One of my prized enjoyments involving Dan, is the plethora of trendy and fascinating stories that he brings when he comes to visit us. Living in Brooklyn, gives him easy access to the beating heartbeat of society. This year’s treasures involve a cat named Jorts, an orange male tabby. Dan shares a common prejudice about these cats that is best summarized by a joke that he tells, “Orange tabby cats have only one brain cell, which they all share.” Jorts along with his colleague Jean, a female tortoiseshell, live and work in an office. Their duties include socializing with customers and the other colleagues, providing them with nurturing support. Jorts achieved internet fame two-years ago this month, when an anonymous human colleague posted about him on the subreddit, Am I the Asshole. In this thread we learn about Jorts and Jean and their trials and tribulations with office politics.
Conforming to stereotype, Jorts routinely gets himself into trouble by doing dumb stuff, like knocking over the break room kitchen’s trashcan and getting plastic cups from the trash stuck on his head, but mostly getting himself locked behind doors and then meowing loudly to be freed. Jean, with her tortie smarts has mastered the technique for opening the office’s lever-action doorknobs and freeing Jorts, but sometimes her altruism backfires, like when Jorts comes along again and head-butts the door closed, trapping Jean in the closet.
Things would have continued along these lines had not Pam (not her real name) intervened. She took exception with the derisive mocking of Jorts by his human colleagues. Pam stated that this was “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes by saying orange cats are dumb.” She advocated for a process to better educate Jorts to open doors for himself, by adding tasks to the workgroup’s task list. This action was met with some pushback by the staff. Things blew up when it was learned that Pam had taken it upon herself to smear Jorts with butter, in order to better train him to groom himself. HR was then brought in and Jorts and his situation soon went viral on Twitter. HR reached an agreement to resolve the dispute.