The tale of a working Angel

Angel is the ‘Welcome Ambassador’ at a Port Hope pet food store.

Angel has a cool summer job. Until the long-term career plan takes off, she’s the official ‘Welcome Ambassador’ for Tails Up Pet Food in beautiful Port Hope.

Being the over-achiever that she is – blame it on her youth – one-year-old Angel insists on doing more than just waving a friendly paw when customers come in. She’s a natural born purr-former. Customers enjoy Angel’s gravity-defying acrobatics, the odd now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t disappearing act (there are plenty of cat-worthy hiding places in the store), and your classic the-paw-is-quicker-than-the-eye tabletop trick.

As her name would suggest (emphasis on “suggest”), she’s also a self-proclaimed advocate for angelic behaviour. Accordingly, she likes to help out as the store’s unofficial security guard by performing random shopping bag inspections at the checkout counter … although that could just be her inner food-obsessed beagle showing through.

Fortunately for Angel, she didn’t need any prior experience to land such a heavenly job. She just had to be an adorable cat in need of a loving home.

From the start, store owners Amy and Dennis knew they wanted to do more than just sell pet products. So they reached out to their local animal shelters and developed this special career grooming opportunity for homeless cats. One at a time, a shelter cat available for adoption is chosen for the esteemed position of Welcome Ambassador for the store. The job is theirs until that certain customer walks through the door, suddenly forgetting what they came in to buy all because the four-legged greeter had them at hello.

Angel is the 15th Welcome Ambassador since Tails Up opened last summer. When it comes to these employees, a high turnover rate is a good thing. That’s because they share the same ultimate career goal – finding permanent positions with loving families. Every successful career move (aka adoption) paves the way for the new kid.

Speaking of the new kid, she’s all but forgotten what got her hired in the first place. Abandoned by her owner, Angel had found her way to the Shelter of Hope no doubt feeling hopeless. But it’s amazing what a new job can do to boost one’s confidence. After she recovered from her dreaded spay surgery and vaccinations courtesy of the shelter, she embraced her position … quite literally. Angel believes her best work is performed while sprawled out on the (you guessed it) welcome mat at the front of the store. No chance of being ignored there!Angel 2

As I mentioned previously, Angel has a tendency of going above and beyond the call of duty but I may have forgotten to tell you about her signature move beyond the mat. You know how enthusiastic friends like to fist bump you? Well, Angel goes one better – she loves face-bumping customers. Rest assured, it means she likes you.

I met Angel and her imaginary halo clearly through divine intervention while visiting Port Hope for Canada Day celebrations. My husband and I were heading to the Home Hardware parking lot to drool over vintage cars at that weekend’s Cruise Night when I spotted Tails Up along the way and decided I’d pop in and buy some treats for my spoiled-rotten beagles. I didn’t get a face bump from the Hostess with the Mostess, but she did choose me for a random shopping bag search. I’m not sure if that meant she liked me, but it was enough for me to get all smitten with the kitten – so much so that I just had to choose the Angel of Port Hope to be this issue’s Pet of the Month. Or perhaps it would be more fitting to call her Employee of the Month?

Don’t you think it’s about time you and the family took a road trip to Port Hope? The band shell in Memorial Park hosts a summer concert series every Thursday until Sept. 1, followed by the final trumpet salute to summer at the Jazz Festival the following weekend. Don’t forget the farmers’ market and its colorful produce served up every Sunday until Oct. 29. And did you know Port Hope has one of the few remaining drive-in theatres in Ontario?

But above all of these show-stopping reasons to head east, Port Hope is also home (at least until YOU walk through the door) to a rather celestial face-bumping cat waiting to make the ultimate career move … nudge nudge, wink wink, bump bump …


Angel is a one-year-old spayed female gray and white domestic short-haired cat and working girl in the employ of Tails Up Pet Food (the store also acts as an adoption agent on behalf of Port Hope’s local animal shelters). While Angel has fully embraced her role as Welcome Ambassador, she’d much rather seek early retirement with you. If interested in Angel, please visit Tails Up in person to meet Dennis and Amy’s green-eyed greeter and fill out an adoption application. The adoption fee is $85 and she’s worth every penny! For details on store hours/location, check Facebook or call Angel’s bosses at 905-885-4000.

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