Purr-ocracy! The Cebu cat that’s also a city government ’employee’

July 2, 2018 - 1:39 PM
The treasurer's office of Cebu City Hall has its own rat patroller in the form of a cat named Mengkay. The government office has previously suffered from cases of damaged documents and files because of rat infestation. (Facebook/Don Marc Dondon)

Pictures of a feline with a legit identification card as a Cebu City Hall employee went viral. Cute and funny as it may seem, some were not surprised, knowing cats’ guile and temperament.

Cebuano entrepreneur Don Marc Dondon shared cute shots of a cat called Mengkay that was spotted at an office with its eyes closed. Nothing could have been unusual about it — just a photo of an adorable cat sleeping on a bench — except that it’s wearing a government ID.

Mengkay acts as the security guard of the Cebu City Hall’s Treasurer Office, where she keeps the population of rats in control. (Facebook/Don Marc Dondon)
Dondon said that Mengkay’s ID is not directly attached to her fur but on the leash around her neck. (Facebook/Don Marc Dondon)

Her ID reads:

Employee No. 9999999
Mengkay Bantay
Security Guard
Cebu City Treasurer’s Office

The Freeman reported that Mengkay has been in office since November of last year. She is responsible for pest control or “containing the population of rats at the office.”

Apparently, rats were a major problem at the Cebu City Hall’s Treasurer Office before, where they eat away important files and documents stored in the building.

Administrative Officer II Jopay Guanzon revealed that he first encountered the cat in July of last year, saying that he’s a pet lover.

He said (translated in English), “I always see this cat in the executive and legislative building. There was one time I brought the cat into the office and fed it. From then, the cat never left the office.”

“Our files are important in the treasurer’s office so Mengkay is a big help to us. She removes the stress from the taxpayers who come here to pay their taxes as well as from the employees.”

When Mengkay finally settled in, she was given an ID as requested by Guanzon. According to him, they no longer had any rat-related problem ever since.  

According to CNN International, cats have been known to prey on rats for at least 10,000 years.

They were known to help catch rats in New York bodegas, Disneyland and ships during the World War II. Apart from that, they have scents that instinctively makes rats run away.

Recent studies suggest cats might be as smart as dogs 

Japanese scientists believe felines might be as intelligent as dogs, unlike the common notion that dogs are smarter.

They conducted experiments that resulted in cats matching the mental ability of dogs — including the pair’s responses in human gestures, facial expressions and emotions, BBC News reports.

Dr. Berit Brogaard, director of the Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research at the University of Miami, noted that the cerebral cortex of cats is more complicated than dogs.

“I’m smarter.” “No, I’m smarter.” (Photo by Alexis Chloe via Unsplash)

“The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain responsible for cognitive information processing.”

“A cat’s cerebral cortex contains about twice as many neurons as that of dogs. Cats have 300 million neurons, whereas dogs have about 160 million,” she said.

She added that dogs have become the favorite since they are eager to please their masters while cats cannot be bothered to do so because of their independent nature — which is attributed to their cleverness.

“Dogs will do almost anything for a treat or a smile on their owner’s face. Dogs clearly have a higher social IQ than cats but cats can solve harder cognitive problems, if indeed they feel like it.” — Photos from Don Marc Dondon