel anxious, hospital staff may be overworked and tired, and people visiting their loved ones can arrive worried.

Yet, being greeted at the hospital door by a fluffy, affectionate cat complete with a security badge is a game changer. This sweet feline melts hearts, generates wide grins, and creates warm chuckles.

Having pets around the workplace has benefits for all, as indicated in this study. They reduce stress and increase communication and socialization among people.

Another study found that simply petting an animal improves mood. Pets in the work environment have positive effects for all, especially the elderly, the sick, and young children. And they are great ice-breakers in tense situations.

Elwood has since become a celebrity complete with a social media following. Announcing his hire, the hospital’s Instagram post read, “Furline Health Worker Elwood has completed his induction at #Epworth! The Erin Street local is often spotted lifting the spirits of patients & staff. Purrfect!”

People love cats — especially cats with a purpose — and Instagram users could not help but comment on the hospital’s whimsical post. In fact, it brought out the light-hearted and playful side of readers. Not only did people like the post, they commented about Elwood being a “Securacaty” and a “Sup-purr-visor.”

When Elwood takes a break, he forgoes the cafeteria, opting to lie in a sunny patch by the bushes. He is fiercely independent and sets his own schedule but works long hours. Contrary to popular belief, Elwood is not a street cat. He has a home that he goes to after work, just like all of the other hospital employees. Indian Express wrote that his human, 15-year-old Alex William, commented in the local Herald Sun that Elwood leaves his home when his pet owners are at school and work.

While the owners are away, Elwood is doing very fine work. He has a responsible job and he brings joy to many people all day long. His is a meaningful, purrfect life!

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NICOLE NATHAN BEM, CONTRIBUTOR
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.