Literary Pet of February: Bruce

This is Catapult’s literary pet of the month column. Stay tuned each month for new bookish animal friends!

She wasn’t hired as an office dog right away. At the time, the Catapult Portland, OR office worked out of the attic of a lovely old North Portland house near good bagels and handsome model-ish baristas. The attic (and the rest of the house) was run by two stately office cats, Homer and Romeo. Bruce, a cat-obsessed youngster with good intentions and terrible manners, was “not a good fit.” She spent those days sleeping on our apartment’s green couch, destroying blinds, and pulling the occasional poetry book off the kitchen bookshelf.

As she grew, the black spots on Bruce’s nose grew too. She was still narrow.

In October of 2017, the Portland team moved to a new office––one with a door and across the street from a weed store. Bruce was hired to fill the roles Romeo and Homer had served in the attic office––sleep near employees, increase general morale, and lend a sense of imposing elegance to the office environment. She wasn’t exactly great at all of this right away. Once, in the early days of the new office, I found her absently gnawing on a galley during a meeting. Winter was a hard time. We commuted an hour each way in the dark, leaving no time for sprinting around on trails. Slow, high-pitched whining was the unfortunate soundtrack to a few rainy months. Despite this, the Portland office saw a noted increase in morale.

In April, after many happy months of being able to high-five each colleague in the office without anyone leaving their desks, we moved to a larger office down the hall. Bruce was promoted and given an entire couch to manage.


– Resting chin on various knees as needed

– Vigorously wagging

– Lounging handsomely on the red couch

– Cord management (i.e. tangling her wagging tail into cords, creating a charming kind of chaos)

– Reminding staff to take walks

– Greeting staff/visitors with (occasionally too much) gusto