Staff can’t keep Clover the Commonwealth Cat away from Saanich Commonwealth Place. The feline has too many friends to stay away. (Emile de Rosnay photo)

Meet Clover the Commonwealth Cat

Feline has made Saanich Commonwealth Place a second home

She might be the most popular cat in Saanich, if not Greater Victoria.

Clover the Commonwealth cat has been visiting Saanich Commonwealth Place for years but since last year, she’s taken up a daily residence at the otherwise cat-free recreation facility. Clover is a house cat from a nearby neighbour.

She shows up at 5:30 a.m. and spends her days hanging out, mostly in the SCP lobby. She’s been found sleeping in various locations but she’s not allowed just anywhere and is often relocated to the lobby, where she comes in.

READ MORE: Group wants Saaich to lick roaming cat problem

However, she’s extremely friendly and there’s no keeping her away, said Commonwealth building manager Charlene Parker.

“We take a soft-handed approach,” Parker said. “She’s very friendly and very well loved, patrons cuddle her and staff love her. We’re a public building and we don’t have any way to control the cat.”

That said, Commonwealth Place has some no-go areas that are off limits to Clover, who is now mostly aware of this.

“We have food preparation areas, we have health concerns, some people have serious allergies to cats, so staff are often wrangling her back to the lobby area,” Parker said. “But the reality is we don’t have a full-time cat keeper-outer.”

And so, Clover does what Clover does.

READ ALSO: Cat video fest coming to Victoria for first time

“We’ve found her asleep in a planter, on the counter, in the lost and found, on a keyboard,” Parker said. “She goes into the offices but we do have some staff with allergies so she’s not permitted everywhere.”

Parker only took over as SCP manager last year but Clover’s relationship with the building and its visitors predates Parker’s arrival by a few years. She has only become a daily visitor in the last year. At one point she was even clipped by a patron driving their car in the parking lot though that hasn’t scared her away.

For most people, Clover is a welcome sight and she has a noticeable effect on staff and visitors, Parker said.

“It’s heartwarming to see her with patrons, especially kids who love spending time with her.”

Cat therapy is in fact an evidenced-based psychological therapy, showing that spending time with cats de-stresses humans and strengthens their quality of life.

“She is so absolutely lovely, if health and hygiene weren’t an issue, we’d have [more] cats in the building,” Parker said. “People bring their stress and you can see it disappear when they pet Clover.”

Staff do contact the family of Clover to pick her up and staff also make sure she’s not trapped in the building when SCP closes at night.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read