Hi! My name is Peppa. I’ve been working for One Ocean Matemwe since 2011. I’m the official dive centre cat so my role at the dive centre includes upper management duties and PR. I’m sharing my daily routine to let you take a peek at the dive centre life from my perspective.
The sun is rising and I feel the warmth of it on my silky fur. Slowly I start to stretch my arms, open my paws to reveal my sharp claws, close them again and curl up in a furry ball for five more minutes. I must look like a hungry lion when I open my mouth wide open to yawn. It’s time to wake up. I have a busy day ahead of me.
My house is conveniently located right next to the dive centre. I’ve agreed to share the house with the manager of the hotel, so that I always have someone available to fulfill my need. After enjoying the morning snack served by the manager, I jog to my office.
There is a high bar stool in front of the reception, where I usually wait for the staff to arrive. Some of my staff are already well-trained and they come and stroke my fur to express their respect. After kindly sharing my presence among the attention-hungry dive centre staff, I start my supervising duties: I follow closely the person sweeping the tiling of the reception area, run in front of people meowing to guide them and jump on the counter to help with the paperwork. Sometimes I lay down on the bookings file to make sure the job is done properly. The work is very energy-consuming, therefore at this point I usually grab a snack from the snacks the instructors have kindly brought with them.
It's a tough job - but someone has to do it
When the customers arrive, I am ready to welcome them. They can find their numbered gear bags on the floor next to the reception, so obviously that’s the place to wait for them. I stretch myself to make my body as long as possible so I wouldn’t be accidentally unnoticed by anyone. I like to give the people a chance to pet me before diving. This will release endorphins in their body, so that their dives would be even more enjoyable.
My staff guides the divers to the parking area where their transportation is already waiting. Today the tide is low in the morning, therefore they start the journey with a car ride. I once again jump on the counter to ensure everything goes smoothly in the office. Then I close my eyes to take a well-deserved nap.
A few hours later the happy divers and snorkellers return from Mnemba. They smell like salt and sun. They talk about fish and sea creatures they have seen underwater. I wonder what a catfish must look like?! But, honestly speaking, this just makes me incredibly hungry! Fortunately, it’s almost lunch time. I help the staff with the payments, let the divers show me some affection before they leave and then share lunch with my staff. While they are eating, I meow to them which parts of the food they should leave me.
Afternoons at the dive centre are pretty relaxed. I sunbath by the pool and watch the instructors training the students. I sometimes sit on instructors’ belly while they complete the plans for the next day. This is also the perfect time to show my affection by biting them gently. Finally I watch the staff locking the doors and leaving, then the rest of the night is just well-deserved me-time.
Not all cats can be a dive centre cat
I slowly lick my silky fur until it’s clean and shiny again. Today I might even go for a hunt when the sun goes down. Tomorrow there will be another busy day ahead. As an official dive centre cat I take my responsibilities very seriously.
I’m very privileged to be in this position and I know not all the cats of Zanzibar are as fortunate, therefore we at One Ocean support Zaaso in their excellent work for animal welfare.